8 days down, 30 to go!
The second week of the 98th legislative session has concluded, but our work has just begun. We have now heard bills in both House Education and House Judiciary, and here are some of the notables:
- HB1055: One of my main focuses when coming into the legislature was to increase scholarships for our South Dakota students. I was proud to cosponsor and vote in support of this bill which adds $1,000 to the South Dakota opportunity scholarship- a great step in helping students afford higher education. It also won’t cost us anything to take this added step until the FY27 budget year. This bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Appropriations with a “do pass” recommendation to the Joint Committee on Appropriations.
- HB1032: This bill provides funds for the reconstruction of agriculture study facilities at SDSU. We heard in testimony that this will bring improvements to the agriculture programs at SDSU, which will train the students who will lead our #1 industry in South Dakota. I may be a coyote, but this is a great bill, and I was happy to support its reference to the appropriations committee with a “do pass” recommendation.
- HB1063: One of the main priorities mentioned by the Chief Justice last week was the need for rehabilitation resources for those aged 18-25. By providing resources for employment information, housing, and addiction prevention we can work to make sure that first-time offenders do not become repeat offenders. This bill on establishing a barrier task force passed without opposition to the floor of the House.
Beyond Committee work, the House also got a great visit from the SDSU Jackrabbits! It was great to be able to congratulate them on their national championship and for helping promote South Dakota to a national audience.
To balance out all of the blue on Tuesday, a wave of red greeted the State Capitol during USD Day on Thursday. Being the current board chair of the USD Alumni Association, it was great seeing so many familiar faces.
Adding onto the great news, the House also passed the first tax cut of the year: an act to provide reimbursements for employers that take part in the state’s Reemployment Assistance Program. Lots of wins this week!
There’s much more to come from this session- so be sure to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach out to me on social media, text me at 605-610-8884, or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the weekend!