The 2013 South Dakota state legislature began its session in early January and is currently in session. The following bills are significant to the University of South Dakota and could potentially impact its students.
House Bill 1198
This bill would amend the monetary allotment portions for those who receive the SD Opportunity Scholarship. The bill would allow scholarship recipients who acquire an undergraduate within three full years of attendance and successively enroll in an South Dakota institution for a graduate program to receive the remaining funds. The bill passed the House 55-12 Feb. 14 and was referred to the Senate Education Committee after being read in the Senate Feb. 15
Senate Bill 132
Despite adamant opposition from law enforcement and prosecutors, Senate Bill 132—also known as the “Good Samaritan” bill—continues to progress. It was referred to the House Judiciary after being read in the House Feb. 14. The bill grants immunity from arrest and prosecution for certain alcohol consumption related offenses, such as drinking while underage, to people assisting certain individuals in need of emergency assistance, or who are themselves in need of assistance.
Senate Bill 188
This bill would make an appropriation to fund the Teach for America grant program within the South Dakota Department of Education in order encourage alternative teacher recruitment and placement in public schools with students primarily in low-income households. Funding would be appropriated over a period of four fiscal years, beginning July 1, 2013. The bill was introduced in the Senate Jan. 24 and was scheduled for a hearing Feb. 19.
Senate Bill 4
Senate Bill 4 would require the Department of Labor and Regulation to determine certain job placement outcomes for graduates of all South Dakota public postsecondary education institutions. The Department of Labor and Regulation would work with the Board of Regents to determine job placement outcomes for BOR institutions, and would work with the Department of Education to determine job placement outcomes for those graduating from technical institutes within the state. The bill was scheduled for a Feb. 20 hearing.
Senate Bill 5
If passed, this bill would establish public purpose and goals of postsecondary education in order to provide funding for higher education, and would create a Council on Higher Education Policy Goals, Performance and Accountability. The Council would monitor progress toward the goals of postsecondary education, and would be comprised of the S.D. governor or a governor’s designee, three members of the House of Representatives, three members of the Senate, two members of the Board of Regents and the executive director of the Board of Regents. The bill is scheduled for a hearing Feb. 20.