PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota lawmakers this week are set to debate bills on concealed handguns, paid sick leave for workers and drug-testing themselves.
Here’s a look at the agenda when legislators return to the Capitol on Tuesday:
Permitless concealed carry is back, but unlikely to become law. Senate Bill 104 would allow people who can legally carry a concealed handgun in South Dakota to do so without a permit. It’s scheduled to be debated Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a similar bill last year, saying that the state’s permit process is simple and straightforward.
SICK LEAVE, WAGES
Some businesses would be required to provide paid sick leave for employees under a measure to be taken up Tuesday in the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee. Senate Bill 120 would mandate that private businesses with 50 or more full-time employees allow workers to earn at least one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year.
The committee also is to consider Senate Bill 121, which would bar employers from seeking out the salary history of prospective employees. Democratic Sen. Reynold Nesiba, the main sponsor of both bills, said South Dakota needs more worker-friendly policies to attract and retain workers and promote wage growth.
DRUGS & ALCOHOL
A bill that would require all state legislators to be drug-tested goes before the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday. House Bill 1133 would mandate members be tested within two weeks of getting sworn into office and two weeks of legislative session’s end. It’s sure to be an interesting discussion — and vote — for lawmakers.
The panel is also scheduled to discuss House Bill 1132, which would allow bars and retailers to serve alcohol to 18-year-old active duty, reserve and National Guard service members who show valid military identification cards. Rep. Tim Goodwin, the sponsor, has said that if someone is willing to fight and die for their country, they should be treated as an adult.
Current federal law, passed in 1984, says any state with a drinking age lower than 21 can lose 8 percent of federal highway funding.
CAMPUS FREE SPEECH
Republican Rep. Michael Clark said he hopes his bill about free speech on college campuses gets a hearing Friday. Supporters of House Bill 1073, including South Dakota College Republicans, say universities should be places where debate is open and free. It’s slotted to be discussed in the House Judiciary Committee.
The bill dictates that any outdoor area on public college campuses is a public forum. It would also require institutions to make sure that staff — such as faculty, administrators and campus police — understand the proposed law.
Mike Rush, state Board of Regents executive director and CEO, said the legislation is unnecessary.