One of the bills I’ve been working on the past few months, Simon’s law, passed out of committee on a unanimous vote.
The bill is named after a little boy who died after his doctor put a do-not-resuscitate order in his medical chart without first discussing it with his parents. The bill requires doctors to notify parents or legal guardians before putting a DNR order in a child’s chart. Committee members wept during emotional testimony by Simon’s mother. I am grateful to bring the bill to the legislature. Seventy percent of the legislators signed on as a co-sponsor.
In Education Committee, we heard several bills about homeschoolers. In one, we passed legislation that levels the playing field for homeschoolers seeking an Opportunity Scholarship. Currently they need an ACT score of 28, whereas public school students need a 24. Under the bill, the scores will be the same. On another bill, homeschoolers requested exemption from Gov. Noem’s proposed civics literacy test. The committee ran out of time while hearing this bill. It is scheduled to continue this week.
In Health Committee we heard a bill that will require doctors to explain the relationship between the density of breast tissue and the potential for breast cancer as a part of the explanation of mammogram results. It passed 10-1.
On other measures heard this week, the House endorsed Gov. Noem’s push for putting E-30 blend in the gas tanks of state government’s vehicles on a 67-3 vote, allowing the higher blend fuel for the state vehicles that can use the premium fuel.
An interesting bill passed out of the House Ag and Natural Resources Committee to allow the use of drones to locate predators or varmints during certain times of the year. The purpose behind the legislation is to allow the use of technology to locate coyote dens, helping livestock producers protect the animals they raise.
Last, the constitutional carry bill, SB47, has been a major topic of discussion. People have asked why I voted for it.
I supported it because it aligns with my belief in the Second Amendment, and because I thought the proponent’s testimony was stronger than the opponent’s testimony.
Some of the testimony included:
A. South Dakota is an open carry state. If you are not otherwise prohibited or disqualified from carrying a firearm, you can open carry.
B. South Dakota requires a permit to conceal a weapon. Therefore, if you slip it into your jacket or put it under the seat of your car or slip it into your purse, then you are illegally carrying concealed.
The reality is SB47 addresses only this issue and no other issue. Pretty much everything else stays the same.
C. There are 10 reasons that currently disqualify a person from their 2nd Amendment right to carry a gun with a permit and makes them unable to qualify for permit-less or constitutional carry, and six reasons for federal disqualification. Some of the reasons include:
1. History of pleading guilty or no-contest or conviction of any felony or violent crime.
2. History of habitual drugs or intoxication.
3. History of violence.
4. History of being a danger to self or others in the last 10 years.
5. History of being adjudicated as mentally incompetent.
All 16 disqualification factors stay in place under SB47.
D. Currently, only law-abiding people are legally allowed to obtain permits to carry concealed. Criminals, on the other hand, carry concealed firearms all the time, without permits and without regard for the law. SB47 levels the playing field.
These are some of the reasons why I voted for the bill.
That’s it for now. Please feel free to contact me at any time via email at [email protected] And if you make it to the Capitol, please look me up.
Life is good. Have a great week.