Week 5

On February 7, 2008, in Letters from Val, by Valentine Rausch

Week 5 of the 2008 session.

Hello again from Pierre. As I report about the activities and legislation of the week I can’t help feeling so blessed. As I check my e-mails and messages I found that Miles and Holli had sent some pictures from their honeymoon. If we accomplish little this session I will always remember that the 2008 session was special for me and mine. Welcome to the family Holli.

This week found the hours in session lengthening and the debate on the floor impassioned. We even had some after hour caucus meetings to address the biggest issues and to try to reach some consensus as to how they can be resolved. With 50 members in our caucus that can be an impossible job. I can assure you we will spend all the money that we have available, hopefully where it’s needed the most.

We have finished listening to all the agencies and departments portions of the general bill and are now concentrating on the individual requests in the form of House Bills. We will need to make all our decisions by Tuesday at the very latest if we don’t amend the bill. Wednesday is cross over day, this when all the House bills must be out of the House and all the Senate bills need to be out of the Senate.

As we continue to look for ways to fund the special requests we will, in order to give us more time, amend the dollar amounts requested to as little as a dollar. This allows us to meet cross over deadlines and ensure that the bill will not be killed. The Senate will then amend the money back into the bill, if it can be found. Then the House will need to agree with the changes before it can be sent to the Governor. Several bills that were approved with the $1 amendment were the Technical School bills, 5 bills in total.

Other bills that came through appropriations included funding for the State Fair and the annual Omnibus Water bill. The water bill funds the special projects such as Lewis & Clark Pipe Line, Southern Black Hills Water System, etc. Although deadlines are approaching it doesn’t mean the final decisions have been made on the bills still alive. So please continue to follow the bills of interest to you and let us know which ones they are, we can still influence some of the results.

Some of the groups that visited the Capitol this week included SD Physical Therapists, SD Voices for Children, SD Nurses, SD Veterans of Foreign Wars, AFL-CIO, SD Municipal League and other individual city and civic groups. Also this week some legislators had shadows. The shadows were part of the CTSO’s in our high schools. They included FBLA, FFA, DECA, PAS, PBL, FCCLA, & SkillsUSA. I had 2 shadows Mary Remily of Doland and Ethan Remily of Aberdeen. They are 1st cousins and Ethan is also my Nephew. It was great to have them as shadows, I hope they enjoyed their day at the Legislature, I sure did.

As always please contact me with any of your legislative concerns at 605-880-5015 or valrausch@hotmail.com or rep.rausch@state.sd.us Thank you and God Bless, Val

 

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