2018 Summer Studies

Every year at the end of each session, legislators submits proposals for a summer study.  The executive board pick two or three then assigns legislators to study the topic and possibly produce bills for the next year.

Here are the summer studies that were submitted for 2018:

Study A
Title of Requested Study: Overcoming Obstacles to Workforce Integrations and Development: Non-English Driver License Materials and Examinations

Scope of Requested Study:
Is the lack of the ability of non-English speakers to get a driver license a workforce development problem in South Dakota? Is it keeping potential workers from moving to South Dakota? Is it a public safety issue? If so, how can these issues be remedied and at what cost? How do other states manage this? The focus of this study is to understand how other states provide for driver’s license educational materials and testing (both the knowledge and skills components) in a language other than English. The committee will explore explicit costs as well as possible revenue sources and opportunities for federal or non-profit cooperation or assistance. The committee will explore the numbers of individuals and firms affected, including the affects on following spouses and family members of those moving to South Dakota from outside of the US. The study should include an inquiry into the success rates experienced by other states regarding non-English speaking residents to maintain employment thus decreasing their need for state or federal assistance programs. Does the ability to gain a driver license speed integration into American Society? The study will be limited to all those in SD legally.

Requested By: Senator Ernie Otten, Chair of Senate Transportation

Study B
Title of Requested Study: The economic impact of illegal immigration on the State of South Dakota

Scope of Requested Study:

Requested By: Senator Phil Jensen on behalf of the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee

Study C
Title of Requested Study: Wind Energy Permitting, State and County requirements, PUC requirements. Federal and State subsidies applied if applicable.

Scope of Requested Study:
Study the cost of a kilowatt hour. What factors have contributed to the increase in the cost to the consumers? Consumers were told in 2013 that “Wind Energy Savings” would be passed on to the consumers in the future. This has not happened.

Requested By: Senate Commerce and Energy Committee

Study D
Title of Requested Study: Zoning Study for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Wind Farm Development in Certain Counties in South Dakota

Scope of Requested Study:
Develop guidelines for counties to use regarding the development of a zoning plan for above mentioned developments. Issues to be addressed related to each type of land use and how to streamline the procedure to accommodate economical developmnet within each county.

Requested By: Senator Kolbeck, Chair of Commerce and Energy Committee

Study E
Title of Requested Study: Mental Health and Safety in K-12

Scope of Requested Study:
As the nation is faced with increasing violence in our schools, exploring the multifaceted nature of mental health and safety in our K-12 school system is warranted. However, while violence is now in the headlines, this is a much deeper issue. The mental health issues in our classrooms overall interfere with successful learning, diminish the learning environment for all students and influence the overall health of the school. This is also an issue for the overall community, as school culture and health directly affects everyone. At this time no entity is clear on how to meaningfully change the trajectory as multiple factors are in play. This study would be a deep dive understanding of the following in our K-12 schools: Status of mental health to include, but not limited to, issues of adverse childhood experiences (ACES), bullying and suicide ideation; Status of adverse behavior issues that lead to discipline; Management of discipline behavior issues; Access to counselors and mental health professionals, along with meaningful interventions; Safety policies that restrict open access to schools; Response policies to violence in our schools. This study should assess the baseline of these topics in South Dakota K-12 schools, explore benchmark practices for same, and develop possible statute(s) to address.

Requested By: Senate Health and Human Services

Study F
Title of Requested Study: Review of the Brand Board

Scope of Requested Study:
A review of the authority, structure, and operations of the Brand Board. Review the related laws and administrative rules. Review the brand registration process. Review the costs associated with the brand book publication and investigations of livestock theft and fraud.

Requested By: House Ag and Natural Resources

Study G
Title of Requested Study: Effect of Trust Land on County Revenue and Expenditures

Scope of Requested Study:
Explore alternative funding sources for counties. Review of relevant federal and state laws and court cases. Review of state, county, and tribal jurisdictions. A review of county revenue and expenditures. Review the purpose of trust acquisitions, the process by which land is converted into trust, and the implications for county governments.

Requested By: House Ag and Natural Resources

Study H
Title of Requested Study: SD 4-H

Scope of Requested Study:
There are problems in 4-H in South Dakota. We need new leadership in SD 4-H. We need to stay with the SD Dream. 4-H is made for our South Dakota children to develop their skills not to fight over. Our extension service must be in control.

Requested By: Rep. Jim Schaefer

Study I
Title of Requested Study: Drug Court and Substance Abuse Treatment for the Homeless

Scope of Requested Study:
To study the funding and infrastructure needs to create pilot programs in Rapid City and Sioux Falls to address drug addiction treatment for the homeless. These individuals currently cannot participate in the drug court treatment program. These individuals are ineligible because they lack a permanent address and/or stable employment. If these individuals could qualify for the drug court program, the state could realize savings in the Department of Corrections and Correctional Health.

Requested By: Representative Dan Ahlers

Study J
Title of Requested Study: Extraordinary Cost Fund for Special Education

Scope of Requested Study:
The specific issue to be addressed is the increasing need for special education and related services in the schools in our state and how to adequately fund special education in light of that increased need. One of the main concerns is that the state aid dollars currently being set aside for the extraordinary cost fund for special education are not adequate to meet the demands on that fund.

Requested By: Representative Tim Johns

Study K
Title of Requested Study: Access to Mental Health Services

Scope of Requested Study:
The study shall include a review of mental health services available in the state: How persons with mental illness are treated and continuum care; The facilities, locations, resources, treatment options, and services available for treatment of persons with mental illness; The financial costs to the state and its political subdivisions.

Requested By: Senate State Affairs

Study L
Title of Requested Study: A study to allow political subdivisions of the state to be participating members of the state health plan as outlined in SB143

Scope of Requested Study:
The study shall include a review of the ability and costs to expand the coverage of the state health plan to the employees of the political subdivisions of the state, including: A review of the laws, regulations, and policies regarding the state health plan; The additional administrative costs that will be incurred; and, The amount that the political subdivisions must contribute to participate in the state health plan.

Requested By: Senate State Affairs

Study M
Title of Requested Study: Budget Realignment Study

Scope of Requested Study:
In 2011, Governor Daugaard proposed a 10% across the board budget cut. The initiative forced all government to re-assess priorities. While the final % cut varied, all agencies did accept a decrease with the total cut equal to $41.3 million. Instead of waiting until we have to do this, why not force the question? The goal would be to re-align the $ to current priorities. The study could start with a look back to 2011 (while the Daugaard administration is still here to explain). Then study what has happened since. Then pose a “what if” question to each department saying “If your department/agency had to cut __% (insert number) what would you do?” With all of this information, the summer study group could recommend whatever re-alignment of resources they felt appropriate — cuts to some and enhancements to others, re-aligning to current needs and priorities. This would help establish legislative priorities that could be useful with coordinating or directing the priorities of a new administration.

Requested By: Representative John Mills

Study N
Title of Requested Study: School District Capital Outlay

Scope of Requested Study:
Analysis of school district capital funding needs as compared to the funding systems provided under state law.

Requested By: Representative Wiese

Study O
Title of Requested Study: REAL ID Act

Scope of Requested Study:
The study will examine how the federal REAL ID Act impacts South Dakota. It will examine the security of personal data and vital documents and the risks of identity theft.

Requested By: Representative Frye-Mueller


2 thoughts on “2018 Summer Studies”

  1. Study C. Because it’s a government subsidized boondoggle. And if that isn’t enough, demonize the coal industry in the name of mother earth.

  2. Studies C & D should be done. There is a 10 year lapse between 2008 when the wind developers came in originally and wrote their own laws. The only perceived negative effect of wind turbines at that time was if they blew over on your house. Since then the people living near wind turbines are experiencing all kinds of negative effects including health, safety, quality of life, property devaluation and the peaceful enjoyment of their own homes and land. Now the turbines are twice as tall as they were in 2008. Developers have worked their way into county government and talked them into 1000 ft. setbacks from homes to increase the profit for the developer. Now grass roots organizations are showing up all over the country, including South Dakota. There are some fixes that need to be done here.

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