Business Groups Take Defensive Stand During Legislative Session

(WNAX) — Business groups had to play defense at times during this year’s legislative session.   Dave Owen, President of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says some gun related issues could have created problems for their members…

“One of the Chamber’s main principles is we don’t want the law telling our members that they cannot have a gun-free zone.  We don’t want the law telling our members that they’re not allowed to prohibit guns in a parking lot and their buildings and on their employees.  We see that as an essential property right and we’re here to defend that property right against the expanding concealed weapons ideas.”

Owen says they backed a bill allowing people to take driver’s license tests in another language…..

“Number one issue for businesses is workforce.  Legal immigration is one of the of the answers to that work force.  In South Dakota where we don’t have extensive public transportation people have to get to work.  We want them safe on the roads.”

Owen says allowing people to take tests in Spanish would help expand the workforce..

“The largest block of legal immigrants in this state speak Spanish.  So we want them to be able to study and to take the exam in a language they’re comfortable, so they know the rules of the road and that they can safely get to work.”

That bill, SB-117, passed the Senate but was defeated in a House committee.