South Dakota lawmakers assigned to studies


PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Many of the South Dakota lawmakers who volunteered to put in more time after the 2019 legislative ended last month received assignments for the months ahead Tuesday,

They’ll serve on interim committees that will study key topics before the 2020 session starts January 14.

The Legislature’s Executive Board divvied up work among 10 new panels.

The board’s 15 members, who serve as the Legislature’s leadership outside session, will make additional appointments of non-legislators at the May meeting. That date hasn’t been set.

Among the appointments Tuesday:

Representative Nancy Rasmussen, R-Hurley, chairs the special education panel.

Senator Alan Solano, R-Rapid City, is chairman for resolving conflicts between rural electric cooperatives and municipal electrics on delivering electricity service in annexed areas.

Representative Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls, will oversee alternative funding and sentencing for drug offenses.

Senate Democratic leader Troy Heinert of Mission will head a sub-group studying methamphetamine addiction.

The methamphetamine study will be a separate but equal piece of the drug-offenses study.

House Republican leader Lee Qualm of Platte will lead the panel on legalizing industrial hemp.

Representative Mike Diedrich, R-Rapid City, will chair a group on keeping mental health hospitalizations within communities when possible.

Senator Solano will do double-duty as chairman on reducing mental-health hospitalizations through alternatives, including community-based short stays and day treatment.

Senator Deb Soholt, R-Sioux Falls, will chair a panel on leveraging tele-health and tele-medicine in mental health services.

Representative Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton, will lead the effort on redefining admissions criteria for the state Human Services Center in Yankton for people with organic brain damage.

Representative Tim Reed, R-Brookings, will chair a panel assigned to finding ways to increase transitional housing and residential services for mental health patients in their communities.

Joining Rasmussen on the special-education panel are representatives Fred Deutsch, a Florence Republican; Sue Peterson, a Sioux Falls Republican; and Ray Ring, a Vermillion Democrat; and Senator Jim Bolin, a Canton Republican. The advocate for people with disabilities is lawyer John Hamilton of Sioux Falls.

The eight other legislators on the electricity panel are representatives Thomas Brunner, a Nisland Republican; Shawn Bordeaux, a Mission Democrat; Kirk Chaffee, a Whitewood Republican; Spencer Gosch, a Glenham Republican; and Reed; and senators Lee Schoenbeck, a Watertown Republican; Susan Wismer, a Britton Democrat; and Jordan Youngberg, a Madison Republican.

“We’re trying to be fair,” Senator Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, said. He was prime sponsor of Senate Bill 66 that was changed into the electricity study.

The drug-offenses study also includes senators Jim Stalzer, a Sioux Falls Republican; Jeff Partridge, a Rapid City Republican; and Craig Kennedy, a Yankton Democrat; along with representatives Dayle Hammock, a Spearfish Republican; and Linda Duba, a Sioux Falls Democrat.

The drug-offenses legislation originally came from Kennedy, a long-time attorney. The study bill that passed came from Partridge.

Also named to the drug-offenses study were retired Circuit Judge Patricia Riepel and state Unified Judicial System administrator Greg Sattizahn, as well as two county commissioners, Gary Jaeger of Deuel County and Gary Drewes of Pennington County

Joining Heinert on the methamphetamine group are Senator Ryan Maher, an Isabel Republican; and representatives Lana Greenfield, a Doland Republican; Kevin Jensen, a Canton Republican; Tamara St. John, a Sisseton Republican; Doug Post, a Volga Republican; and Taffy Howard, a Rapid City Republican.

Joining Qualm on the industrial-hemp study are senators Rocky Blare, an Ideal Republican; Red Dawn Foster, a Pine Ridge Democrat; Joshua Klumb, a Mount Vernon Republican; and Reynold Nesiba, a Sioux Falls Democrat. From the House are representatives Tim Goodwin, a Rapid City Republican; Bob Glanzer, a Huron Republican; Randy Gross, an Elkton Republican; Oren Lesmeister, a Parade Democrat; Nancy York, a Watertown Republican; and Bordeaux.

Serving with Diedrich on the panel looking at keeping mental-health hospitalizations within communities when possible are Senate Republican leader Kris Langer of Dell Rapids, Representative Timothy Johns, a Lead Republican, and Kennedy

Serving with Solano on the panel looking for alternatives to mental-health hospitalizations are Representative Erin Healy, a Sioux Falls Democrat; Senator Margaret Sutton, a Sioux Falls Republican; and Haugaard.

Joining Soholt on looking for ways to use tele-health and tele-medicine more frequently for mental-health delivery are representatives Herman Otten, a Lennox Republican; Duba; and Stalzer. Haugaard said Stalzer’s technology background made him a good fit.

Serving with Hunhoff on the Human Services Center study are Representative Rebecca Reimer, a Chamberlain Republican; as well as Blare and Wismer.

Joining Reed on the transitional housing study are Senator Wayne Steinhauer, a Hartford Republican; Representative Carl Perry, an Aberdeen Republican; and Foster. “They come from all across the state,” Brock Greenfield said.

Greenfield, Haugaard and House Democratic leader Jamie Smith of Sioux Falls met for nearly two hours before the meeting with several top Legislative Research Council staff, mostly to work on the committee assignments.

Greenfield received the board’s go-ahead for the electricity-service study to start before July 1.

The board also chose three issue-memo topics. They are traumatic brain injuries, federal grants and resolving what should happen with any additional sales-tax revenue from businesses that sell goods and services into South Dakota but don’t have a physical presence in the state. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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