Last week Norman Woods, FHA Action Lobbyist, and I were down by the river and Norman took this photo of the Pierre Bridge. I like it! It is a great reminder of the fact that in our work here at the Capitol we had better be Bridge Builders if we expect to influence Legislators in the passage and/or defeat of certain bills and/or resolutions.
On this truth the wisdom of Solomon shines through in Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one, because they get more done by working together.”
It was a pleasure for Norman and I to have worked together so closely this session, on several bills, with Representative Scott Craig (pictured far left) of Rapid City, District 33 and Matthew Sharp of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). We made for a great team as we focused on doing what was right on bills like HB1008 (Student Physical Privacy Act) and HB1107 (Government Nondiscrimination Act).
We were encouraged throughout this session to welcome to the Capitol a number of FHA friends and family like the FHA Board Members pictured here. Seated with me is Dr. Patrick Clinch, FHA Action Board Chair [PHOTO] and standing with me is FHA Board Member, Dr. Brent Bradley.
This session has certainly had its UPS and DOWNS when it comes to those bills the FHA ACTION either supported or opposed.
It was disappointing to see HB 1008…the Student Physical Privacy Act…vetoed by our Governor. The aim of this bill was as well meaning and void of malice as it was accommodating for people on both sides of the issue. It genuinely sought to address what likely is going to be a prolonged debate in the not-so-distant future in our state.
We sincerely believe that the Governor missed an opportunity to get out in front of this issue and help accommodate both sides in a peaceful and respectful manner. All this bill sought was to protect the physical privacy of 100% of our public school students.
We appreciate the seventy-eight Legislators who stood on principle and voted in support of HB10-08.
We are thankful to all those who called or emailed their Legislators and the Governor asking for support, and for all those on both sides of the debate who opted for civil discourse in the discussion of this issue. So stay tuned, as this issue is not going away.
We are grateful for the passage in the HOUSE this week of the following bills, which will now need the Governor’s signature. They are….
SB159 that is a bill that empowers lower income families, who choose to provide a private school education to their children, to be able to afford it. Sixteen other states have adopted this method successfully to provide more parental choice in the education of their children.
SB129 now being called “Jason’s Law” would require that Teachers be given one hour suicide prevention training as a part of their teacher re-certification process.
SB26 will revise certain provisions concerning sex offender registration and will require an offender to notify law enforcement of intended foreign travel. Currently, here in South Dakota we have 3,448 sex offenders on our registry. This bill will simply help law enforcement track their whereabouts in our state. Typically at any one time 25 of them would be out of compliance. So that means that we have an amazing 99% compliance rate in SD. SB26 will only but improve that already remarkable rate.
SB72 will prohibit the abortion of an unborn child who is capable of experiencing pain and provide a penalty thereof. It is called the ‘Pain Capable Bill’. It has been well documented that unborn babies experience pain during abortion. Because the unborn child’s pain inhibitors have not been fully developed, their pain is even more excruciating. Although we believe abortion at any stage of development is a monumental injustice to the unborn, the pain capable prohibition is set at 20 weeks gestation.
SB72 has had several amendments and currently needs the Senate to concur on the House amendments.
The pro-abortion lobby is pressuring the Governor to veto the bill. Your calls and e-mails are needed to the Governor asking him to sign SB72, the Pain Capable Bill.
ACTION: To email Governor Daugaard urging him to sign SB72, the Pain Capable Bill, click here right here, and follow the instructions. In addition phone his office at (605) 773-3212 and leave a quick message. You can do this!
We are also grateful for the passage in the SENATE this week of the following bills which will now need the Governor’s signature and they are….
HB1110, which will provide pre-natal medical care for certain non-citizen mothers.
HB1157 will require that a doctor provide a woman additional information as a part of informed consent prior to performing an abortion. It has become known as the ‘Informed Consent Bill for Chemical Abortions’! This bill simply provides the mother with better decision-making options.
Friends, in closing, you are invited to attend one of our three, upcoming, Legislative Session Debrief Events sponsored by the Family Heritage Alliance. Please make plans now to attend one Tuesday – Thursday, March 15-17. Sharing a wrap-up of this year’s 91st South Dakota Legislative Session – the good, the bad and the ugly – will be FHA Lobbyist Norman Woods along with myself. For more information and/or to register go to click here!
Until Next Time….Keep looking up and forward my friends!