Coronavirus Response in Pierre During Final Day of Legislative Session
Yesterday in what was to be veto day, the South Dakota legislature introduced and acted upon a number of bills in response to COVID-19. Bills include:
HB 1295, An act to revise provisions regarding contagious disease control and enforcement and to declare an emergency. As proposed, any person infected with, or is reasonably suspected of having severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, is considered to present a health threat to others. Such determination grants the department of health the authority to pursue action to isolate the person to prevent further spread.
Similar authority is granted to the department in cases of tuberculosis any middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome 10 (SARS), smallpox, and viral hemorrhagic fevers.
HB 1298, An act to provide for the postponement of certain elections and to declare an emergency. With the passage of HB 1298 and notwithstanding any other provision of law, any election scheduled to be held from April 14, 2020, through May 26, 2020, shall be postponed in the interest of public health and safety. Any candidate deadline associated with the original election date shall remain in place. The members of the governing body of the political subdivision holding the election shall choose any Tuesday in June 2020 as the alternate election date.
If the governing body of the political subdivision chooses to hold the election on the primary election date of June 2, 2020, the following provisions are required:
- The combined election is subject to approval by the county commission of any county in which the political subdivision is located;
- Any expense from a combined election shall be apportioned in a manner agreed upon by the governing body of the subdivision and the county commission of each county in which the political subdivision is located; and
- Any other obligation arising under state law for either election shall be handled as agreed upon by the governing body of the subdivision and the county commission of each county in which the political subdivision is located.
SB 91, An act to provide emergency authority to counties, community improvement districts, and municipalities in the event of a public health crisis and to declare an emergency. As proposed, SB 91 would have granted the governing body for each county may, by ordinance, provide for the declaration of a public health emergency within the county's jurisdiction outside the corporate limits of any municipality. The ordinance shall take effect immediately upon passage and shall be published in full either as part of the minutes or separately. SB 91 failed to pass both branches.
The legislature will come together for a special session in June to discuss the FY2021 budget and the allocation/use of forthcoming federal funds as a result of the CARES Act.