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South Dakota Representative Larry Rhoden

South Dakota Representative Larry Rhoden

Legislative Upate


South Dakota Representative Larry Rhoden - February 20, 2018

PIERRE, SD - Some of the main highlights of recent legislation are as follows:

Renewal of the Nonmeandering waters act:
I am excited to announce that the Senate has approved SB24, which renews the current laws regarding the use of Non-meandering waters until 2021. SB24 allows recreation on all nonmeandered waters unless marked by the owner of the property underlying the water. Since its implementation, this law has been a huge success, with only 1% of such waters being closed to public. By settling grievances and facilitating communication between landowners and sportsmen, this law is perhaps the most elegant compromise that I’ve ever seen come out the capitol in my many years as a Legislator. Hopefully, SB24 will pass in the House as well, so South Dakotans can continue to give feedback to their representatives, and look forward many more years of recreation and respect.

 Eliminating unnecessary regulations:
I supported HB1199, which eliminates collective bargaining for employees of the Board of Regents. Currently the law requires a union representative to be present at many staff functions, which places an undue burden on administrators. Out of 3,500 total faculty in the Board of Regents, only 120 actually pay dues to a union. It’s ludicrous to force administrators to negotiate with a union that represents a tiny minority of their employees. Most private universities have already eliminated collective bargaining. HB1199 gives our public institutions the same adaptability that private universities have, by allowing them to change their policies nimbly. HB1199 passed in house and is on to the senate.

 Blocking tax increases:
I voted against HB1241, which was a tax increase for drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles. Essentially this bill was adding another excise in State Law. It is an unnecessary tax increase. I’m against raising taxes on any specific demographic of South Dakotans. Thankfully, HB1241 died on the floor.

 Protecting the rights of young adults:
I spoke out and voted against HB1250, which  failed on the House floor. HB1250 sought to incriminate the purchase of tobacco products by 18-21 year olds. This bill sought to treat young adults, who we entrust to serve our military and hold answerable to the fullest extent of the law, as second-class citizens. It makes no sense to me, to say a person deemed capable of getting married, voting, and enlisting in the Marine Corps, doesn’t have the right to purchase a legal product that other adults can. I have no doubt there were good intentions behind this bill, but good intentions do not render harmless an abuse of power.

 This legislative session will be wrapped up in three weeks. As always, it is an honor and a privilege to serve the great people of District 29.



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