SD Governor’s Veto Consideration Day

signing2-jasonflatactOn 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.

signing1The 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.” 

dale-martyIt 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.

2016 Legislative Session Day 27

Well TODAY is the 27th day of the South Dakota Legislative Session’s 38 days.

handsraisedMany of you have been following, and rightly so, the process whereby we hope and pray that House Bill 1008, a bill that is designed to protect the privacy of ALL of our public school children – becomes law.  HB 1008 has now been delivered to our Governor Daugaard’s Desk.  It is our understanding that by midnight on Tuesday, March 1, he must sign this bill into law, veto this bill, or simply allow it to become law without his signature.

This bill, which was passed with the support of 75% of our Legislators, will require every elementary and secondary public school in the state to protect the privacy of boys and girls by ensuring that boys and girls do not use the same restrooms, locker rooms, or shower rooms together.

We, the people of South Dakota, are legitimately concerned about safety and privacy, especially when it comes to children, but we are also concerned about treating everyone fairly, including people dealing with gender dysphoria. Our South Dakota legislators have struck a balance that respects all concerned and shines a clear path out of a tricky issue.

We certainly anticipate HB 1008 will come off of the Governor’s Desk with his Signature because it’s South Dakota Common Sense.  Please, take a moment, CALL Governor Daugaard (605-773-3212) and respectfully ask him to SIGN HB 1008 into law.

Senate Bill 129 now being called “Jason’s Law” has passed off of the Senate Floor with a unanimous vote.  This bill would require that Teachers be given a one-hour suicide prevention training as a part of their teacher re-certification process.

Senate Bill 159 also flew out of the Senate and we are grateful.  This bill 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.

We were pleased recently to give testimony for and see passed on the Senate floor two bills, which will directly protect our children in a greater way.  They are:

Senate Bill 168, which seeks to protect juveniles from being victimized by the criminal activity of Human Trafficking.  In this bill a person, usually called the John, who pimps a child into this DARK lifestyle will now be charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

And then there is SB 169 a bill, which seeks to revise our child pornography laws.  Although this is a ‘baby step’ of a bill….it is a step in the right direction as it moves the selling of child pornography from a Class 2 charge to a more serious….Class 4 charge.
summit2As I close I’d like to share that our SD Ministry Leaders’ Capitol Summit held on Monday, Feb. 22 here in Pierre at the State Capitol was a terrific success.   Our keynote speaker, Mark Gonzales (Black Robed Regiment) blessed the 120 Pastors and Ministry Leaders who converged on the Capitol for a day of prayer, information, inspiration and influence.  I am so grateful to an FHA Staff that goes above and beyond the call of duty to help execute an event such as this.  Yes, it was “all hands on deck” and all our hard work paid off as all were blessed!

Until NEXT TIME please keep looking up and forward my friends!

summit1