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March04

News and Notes from Monday

Sentinel bill sent to Gov.

 

On a 40-19 vote, Representatives sent an amended version of House Bill 1087, which would allow school employees and volunteers to carry guns in and on school grounds, to its final step for approval.

 

Gov. Dennis Daugaard will have the option to sign the bill into law or veto it. The Governor has not indicated whether he supports HB 1087, but his administration has indicated in previous weeks that he supports the bill’s concept. If signed into law, voters could refer the bill for a vote in November.

 

A motion to form a conference committee – made up of three Senators and three Representatives – to review the amended version of HB 1087 was defeated on a 17-42 vote.

 

Senators attached three amendments to the bill, which Rep. Scott Craig (33) called “more appealing to the public and increasing public accountability.”

 

One amendment appoints the state’s Standards and Training Commission to oversee the 40-hours of firearms training required by the bill for non-law enforcement agents taking the sentinel role. Another provides a waiver of liability to the state’s Attorney General Office and local law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over a school district where a sentinel program is established. The final amendment allows voters in the district to refer a school board’s decision on implementing, or not implementing.

 

A cornerstone argument of the bill’s proponents was HB 1087’s capacity to provide local control. However, the referral amendment would allow constituents to overturn a board’s decision and the provision of approval needed by the local law enforcement agency can do the same.

 

ASBSD is opposed to the bill.

 

Benefits publication bill defeated

 

The third time wasn’t the charm for Senate Bill 180 as Representatives killed the bill on 28-40 bill.

 

SB 180 would have required school districts, and other local government bodies, to list the total dollar amount paid to employees for the employer’s share of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), retirement, any nonprofessional membership fee and the average amount paid per employee for health insurance.

 

Coming to the House in its third incarnation, the bill had three amendments introduced for a voice vote, but the end result left them irrelevant.

 

“All you have to do is step into the (school’s business) office and that information is there,” Rep. Kathy Tyler (4) said.

 

ASBSD opposed the bill.

 

Situational student funding bill passed

 

Representatives passed Senate Bill 158, which would provide state funding for students in treatment centers and clarifies the discrepancy that funding for the student in the treatment center is provided by the home district, on a 67-1 vote.

 

“(SB 158) will solve the problem quite well,” Rep. Peggy Gibson (22) said.

 

Rep. Gibson said about 30 students per-year fall in this category and the total cost is approximately $139,000. Rep. Gibson noted the Governor’s proposed budget included funding for these situations.

 

ASBSD supports the bill.

 

Open Meetings bill tabled

 

Committees and subcommittees will not be subjected to open meeting laws after House Bill 1108 was tabled by Senators.

 

Sen. Dan Lederman (16) requested the bill be tabled, saying its provisions would be examined after session before being reintroduced next year.

 

ASBSD opposed the bill.

 

Petitions bill passed

 

Senators voted 30-1 to pass House Bill 1018, which would require independent notarization on an election candidate’s nominating petition.

 

The bill now heads to the Governor for signature.

 

For updates on these and other pieces of legislation, check the ASBSD blog and bill tracker.

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