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South Dakota 2021 Legislative Session: Week 7 Update

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There are only two weeks left in the 2021 South Dakota legislative session but AARP South Dakota’s work is not done!

House Bill (HB) 1013
On Wednesday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of House Bill (HB) 1013 which appropriates $450,000 to fund tax refunds for elderly or disabled persons. Read more about this important program in our Week Four Update.

In addition to AARP South Dakota, HB 1013 received support from the South Dakota Bureau of Finance and Management and the South Dakota Healthcare Association.  After passing through the House of Representatives and the Senate Taxation committee on a 7-0 vote, HB 1013 was referred to the Joint Committee on Appropriations with a Do Pass recommendation. 

Senate Bill (SB) 178
On Wednesday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of Senate Bill (SB) 178 which prohibits certain life and long-term care insurers from using genetic information.

  • AARP South Dakota supports a comprehensive framework of privacy and security safeguards, including transparency regarding uses and disclosures of personal health data. SB 178 will help ensure health information is used appropriately and increase the public's trust in health information technology.

    In addition, SB 178 updates the definitions of genetic testing in South Dakota law. These definitions haven't been updated in South Dakota since they were originally defined in 2001.

Thanks to support from AARP South Dakota and Sanford Imaginetics, SB 178 passed in the Senate and the House Commerce and Energy committee and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.  

Senate Bill (SB) 34
On Thursday, AARP South Dakota again testified in favor of SB 34 which allocates $100 million toward broadband expansion and upgrades in South Dakota.  $75 million will be a state appropriation and $25 million will come from CARES Act funding. Visit our Week Three Update for more about how this bill can connect more than 134,000 South Dakotans currently living without high speed internet access.

After a robust hearing that included additional support from many healthcare, agriculture and telecommunications groups, as well as Governor Noem's office, the Joint Committee on Appropriations deferred action on SB 34 to a later date. We expect additional updates in the final week of session.

Senate Bill (SB) 31
On Thursday, AARP South Dakota testified in favor of SB 31, an elder abuse bill that strengthens state and local agencies ability to prevent, identify and address cases of elder abuse.  Learn more about this legislation in our Week Four Update.

After previously passing through the Senate, the House Health and Human Services committee unanimously passed SB 31 and it now goes to the floor of the House of Representatives for consideration. 

As the session comes to close, it's important that your legislators hear from you! Many legislative coffees (aka cracker barrels) are being streamed online so you can still participate in this open forum with your elected officials. Click here for a list of these events and please remember to take all recommended COVID safety precautions.

If you are not able to safely participate in a local conversation, consider calling or emailing your legislator directly!