Radio Update Report 6:30pm (Audio)
A bill that creates a task force to study strengths and weaknesses of the Office of Tribal Government Relations was killed in a House committee. Opponents say they agree with the concept of House Bill 1276, but a task force is not the best way to go about addressing issues. Proponents of the measure say Native issues are always put off, and now is the time to do something. Representative Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton supports the bill.
"The frustration is really building and developing in Indian Country that they're not a part of the ongoing activities and decision making of state government," Hunhoff says. "And this is an attempt to just bring everybody to the table and see if we can't some ways to increase relationships."
The House State Affairs Committee deferred the bill to the 41st legislative day.
The state Senate is discussing a bill that nullifies certain federal health care regulations in South Dakota. Senate Bill 137 voids any law made by Congress that interferes with a person's right to choose their personal physician or health care plan, or imposes any fine for declining to purchase coverage. Senator Gordon Howie of Rapid City is a sponsor of the bill.
"Those of us who are supporting this bill believe that it's an opportunity to stand up for the constitutional rights we've been given," Howie says.
Opponents say the measure could cost the state thousands of dollars in litigation fees. Senator Ben Nesselhuf of Vermillion says it would be devastating to the state's insurance industry.
"I imagine if this were to hold up, and that were to pass on the federal level, the first thing we'd be doing is running back here, calling a special session to repeal this," Nesselhuf says.
The Senate takes up the issue again after it receives a fiscal note from the Legislative Research Council.
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