South Dakota Legislature: What to know this week

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 20, 2013 at 6:14 pm •  Published: January 20, 2013

The issue arose after a state investigation found that some stations were selling 85-octane fuel mislabeled as higher octane gasoline. Officials said state law technically prohibits the sale of 85-octane gasoline. The temporary sale of 85-octane was allowed by passing a rule following a law that permits state requirements to conform to some national standards.



The Legislature's first two weeks proceeded at a relatively slow pace, with some House and Senate committees holding short meetings because they had few bills to consider. That will change now that more bills have been introduced.

Jim Fry, director of the Legislative Research Council, says about 225 bills had been introduced by Friday. In the past few years, an average of 500 bills has been introduced in each legislative session. Fry notes that the all-time record was about 900 bills in the 1957 legislative session.

Wednesday is the final day for unlimited bill introduction by individual lawmakers. After that, each can introduce a total of only three bills by Jan. 28, the final day for bill introduction by individual lawmakers.



Lawmakers will once again meet Tuesday through Friday this week. The Legislature will be off on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, which fits into the Legislature's practice in recent years of meeting mostly four days a week to give lawmakers a chance to spend an extra day at home with their families while taking care of their jobs and businesses.

The Legislature for many years resisted honoring the slain civil rights leader with a non-working holiday. Until 1991, it was a state holiday on which people generally worked. But the 1990 Legislature passed a law making it a non-working holiday after lawmakers said the move was needed to counter the perception that South Dakota was a racist state.

The 1990 law also established Native American Day on the second Monday in October, the date celebrated nationally as Columbus Day.


Follow Chet Brokaw on Twitter at .

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