South Dakota 2021 Legislative Session: Week Eight Update

Posted on 03/05/21

The month of March is upon us which means we are nearing the end of the 2021 South Dakota legislative session! 

House Bill (HB) 1126
Thanks to a record number of AARP South Dakota advocates responding to our action alert, AARP SD helped to defeat House Bill (HB) 1126 Monday morning on a 9-0 vote in the Senate State Affairs committee.  HB 1126 would have limited the ability of the South Dakota Secretary of State to send absentee ballot applications to registered voters in our state. Learn more about why AARP SD, the SD Secretary of State and County Auditors opposed this legislation in our Week Five update.

Senate Bill (SB) 34
With AARP South Dakota’s support, Senate Bill 34, which is a $75 million appropriation to expand rural access to broadband services, has passed unanimously in the South Dakota Senate.  AARP South Dakota expects SB 34 to go before the House and the Senate next week and is asking you tell your legislators to support this bill!  SB 34 is slightly different than the original bill that was proposed in January.  SB 34 has been amended to a $75 million appropriation since Governor Noem recently announced she will allocated $25 million in CARES Act funding toward broadband. Learn more about why this is an important issue for older South Dakotans.

House Bill (HB) 1261
On Tuesday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of HB 1261 which addresses training for guardians and conservators. Essentially, HB 1261 verifies with a certificate that guardians and conservators have completed the training offered through the South Dakota State Bar Association website. 

  • This type of training was not offered in South Dakota prior to 2016 but through AARP South Dakota’s work on the 2016 Elder Abuse Task Force, training for guardians and conservators became available. 

    AARP works hard to protect vulnerable seniors who rely on legal guardians and conservators to help them make vital decisions. HB 1261 achieves these protections. HB 1261 received support from AARP South Dakota and the South Dakota Unified Judicial System. 

    After previously passing through the House of Representatives, HB 1261 passed through the Senate this week and heads to Governor Noem’s desk for her consideration. 

House Bill (HB) 1263
On Monday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of HB 1263, which provides price transparency for health care costs. Learn how this legislation will empower consumers in our Week Six update.

  • In addition to AARP South Dakota, Governor Noem’s office, Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield and Avera Health supported HB 1263, which passed unanimously in the Senate Health and Human Services committee.  After previously passing through the House of Representatives, HB 1263 passed through the Senate this week and heads to Governor Noem’s desk for her signature.

Next week is the last week of the 2021 legislative session and lawmakers will finalize the budget.  AARP South Dakota will continue to urge our elected officials to prioritize funding for programs that impact seniors in South Dakota and we will provide a final update on the 2021 SD Legislative Session after veto day, on March 29, 2021.

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