PIERRE — When will legislators begin work on some potentially significant changes in South Dakota’s child-support laws that are supposed to be coming this session? The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing Wednesday on HB 1021. The 21-section measure covers a range of amendments and new sections of law.
Who’s behind this? The legislation was requested by the state Department of Social Services in response to actual situations in South Dakota including the roles of genetic testing in determining paternity. One proposal would provide legal standing for action to be brought by a potential biological father who isn’t the husband, in instances when a child is born in wedlock or within 10 months of the end of a marriage.
What about parents who “disappear”? The legislation would add a requirement to support orders, so that each parent must notify the department of their current addresses and the names and addresses of current employers, with any changes reported within seven business days.
How about the bottom-line issue of money in a support case? Another new requirement would call for parties in a support hearing to file all financial and legal documents with the referee at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing by the referee. The parties could in turn obtain all of the information from the referee.
With one week down, does the Legislature have a bill yet that would ban texting while driving? Nope, but the Senate State Affairs Committee holds a hearing Wednesday on a related measure. SB 44 would disqualify a holder of a commercial driver license if caught texting in violation of a federal, state or local ban while operating a commercial vehicle.
When does the Daugaard administration’s clutch of banking bills start moving? That’s Wednesday, too. The House State Affairs Committee is set to take up the repeal of the lower bank-franchise tax rates on bank income above $400 million (HB 1045) along with increasing penalties for failing to timely and accurately pay bank taxes (HB 1046).
Is any of this banking package tied to federal requirements? The House panel also has scheduled a hearing on a third bill (HB 1053) that would require derivatives and other complex financial instruments to be considered as part of bank lending limits. The Senate State Affairs Committee meanwhile looks at a bill that would create the definition of a credit-card bank in South Dakota (SB 56).
Why does the state Transportation Commission want to regulate newspaper racks at interstate rest stops? State law isn’t precisely clear about that duty. It currently refers to “any vending facility” but then appears to refer to only soft drink vending machines operated by a blind or visually impaired vendor licensed by the state Division of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired. Under Senate Bill 48, the Transportation Commission would receive rule-making authority so there can be standards for their appearance and maintenance.
With Frank Kloucek gone from the Legislature, will there be a new king of commemorations? Kloucek, D-Scotland, likely is the career leader in asking the Legislature to commemorate folks, which probably was a reason he was able to serve 22 consecutive years. Of 64 House commemorations in the 2012 session, Kloucek sponsored 12. He had six of 53 in the House in 2011. The House has 70 members.
Any this year? The first – and as of Monday, still the only – commemoration filed came from Sen. Ryan Maher, R-Isabel. He asked that the Legislature proclaim Jan. 12 in honor of Bethold Fried, a long-time farmer from Meadow who now lives at Sturgis. Today (Jan. 15) is Bert’s ninetieth birthday.