As proposed, it would largely nullify South Dakota’s concealed-weapon permit requirements. The legislation would allow a person to carry a concealed pistol or revolver on his or her person or in a vehicle without possessing a permit.
People from other states also wouldn’t need a concealed-weapon permit in South Dakota under the legislation.
The prime sponsor of the measure, House Bill 1015, is Rep. Don Kopp, R-Rapid City. The lead Senate sponsor is Sen. Tim Begalka, R-Clear Lake.
The House co-sponsors are representatives Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City; Stace Nelson, R-Fulton; Betty Olson, R-Prairie City; Lance Russell, R-Hot Springs; and Mark Venner, R-Pierre.
Their bill could pose another test for House Republican leadership, who last session asked the Legislative Research Council to make lawmakers better aware of the potential for controversy on various topics.
Russell, Nelson, Olson and Begalka were among the six legislators who signed a letter making accusations of spying and interference against House Republican leader David Lust of Rapid City, House Republican assistant leader Justin Cronin of Gettysburg and the speaker of the House, Rep. Val Rausch, R-Big Stone City.
A legislative subcommittee held an investigatory hearing on Tuesday that took more than six hours of testimony and statements, but received no specific evidence other than confirmation of a meeting between LRC director Jim Fry and Lust, Cronin and Rausch last winter.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Health has submitted emergency-provision legislation that would add several types of synthetic cannabis and various combinations involving bath salts and similar materials to South Dakota’s controlled substances list.
The legislation, Senate Bill 23, attempts to corral the widening problem of pseudo-marijuana materials being sold at commercial outlets and through other channels in South Dakota.
The state Department of Revenue wants authority to quarterly publish on a special Internet page the names of the top 100 delinquent taxpayers. It is an attempt to use publicity as an additional enforcement tool.
The legislation, House Bill 1029, would allow the department to publicize specific details including the taxpayer’s name, address, dates and individuals amounts of each tax owed as well as penalties and interest.
The taxes covered would be state sales and use tax, contractor excise tax and alternate contractor tax. The taxpayer would get 60 days notice before publication. Payment would get a name off the published list.
One less controversial proposal that would affect thousands of winter motor-sports enthusiasts seeks to change South Dakota’s snowmobile licensing system. The two-year permit that costs $20 would be changed to an annual permit for $10.
The state Game, Fish and Parks Department seeks that change in House Bill 1019.
Much of the rest of the legislation that has been pre-filed so far pertains to relatively routine matters of state government.
Lawmakers likely will struggle much of the session with the pay raises that the governor proposed for state employees, after three years without raises, and the increases in state aid to public schools and in reimbursements to people who provide healthcare and related types of services to people who have disabilities or have insufficient income.
Texting while driving also is expected to be a topic for tussle.
The House of Representatives and the Senate will convene at mid-day Tuesday and then the 105 legislators will assemble in the House chamber to hear the annual State of the State address from Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
The Republican governor is scheduled to start his speech shortly after 1 p.m. South Dakota Public Broadcasting will cover the remarks.
Chief Justice David Gilbertson is scheduled to deliver the annual State of the Judiciary address to a joint assembly of legislators on Wednesday afternoon.
The Legislature remains strongly Republican. The 70-member House will have 50 Republicans, 19 Democrats and one independent who sits with the Republicans. The 35-member Senate will have 30 Republicans and five Democrats.
The session is scheduled to run 35 working days. Six of the first seven work weeks will be four days apiece. The only five-day work weeks are those of Feb. 6-10 and Feb. 27 through March 2.
March 2 is the last day of the session’s main run. Lawmakers are scheduled to return for their 35th and final day of the 2012 session on March 19 to consider any remaining vetoes or other unfinished business.
The Legislature considered 458 bills in the 2011 session.