Anpute Waste (Good Day)
What a busy week-eight here at the capitol. I just want to start out but thanking all of you who have contacted me and gave me words of encouragement and prayers. We had some successes and disappointments
House Bill 1191 which we all know as the “hemp bill” will allow the legalization of the growth, production, and processing of industrial hemp and its derivative products. HB 1191 had it’s hearing in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources committee last week where it passed with seven yeas and two nays. The room was packed for this hearing as it is certainly a hot topic in the state as it passed in the house and will likely pass in the senate chambers. As the hearing started there was strong testimony from farmers, industry stakeholders and community members. A young farmer gave his testimony in favor of the bill stating that with the current struggling market conditions for commodities grown in our state He didn’t think his family farm would be around any longer but having the ability to grow hemp will diversify the income and allow his to follow his passion. This young farmer’s testimony makes sense and it makes sense for district 27 as we have a lot of farming that happens in our area. It makes sense for our farmers as they were unfairly pawned off in a trade war with China who imports a lot of our commodities from our state. I supported HB 1191 because it was an opportunity for our farmers to get a head after the negative ramifications from this unnecessary trade war. On the opponent side, there were testimony on the fear of marijuana users getting away with possession by calling it hemp and drug dogs not being able to tell the different between hemp and marijuana. These arguments are invalid because it comes down to licensing where as a farmer would be the holder of a license allowing them to grow hemp, so outside of that no one person would have the ability to have hemp on them anyway.
Another success was Senate Bill 126 passing through House State Affairs committee with a unanimous vote. SB 126 will now go the house floor for a final vote and will need a majority vote. After this bill passes the house it will then go to Governor Noem’s desk to be signed. Then South Dakota’s official Indigenous Language will be the language of the Oceti Sakowin. In addition to the language bill, there was a bill that was killed by the house which is HB 1178. This bill would have cut the absentee voting days from forty six to fourteen. HB 1178 would have had a huge negative impact on tribal communities where we already have a hard time access the polling places. Fortunately, this
In closing, I would like to thank my democratic colleagues for doing an awesome job and for the supporters for your amazing support. There is a lot of work up here to be completed and issues that need to be addressed. I remain hopeful and positive on what we can do for our communities. As I do my part up here in Pierre, I encourage you to do your part in your community, to continue to be a good relative and neighbor. We are in this together and together we can make positive changes and investments in our futures.
(Contact Rep. Peri Pourier (DPine Ridge) at Peri.Pourier@ sdlegislature.gov)
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