Saturday is the third cracker barrel meeting of the legislative session. The public can ask questions of state lawmakers from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Centennial Room of the Northern State University Student Center.
Each Friday before the cracker barrels, the American News will break down some of the issues hot on the minds of legislators in Pierre this week. Here are four topics that might be worth talking about at tomorrow's cracker barrel.
If you can't attend the cracker barrels, you can watch them happen live on our website, http://www.aberdeennews.com/news/crackerbarrel.
The "old car" discount: State law provides a 30 percent discount on the cost of annual license plate registrations for passenger cars and other noncommercial vehicles that are at least five years old. Currently 77 percent of noncommercial registrations receive this discount. Legislation would change the eligibility to vehicles at least 10 years old. The change would generate an estimated $4.5 million for local governments to use for road work. The legislation is Senate Bill 99.
Food tax refunds: State law provides small tax refunds to low-income people who don't receive food stamps. The program, started in 2004, has low participation. The Daugaard administration wants to eliminate it as part of the budget cuts. An estimated $100,000 would be saved annually. The legislation is Senate Bill 191.
More fireworks: House Bill 1056 would allow fireworks to be sold and legally used in South Dakota during the days of Dec. 28 through Jan. 1. This would be in addition to the traditional Independence Day period of June 27 through July 5. A somewhat similar expansion was vetoed in the past by Gov. Mike Rounds because it would have allowed fireworks on Christmas.
Half-day and whole pay: The Senate defeated an attempt to change state school aid so that school districts couldn't could half-day kindergarten as whole-day students for enrollment purposes. School districts will continue receiving funds for a full student regardless of whether kindergarten is half-day or all-day.