It was a busy week in Pierre, as lawmakers pushed to get through the 7th week of the 96th South Dakota Legislative session. This past Thursday, February 25, was also crossover day. This is the last day to pass bills or joint resolutions by the house of origin. One of the issues that took center stage this week was House Bill 1247, which SDAHO CEO, Tim Rave, actively fought against. The measure would provide for the protection of the conscience of medical professionals. The bill received enough yes votes to make it out of committee early in the week, but did not have enough votes to pass the full House of Representatives, where it was lost on a 25 to 41 vote.
There were some successes during the 7th week, one in the form of Senate Bill 167. This measure will establish criteria for a regional nursing facility designation, in addition to a funding source. Lawmakers agreed that the joint committee on appropriations is a better place for further consideration, where it is now scheduled for an additional hearing. Another success this week came in House Bill 1195, which authorizes the participation of certified registered nurse anesthetists in the recruitment assistance program. It made its way through the House and Senate with no negative votes. Its next stop is the Governor’s desk for final passage.
South Dakota voters approved Initiated Measure 26 this past November, legalizing medical marijuana. Lawmakers have been tasked with creating the process that will help oversee this new law and one of the bills that will do just that was presented this week in Pierre. House Bill 1061 prohibits smoking and consuming marijuana and its derivatives in a motor vehicle. It also creates a penalty, for those breaking the law. It successfully made it out of the House Judiciary committee early in the week. By the end of the week members of the House of Representatives also gave it a passing vote of 61 to 6. It will now go to the Senate for further debate.
SDAHO continues to follow several key pieces of legislation. As the 96th South Dakota Legislative session wraps up, you can track the bills SDAHO is actively following by visiting our Bill Tracker. There you can see the history of bills that have worked their way through the process and watch edited clips from committee hearings this past week.