The Legislature is humming... though not as efficiently as it might, thanks to the fiscal impact statement requirements of last year's omnibus criminal justice reform law. (I told you so.)
Here's an assortment if minor (?) additions to the Legislative hopper, fresh out of the oven this morning:
Rep. Betty Olson (R-28A/Prairie City) finds a new threat to happiness: highway reflector poles. House Bill 1114 would require some poor soul to go out and pull all the reflector poles out from alongside our state trunk highway system. Highway 34, 81, 12, 385—the whole trunk system is listed in SDCL 31-4 (Sections 130–247).
Maybe this is just a Democrat thing, but I like to see where I'm going. And if you're worried about hitting those poles, well, (1) don't drive like an idiot, and (2), they do make flexible reflector poles.
Rep. Melissa Magstadt (R-5/Watertown) must have some friends, or friends of friends, in med school. She's proposing House Bill 1110, a tiny little amendment to the definition of "resident" for hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. Current law allows South Dakotans who are out of state for "regular attendance at a post-high school institution as a full-time student" to get resident hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. Rep. Magstadt wants to extend that privilege to students in "regular attendance in a medical or dental residency program." Hey, Rep. Magstadt! How about including students in pastoral internships, too? My wife might want to take out little one fishing!
Rep. Scott Munsterman (R-7/Brookings) and Sen. Ryan Maher (R-28/Isabel) have some plan for economic development, but they aren't ready to tell us. Their House Bill 1109 currently consists of one line: "Economic development in the state shall be enhanced." HB 1109 is a shell bill, placed in the hopper at the last minute to hold a place for some scheme that legislators haven't worked out yet. The language and timing reflect that of last year's Senate Bill 235, the omnibus economic development that started as a single sentence (though better written, in active voice, instead of HB 1109's passive), floated unamended and unexplained through the Senate, then exploded from secret committee negotiations in March, during the last hectic days of the Legislature, when we all had to scramble to read it in all its forty-section glory. Might Munsterman and Maher be laying a tiger trap for legislation to respond to the audit and review of shenanigans in the Governor's Office of Economic Development (the results of which appear to be late)? One can only hope!