The state House of Representatives faces a vote today on Sen. David Novstrup’s proposal to establish a task force on elder-abuse issues for South Dakota. The House State Affairs Committee modified the version of the bill that was approved by the Senate, so that the task force would now have 17 members including two to come from the banking sector. Altogether state Supreme Court Chief Justice would get seven of the appointments including the two banking personnel. The House committee amendment adding the bankers means the legislation would need to return to the Senate for another vote, assuming House members keep the bill as amended by their side’s committee.
The House committee put the measure, SB 168, on the House consent calendar, meaning there won’t be debate (but there can be questions). A House member could ask for the bill to be removed from consent and it would then be placed on the debate calendar for a later date. Presuming the House approves it, the House version would then be returned to the Senate for a decision whether to concur with the House amendment or send it to a conference committee for negotiation. The task force is in response to Chief Justice Gilbertson’s offer in his State of the Judiciary message to the Legislature on Jan. 14 that he continued to be ready to work on the topic of elder abuse.
Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, has two bills up in the House today. His other is the youth minimum-wage legislation, SB 177, that would set a state minimum wage of $7.50 per hour for workers younger than 18. The Senate previously passed the youth minimum wage along party lines, with Republicans for it and Democrats against it. South Dakota currently has a statewide minimum wage for all workers that rose to $8.50 on Jan. 1 after voters approved the increase in the Nov. 4 statewide election. The voters also approved an automatic inflation adjustment annually. The youth wage proposal doesn’t contain an inflation adjustment mechanism.