An hour and a half of riveting testimony and vigorous committee debate resulted in stalemate for the tan ban last week. House Bill 1166, a bill to ban minors from tanning beds, got its first hearing before House Health and Human Services last Thursday. The committee heard seven proponents and five opponents, including two lobbyists for the South Dakota Tanning Salon Association (yes, there is such an association). Committee members considered amendments to lower the ban age to under 14, to allow 14- to 18-year-olds to tan with consent from a parent and a physician, and to allow those teens to tan with just a note from a parent. The latter amendment came close to passing, but foundered, like the bill itself, on a 6–6 vote. Chairman Scott Munsterman, unable to secure one more vote, had to defer his bill to February 19.
The stalemate happened because HHS committee member Rep. Lynne DiSanto (R-35/Rapid City) skipped work Thursday. That's too bad, because Rep. DiSanto, Rapid City's maven of modeling, knows a thing or two about young women and fake tans. Rep. DiSanto surely could have shone a fierce professional light on the issue and helped the committee come to a decision.
So when Rep. DiSanto comes to committee Thursday, how will she tilt the vote? Will she pick up Teen Vogue and deem fake-baking the new smoking? Or will Rep. DiSanto stand for carcinogenic liberty with her bronzed commodities and Facebook Likes?
p.s.: Eleven states ban minor use of tanning beds. 41 states have some sort of minor-tanning regulations. South Dakota has no such regulations.
pp.s.: So if the Legislature passes both HB 1166 and HB 1212, which defines embryos as minors in an attempt to ban abortion, will that mean pregnant women won't be able to use tanning beds?