With week nine in the books, we have officially completed the last full week of South Dakota’s 2019 legislative session.  We spent this week wrapping up our work in the Capitol and looking ahead to the priorities that have been laid out for 2019.

This week, we testified in support of three bills which we have been following throughout the legislative session:

On Monday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of House Bill (HB) 1099.  HB 1099 is a caregiver notification bill for residents of treatment facilities.  You can read more about why we feel this legislation is an important first step for family caregivers in South Dakota in our week five legislative update.

With AARP SD’s support, House Bill 1099 passed out of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee and on the floor of the Senate. It now heads back to the House for concurrence before landing on Governor Noem’s desk for her consideration and signature.

On Tuesday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of Senate Bill (SB) 136.  SB 136 is a telemedicine bill which defines the expectation that telehealth be practiced in the same manor as in-patient visits. You can read more about how this will improve access and quality of care in our state by reviewing our week four legislative update.

This bill passed out of the House Health and Human Services Committee and on the floor of the House of Representatives. It will require concurrence from the Senate before it heads to Governor Noem’s desk for her consideration and signature.

On Wednesday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of Senate Bill (SB) 118.  SB 118 is an advanced planning bill which establishes uniform directives for Medical Order for Scope of Treatment (MOST). This bill is not about how a patient wants to die, but instead about how a patient wants to live with a terminal illness, learn more.

After passing the House Judiciary Committee and on the floor of the House of Representatives, this bill will also head to the Senate for concurrence before joining the others awaiting Governor Noem’s consideration and signature.

Next week is a short week, in which 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.

Throughout 2019, AARP South Dakota will be working hard on local, state, and federal issues including livable communities, broadband expansion, prescription drug prices, social security and consumer protections. You can follow all the action on Facebook and Twitter, or check back here for regular updates. If you’d like to have our advocacy updates delivered directly to your email inbox, email sdaarp@aarp.org and ask to be added to our advocate email list.