Freshman Rep. Alex Jensen (R-12/Sioux Falls) seems to think it would be a good idea to repeal some laws dealing with county officials. House Bill 1081, Rep. Jensen's first bill in the hopper, would make three changes to state law:

  1. Repeal the mileage reimbursement that state law currently requires counties to pay to all county officials except for sheriffs.
  2. Take away the power of county commissioners to procure a copy of the field notes of the original field survey of the county and order a big map be drawn therefrom.
  3. Erase the duty of the county commission to visit the county jail once a year during a regular meeting.

I invite discussion of possible reasons to make these changes. Over breakfast, I can think of no good ones.

  1. We should pay county officials for the travel expenses they incur doing our public business. SDCL 7-7-24 makes sure we don't short our public servants.
  2. I like those big county maps! They help me pass the time when I'm waiting for Deb to get off the phone. SDCL 7-8-22 does mandate anything; it just says that if the commission wants a map, it can get one.
  3. I don't think anyone county jailers are running the Gulag Rura Penthe, but it doesn't hurt to have one little bit of oversight. We put people in cages; we should have an obligation to look at those cages, at least once a year, to make sure we're o.k. with the condition of those cages and the offenders therein.

Repealing mileage reimbursement, map rules, and jail oversight didn't figure among candidate Jensen's priorities during the 2014 campaign. Jensen said he'd work on health care, education, and business-friendliness; HB 1081, his only bill so far, appears to do nothing about those issues. But I guess the party leadership has to keep its trainees busy with something.