Monthly Archives: February 2018

The original intent of the Second Amendment

As our Congress considers, again, how the nation responds after another mass killing by a gunman, there is this perspective.

When the U.S. Constitution and its amendments, such as the Second, were written more than 200 years ago, the world didn’t have multiple-shot rifles.

The weapon that shot bullets was the musket.

The musket fired one bullet at a time.

Then the musket needed to be re-loaded.

Weaponry has advanced since then, to multiple-shot repeaters, and to fully automatic, and to “bump stock” technology that turns semi-automatics into near-automatics.

There weren’t 50-shot magazines during the American Revolution.

Republicans compete on pheasant plans

Here are links to the pheasant plans announced Friday by the campaigns of U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem and state Attorney General Marty Jackley.

The Jackley link is

South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Initiative

The Noem link is (I couldn’t get it to transfer in the same way as the Jackley plan did. You will need to copy and paste it into your Internet browser)

Noem and Jackley are competing for the Republican nomination for governor of South Dakota. Let me know what you think about their pheasant plans.

South Dakota has zero Latino legislators

The National Conference of State Legislatures recently looked at each state’s number of Latino lawmakers.

South Dakota had zero Latinos in the 105 seats, according to the report. It used 2015 data.

Among our neighbors:

Iowa. zero in 150 seats;

Minnesota. five in 201 seats;

Montana, one in 150 seats;

Nebraska, zero in 49 seats;

North Dakota, zero in 141 seats; and

Wyoming, two in 90 seats.

Other states without any Latino legislators were Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Nationally, the report said, there were 279 Latinos among 7,383 state lawmakers, a rate of four percent. The largest percentages by state were:

New Mexico, with 41 Latinos of 112 legislators, for 37 percent;

Texas, with 41 of 181, for 23 percent;

Arizona, with 19 of 90, for 21 percent;

California, 23 of 120, for 19 percent;

Nevada, nine of 63, for 14 percent and;

Florida, 21 of 160, for 13 percent.

The report reflected current population estimates in comparison to the 2000 U.S. census.

Concluded John Mahoney, the NCSL analyst: “While the Latino American population has steadily climbed from 12.5 percent to 17.1 percent since 2000, the rate of growth among state legislators has been slower, rising only 1 percent over the same period.

“In 2015, 279 state legislators, or 4 percent of all state legislators, identified themselves as Latino, a slight decrease from the 281 Latino members in 2013.” his summary said.

Noem leading Jackley, poll says

A recent poll found U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem leading three other potential candidates for the Republican nomination for governor of South Dakota that will be decided in the June 5 primary.

The survey by Moore Information showed Noem at 40 percent. Next was state Attorney General Marty Jackley at 35 percent. Former legislator Lora Hubbel had five percent and newcomer Terry LaFleur was at two percent.

State Sen. Billie Sutton of Burke is the only Democrat in the contest. South Dakota voters last elected a Democratic governor in 1974.

The potential margin of error was six percent. Three hundred Republicans were surveyed.

Moore Information has offices in Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; and Missoula, Montana. The company traditionally works for Republican candidates but has been active on ballot measures and for state and local governments, national organizations and businesses.

Its South Dakota experience was on the opponent side of the 2006 proposed state constitutional amendment that would have expanded judicial liability. South Dakota voters rejected Amendment E with 35,641 marking yes and 294,734 marking no.

Legislators consider a commission to set their salaries

How much would creating a 10-member legislative compensation commission cost South Dakota state government? The Legislative Research Council analyzed SB 214 and came up with an estimate: $4,450 per meeting.

That’s based on $155 per day including federal taxes; mileage; $55 or $70 per night lodging; and $32 for meals each day. That comes to an average of $260 per day per member. Add $300 per meeting for supplies and materials.

LRC staff couldn’t estimate how many times the commission might meet in a given year. The legislation in its current form would require the commission to meet at least once in 2018 and then at least once every decade in the year ending in 1.

The measure is on the Senate debate calendar for this afternoon (Feb. 15) but could get bumped to next week.

The commission couldn’t have more than six members from the same political party. There’s also this provision: “The commission shall be a citizen commission. No member or employee of the legislative, judicial, or executive branch is eligible for appointment to the commission.”

Flu throttling South Dakota

South Dakota had 2,519 confirmed cases of influenza through the week ending Feb. 3. That made the 2017-2018 flu season the worst since at least 2004-2005, according to data compiled by the state Department of Health.

The bad news? The flu season isn’t over. Read more here.

Pesticide rules hearing is Friday

Here’s the official notice from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture regarding the public hearing on proposed rules changes scheduled for this Friday at 1:30 p.m. CT at the department office in Pierre:

“The proposed rule changes will require all aerial applicators in the State of South Dakota to
acquire aerial applicator certification; the certification will allow aerial applicator more
flexibility in obtaining certification in other states through reciprocity; aerial category will
complete the federal requirement for each state to have an aerial category for commercial
applicators; ali pesticide products containing only straight Dicamba active ingredient for
agricultural use will be Restricted Use Pesticide in the State of South Dakota.

“Persons interested in presenting data, opinions, and arguments for or against the proposed rules may do so by appearing in person at the hearing or by sending them to the South Dakota
Department of Agriculture, Division of Agricultural Services, 523 East Capitol Avenue, Foss
Building, Pierre, South Dakota 57501. Material sent by mail must reach the Departrnent of
Agriculture by February 9th, 2018. to be considered.”

The rules proposals are here.

Engel chosen for Judicial Qualifications Commission

Jim Seward was legal counsel for Gov. Dennis Daugaard until his move a year ago to Black Hills Corp. in Rapid City.

Now Seward has been replaced on the state Judicial Qualifications Commission.

The new member is Timothy Engel of Fort Pierre. Engel is a lawyer in the May Adam firm.

The change occurred Jan. 31. Engel’s term runs until Jan. 31, 2022. The governor made the change.

Seward originally was appointed by the governor July 7, 2014, to replace Tom Dravland. Seward’s term was to run until June 30, 2018. Commission members are limited to no more than two terms.

One of the commission’s responsibilities is receiving applications for state judicial vacancies, screening the applicants and recommending at least two finalists to the governor for each vacancy.

The governor can choose from those finalists or request the commission provide a different set of finalists.