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SD State House committee takes up government restructuring bills

The South Dakota House Commerce and Energy committee received a lot of passionate testimony over the course of two days regarding bills that effected many of their constituents career fields.
Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 11:26 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The South Dakota State House’s Commerce and Energy committee took up debate Monday on a number of bills that amongst other things, would have changed the way that certain career fields are overseen in the state.

HB 1010 in its original form would have lowered the price for an occupational licenses for plumbers, and also update the renewal requirement from once every year to once every three years. The bill was amended to 1010c, to make it so that the renewal would happen once every two years.

HB 1016 would have combined the state’s oversight boards of Barber Examiners, Massage Therapy, and the Cosmetology Commission.

HB 1016 elicited two separate days of packed house, passionate testimony. Many in the effected fields gave passionate testimony, both for and against.

South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon spoke to a number of concerns that critics had, and spoke to the overall projected cost savings of $40,000.

“House Bill 1016 does not take anything away from these professions,” Malsam-Rysdon said. “Barbers will remain barbers, cosmetologists will remain cosmetologists, and massage therapists will remain massage therapists.

Donnie Joseph of the South Dakota Barber College in Rapid City provided the final rebuttal to the bill. He said that while he appreciated the sentiment behind the bill, he opposed it so staunchly because he felt the work in each of those three fields was unique.

“I like to consider myself an expert in the industry,” said Joseph. “(And) As much knowledge as I have on our profession, I do not know what is good for massage therapists, they have different needs than us. As much as I would like to chime in, I can’t promise I’d give the best advice there.”

Commerce and Energy committee chairwoman State Rep. Rhonda Milstead (R-Hartford) said that she was happy with the amount of committee testimony and engagement they had received from people in the debated about career fields.

Milstead supported both bills in their original form.

“When you talk about collaboration, I think you talk about interest in jobs,” said Milstead. “You’re going to grow your profession because you’re talking about it with other people, and letting other people know what you do is always a good thing.”

HB 1016 failed by an eight to five vote. The amended version of HB 1010 passed, and will now advance to the State House floor for a vote there.

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