By Todd Boots: I am pleased to serve as your committee chairman for 2014. The 89th legislative session is underway and as you read this it will be roughly a third of the way through. There are roughly 150 bills that have been introduced so far. We should be seeing quite a few more bills with February 4th being the last day to introduce individual bills and joint resolutions. February 5th is the last day to introduce committee bills and joint resolutions.
We are monitoring around 25 bills as of right now. Right now there is only one bill that we have taken a position on. This is HB1011 and the position is to support it. This bill is an act to provide that certain information regarding post-secondary technical institutes be given to parents and guardians of students in middle school and high school. What this would do is get information to kids starting at 7th grade about technical schools and what they have to offer. This would hopefully get some of them interested in working with there hands and show them that there are great careers in our industry.
The other bills we are monitoring have anything from land valuation to unemployment insurance to property maintenance codes to using cell phones and driving. The cell phone one we are looking for some definitions in language. This is SB13. It talks of CDL licensing and vehicle weight and of commercial plates. Most of you have commercial plates on your pickups and need to know if you will have to go to hand held devices. This bill more than likely will pass with it being tied to federal highway dollars to the state.
On February 5th in Pierre is the Legislation Appreciation Dinner at 6 PM. For those of you not going to IBS this is a great time to talk to the legislators. Earlier in the afternoon a small group of us will be meeting with Governor Daugaard about the money he has promised to technical education. We want to let him know how much we appreciate this and make sure it is getting to the programs that can help us get our employees of the future.
We also are following legislation on the national level. Which right now NAHB has quite a few things on their radar. You can find these at the NAHB web site, and if you have a smart phone there also is an app to track legislative issues and see how your elected official votes on these important bills to our industry.
I would like to see all of our members be active in the legislative process. We all need to stay abreast of what is going on locally, in our state, and at the national level. There are things out there that can help our industry or at the other end hurt our industry. So please keep an open dialog with your elected officials.
If any of you have any questions please feel free to contact me at my email address which is email@example.com or call me on my cell which is (605) 359-5778.