JAN 28 1998
Legislators outline upcoming bills
District 10 legislators at a cracker-barrel meeting Saturday in Brandon said things are moving slowly this session at the state legislature.
But with over 600 bill requests, activity should pick up soon, Dave Munson told the 15 people who attended the meeting at the middle school.
Munson is state senator for District 10, which includes the Brandon Valley area.
Representative Roger Brooks told the people about three bills he is sponsoring.
One will dictate some guidelines for officials to warn, issue an extended warning or close down dog kennels that are in violation of state rules and will provide a bond for the kennel owner to pay for care of dogs that have been removed.
Another is to make insurance companies pay for supplies for people with diabetes.
Another is to make insurance companies report when someone cancels their insurance.
Representative Roger Hunt gave people an idea of what to expect in some of the upcoming legislative debates. On the topic of roads, Hunt said the governor is going to "go after" overweight vehicles. Hunt said South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has put out a video showing how overweight vehicles damage roads.
Hunt said, "As the governor says, it doesn't make any sense to fix the roads if overweight vehicles continue to damage them."
The legislature is trying to struggle with how to assess landowners fairly, Hunt said. The legislature will look at managed health care bills that he called mostly consumer protection bills.
Harold Arnott of Brandon spoke out against several four-lane highways the state is considering building. His wife, Ruth, said the state shouldn't pay for something it doesn't need.
Hunt said in order to get federal funding for the highways, the state is required to make them four lanes wide.
Harold Arnott also said he thinks current inheritance taxes in South Dakota are unfair.
Hunt said South Dakota has one of the highest inheritance taxes in the country. He said this session will see some bills to increase the amount people can inherit without
Legislators/see page 7
Legislators meet in Brandon
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without paying tax, but the legislature would have to figure out some way to replace the money that is lost through inheritance tax cuts.
Senate Bill 3 would give $150 to schools for each student who goes through a driver's education program.
George Gulson, superintendent at Brandon Valley, said he approves of that, mostly because the Brandon Valley School District pays for its students to take driver's ed.
Hunt said the legislature will have to decide if it will make driver's ed mandatory across the state and, if so, how will the state fund it and at what rate. Several people said they would like to see the legal driving age lowered in South Dakota.
Hunt said driving age is a continuing debate in the legislature with rural people wanting the age to remain low and urban people wanting the age raised.
The next District 10 legislative coffee will be held at Harrisburg High School library this Saturday at 10a.m.
On the topic of neighborhood schools, Gulson said open enrollment means students can go to any school they want, so arguments that the Sioux Falls School District should take in land
that is now in the Brandon Valley School District are meaningless.
Brooks said that if a district takes over another district's land, it would have to assume any debt that is on it also.
Brian Majerus, executive director of Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce, asked if Minnehaha County has ever made a plan of boundaries for towns to indicate how much and in what areas the towns will grow.
Hunt said that if county entities can do that on their own, Pierre would bless it. But it probably wouldn't work for Pierre to mandate it.
However, maybe the legislature can offer a carrot of incentive to towns to make such a plan, Hunt said. "Maybe we can get more orderly development," he said.
Representative Roger Brooks, right, gestures as he talks about upcoming bills in the state legislature. Senator Dave Munson, left, and Representative Roger Hunt fielded questions from about 15 people at Saturday's District 10 legislative coffee. Photo by Alica P. Thiele
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