There are just two weeks left in the 2020 South Dakota legislative session but our work is not done! Just yesterday, we hosted a live telephone town hall with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to discuss expanding high-speed internet access in South Dakota. To learn more about this issue and listen to a recording of the call, click here.
On Tuesday, House Bill (HB) 1235, which would remove provisions that require immunization for school entry, was defeated in the House State Affairs committee. As a matter of public health, AARP South Dakota opposed this bill. We were among a number of non-profit, school, government and healthcare organizations that signed onto a letter of opposition. As you know, vaccines are safe and help protect all of us from preventable infectious disease. States all across the country are working to strengthen immunizations laws and HB 1235 would have been a huge step backwards for South Dakota. Learn more about our stance.
Also on Tuesday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 6008, which will authorize a legislative study analyzing the continuum of care for the elderly and disabled in South Dakota. Because South Dakota has an aging, rural population, a number of healthcare organizations also supported using this proposed summer study to consider an innovative approach to the future of long term care in South Dakota. HCR 6008 passed out of the House Health and Human Services committee and on the floor of the House of Representatives and now moves over to the Senate for consideration.
On Wednesday, AARP South Dakota testified again in favor of House Bill (HB) 1131, which updates South Dakota’s telemarketing statutes. HB 1131 passed out of the Senate Commerce and Energy committee and on the floor of the Senate and now heads to Governor Noem’s desk for her signature. For more information on this legislation, revisit our week five blog.
Also on Wednesday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of House Bill (HB) 1278 which would have created a Dementia Services Coordinator position within the Department of Human Services. HB 1278 was brought by our friends at the South Dakota Alzheimer’s Association. Throughout 2018, the Alzheimer's Association collaborated with many partners across South Dakota to devise a state plan, which included the recommendation and language used in this bill. AARP South Dakota served on three work groups that offered input to the Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementia's State Plan. A Dementia Services Coordinator would have been a valuable tool for family caregivers but unfortunately, the Appropriations committee defeated HB 1278.
There are still several legislative coffees being hosted in communities over the next couple of weeks. Find an event near you and remember, you can be an advocate for South Dakota's 50+ by sharing your support for these positions whenever you see your legislator in your community. It's the voice of people like you who make all the difference!
This story is provided by AARP South Dakota. Visit the AARP South Dakota page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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