Photo by Leah Ganschow

Unlike 2017, this year the weather cooperated and AARP South Dakota’s 2018 Lobby Day was a tremendous success!  Nearly 100 AARP South Dakota advocacy volunteers came from across the state to meet with their legislators and discuss AARP South Dakota’s 2018 legislative priorities.  To learn more, click here! The impact of our Lobby Day will be felt throughout the rest of the 2018 legislative session.

Again, this year AARP South Dakota has been working to protect 2016’s Initiated Measure 21 which capped payday lending rates at 36%.  House Bill (HB) 1082 and House Bill (HB) 1094 both address lending issues that aren’t intended to allow payday lenders back into South Dakota.  However, the bills as written would have created loop holes for payday lenders to potentially operate again in South Dakota.  AARP South Dakota successfully worked to amend both bills to remove the chance of unintended consequences and close the loopholes that payday lenders are looking for despite 75% of South Dakotans voting to cap their lending rates 15 months ago.

The amended versions of HB 1082 and HB 1094 passed through the House of Representatives and move over to the Senate for consideration.

Also, this week AARP South Dakota opposed House Bill (HB) 1141 and House Bill (HB) 1142 which would have revised the meeting publication requirements for certain counties, municipalities, and school districts.  These bills would have allowed these counties, municipalities and school districts to publish meeting notifications only in an electronic format but AARP South Dakota believes this could omit a large percentage of our members who utilize print publications for information on local government activities. AARP South Dakota supports retaining the legal obligation to publish the proceedings of regular and special local government meetings in newspapers.

HB 1141 and HB 1142 were successfully defeated in the House Local Government committee.

You can be an advocate for these and the other issues important to South Dakotans age 50+ by attending cracker barrel coffees with your local lawmakers each week.  Many communities across South Dakota host these free, informal legislative forums to give residents an opportunity to speak with their elected officials about what they would like would like to see happen in Pierre.  Click here for a list of all upcoming events.