Democratic Leadership Happier With Legislative Process As Session Nears End

Rep. Jamie Smith (center)

(KCCR)-  The view point of Democratic leadership in Pierre is very different this week than last week. House Minority Leader Jamie Smith expressed frustration with the flow of business as crossover day approached Monday….

“But I believe it was a really good process. My believe that, every bill that we had had a realy fair hearing. Everybody’s voice was able to be heard on those bills. And we’re very pleased about that. There were definitely some wins for us and some losses that day. We’re disappointed that mandatory reporting for clergy didn’t pass, but we also know that, through that process we think there is an opportunity for next year on that bill and we’ve already had people approach us on that.”
Smith says there is some legislation that didn’t make it…

“We think that’s for the best. After handling some of the more controversial and distracting bills we’re glad that at this point in the session, we’re really focusing on what matters for South Dakotans, agriculture, health care, education. You know Ag’s the number one industry in the State of South Dakota. And we see a definite path for victory through the Senate on the Hemp Bill. We’re gonna get that across the finish line. Representative Lesmeister working really hard for us on that, and there’s broad bi-partisan support for that bill. And why? It’s a good bill.”
Smith says there are areas where work needs to continue…

“We do need to make some progress on the Nursing Home Crisis. We saw a couple of bills fail on that and one of ours especially. However, I do know there is broad, bi-partisan agreement that something has to be done ‘cause there IS a crisis. Now, the thing that we need to keep our eye on the ball is to make sure that the reimbursement rate that the Appropriators come up with, is large enough to address the problem and address it seriously.”
Smith says Democrats will be watching closely what appropriators do with money for education and state employee wages.