On Tuesday, March 29, FHA Public Policy Analysis Ed Randazzo, FHA Lobbyist Norman Woods and I made our way to Pierre for the Governor’s Veto Consideration Day. It was a FULL day, which began with Norman and I being invited to stand in a photo shoot as the Governor signed two of the bills we supported into law.
The First was the signing of SB129 – the Suicide Prevention Bill. South Dakota has become the 17th state to pass the Jason Flatt Act. Matt Walz of the Keystone Treatment Center, Canton, SD, said of SB129,
Today, supporters from across the state attended a bill signing ceremony with the Governor. The passage of the Jason Flatt Act in South Dakota is an exciting step toward reducing the ‘Silent Epidemic’ of teen suicide.
The Jason Flatt Act – South Dakota, will require teachers and certified public school personnel to complete at least one hour of training on youth suicide prevention and awareness per certification cycle. Teachers are on the front lines of suicide prevention and if given the right tools, they can identify a teen who may be considering suicide and refer appropriately.
Teacher training is proven to be one of the most impactful policy strategies a state can adopt to prevent teen suicide, said Clark Flatt, President of the Jason Foundation.
The Second signing was of SB72 – the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Bill. Representative Fred Deutsch, who also serves as the President of the SD Right To Life, wrote of those gathered for this photo shoot:
(We are) Grateful to work with these fine people to pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain.
When it comes to the subject of ABORTION Pope Francis was wise in having said: “Abortion is a death sentence for unborn children.” This bill – the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – supports South Dakota’s long-standing tradition of upholding a “culture of life.”
It was a good day of connecting with a number of our FHA Legislative friends and meeting some NEW Legislative candidates as well. One such friend is our Attorney General Marty Jackley. We are looking forward to working with him and fellow Legislators as we prepare legislation for the 2017 92nd Legislative Session in Pierre.