Details fron District 2: Eminent domain, prison, C02 pipeline among bills

State Rep. Dave Kull

Greetings from Pierre!

First off, I must plead guilty for missing last week’s deadline for submitting an article. My excuse is that I used a wrong email address for the editor, so she never received it in time. I’ve taken the proper disciplinary action for my transgression, done my 50 punitive pushups and vow to get it right this time.

We are in the thick of the 99th Session of the South Dakota Legislature and will reach the official halfway point on Tuesday, March 6. The tally so far is 258 bills introduced in the House and another 220 bills coming out of the Senate. Given that the House has double the allowable seats (one currently vacant) than the Senate (also down one), the Senate is actually ahead in the number of bills per legislator at 6.47 bills per Senator to 3.74 bills per Representative. That’s the trivia for the day.

So, what are some of the bills of interest coming up you may wonder? Just like last year, bills pertaining to eminent domain, CO2 sequestration, and associated pipelines are still floating out there and will result in major conversations in the days and weeks remaining. All I can say on that is stand by for the results. What I can safely say is that there are arguments on the economic impacts, scientific issues, land ownership rights and safety concerns. Much to consider.

Prisons. What to build, where to build and how much will it cost? I believe we’re still a few years out on any construction, but the debate is hot and heavy. My bottom line is that we do need a new men’s prison and that needs to be close to the Sioux Falls Metro area as the current facility is far outdated.

The last bill that I will address comes with a somber note. I was asked to carry HB 1047; a bill to enhance the penalties for eluding law enforcement. This created a third level of eluding that will be referred to as 1st degree eluding. 1st degree eluding is when a person being pursued is driving in such a manner during the pursuit, they create an inherent risk of serious injury or death AND where a crash occurs and results in a serious injury or injuries to people other than the person being pursued. Assuming it is signed into law, it will be a Class 4 felony. That bill had cleared the House, went to the Senate and passed out of that chamber with a unanimous vote on Thursday, Feb. 1. The very next day, as if to punctuate the dangers of eluding police, Moody County Chief Deputy Ken Prorok was killed in a pursuit related crash. My plea to anyone, both those that are young and scared, as well as those that are older and should know better is, if those lights come on behind you, pull over and let the chips fall where they may. No ticket, no warrant, no getting caught in a stolen car is worth the risks that come with a high-speed pursuit. As they say, FULL STOP!

Thank you, and please take time to read Representative John Sjaarda’s update from Pierre..


The Brandon Valley Journal


The Brandon Valley Journal
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