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Legislative Update from Rep. John Mills
Week ending 03-05-2023

Only one week remains in the main run of the 98 th legislative session. When the gavel comes down on Thursday, all that will remain is to re-convene March 27 to consider any bills that are vetoed.

We will have one veto to deal with for sure, as Governor Noem has vetoed HB1109. That bill would have allowed communities to double the occupancy tax that hotels and motels charge from $2/night to $4/night. I had voted against this bill and so was glad to learn that she vetoed it. Her veto letter to the legislature reads in part “South Dakota residents are traveling every day for business, medical visits, youth activities, weddings – the list goes on. South Dakotans vacation in South Dakota as well.” I believe that she was correct to write that this tax increase would hurt our citizens. I plan to support her veto on this one.

Another surprise development this past week was the defeat of HB1116. This bill would have prevented the use of state or public resources and buildings to host "lewd and lascivious content." The bill was in response to an event hosted at SDSU last fall. That event was a drag show with advertisements saying "bring your $1 and $5 bills to tip the performers," and that it would be "kid friendly" so "bring the family."

The bill was amended in the House State Affairs committee so that it only applied to live performances and then passed out of that committee with a strong 11/1 vote. In the House, Representative Reisch and myself joined the majority in a strong 60/10 vote of support.

In the Senate, the bill hit a wall of resistance and was killed on Thursday when it failed to get enough votes to be placed on the calendar for debate. Many wonder, how can a bill be so strongly endorsed in one chamber, and then crushed in the other. In this case, I think it’s a sad testament to how far we have slipped from moral decency. It is also a source of deep frustration to those who want our world to truly be more "kid friendly"- especially when it comes to how we use public resources and money.

I have mentioned before, there is an excellent resource available to connect with your your legislature. Sdlegislature.gov is the place to locate your legislators, find their contact information, hear debate and see how legislators vote. Every step for every bill is recorded. I encourage you to check what your elected officials say and how they vote. An informed public is key to good government.

To share your views with me please use my state email- John.Mills@sdlegislature.gov

In service to God and you.

Rep. John Mills
--Representative John Mills (Madison)

Post Date: 2023-03-06 12:07:03Last Update: 2023-03-06 12:24:34


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