South Dakota 2020 Legislative Session: Week Six Update

Posted on 02/21/20

Following the celebration of President’s Day, the action in the legislature will be fast and furious for the next few weeks!

Senate Bill (HB) 148, the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA), passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and was approved by the full Senate on Wednesday. AARP South Dakota, the State Bar of SD and the SD Attorney General’s office testified in favor of the bill. Many South Dakotans use powers of attorney as a life and estate planning tool and current South Dakota law is vague on roles and responsibilities of those signing and accepting the document.

Senate Bill 148 sets forth clear duties and regulations that help family caregivers better care for their loved ones. It also establishes a clear process for civil action and criminal prosecution against bad actors. The UPOAA will not affect powers of attorney for healthcare decisions, or guardianship or conservatorship law in any way – it only applies powers of attorney for financial transactions. To learn more about this legislation, read our week three update.

We will continue to share our support as this bill heads to the House for consideration. Over half the country has adopted the UPOAA and it’s time for South Dakota to do the same!

On Wednesday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of Senate Bill (SB) 2, which expands the '2-1-1' telephone referral system to a statewide resource information system.

The 211 Helpline Center provides crisis assistance by assessing a caller’s needs and matching their needs to available resources in the 211 database. They provide direct referrals to agencies or organizations across the state that can help address basic human needs, mental and physical health resources or disaster response.

An expanded statewide 211 Helpline Center will allow social service and government resources to be maintained in a single comprehensive database thereby increasing the effectiveness of public education programs and allowing for a systematic report of unmet needs and statewide trends.

Since SB 2 contains a funding request, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee referred the bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

House Bill (HB) 1050, which provides on-line voter registration, was heard in the Senate State Affairs Committee. Learn more in our week four update. Again, AARP SD testified in favor of the bill, which has already passed through the House. Senate State Affairs deferred action on the bill until a later date.

You only have a few more weeks to make your voice heard on the issues that matter most to you! Take advantage of the upcoming legislative coffees in cities across the state to let you lawmaker know you are watching what happened in Pierre!

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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