South Dakota's 2014 Legislative Session came to a close last week, with more than 150 new bills signed by Governor Daugaard at the end of Friday.
The laws cover a wide array of topics, including education, child & family safety and animal welfare. The following are a few of the major bills highlighted this year:
HB 1150: It will now be required to recite the pledge of allegiance at the start of each school day in every public school classroom.
2015 Education Budget: The budget would give school districts and extra $2.2 million—that's $16.72 per student. The extra money would be used to give teachers a pay raise that would amount to an average of about $230 for every teacher next year.
CHILDREN & FAMILY
HB 1168: This new law will provide for additional safety measure on amusement rides in South Dakota and create a penalty for failure to have proper insurance on an amusement ride or device.
SB 74: This law will allow courts to consider joint physical custody of a minor, a big step in shared parenting in South Dakota.
SB 25 & HB 1161: These laws will help protect children and others in the state from the growing issue of human trafficking; the legislation will also help prosecute perpetrators and provide relief for victims.
SB 154: The Jolene's Law Task Force has been approved to study the impact of sexual abuse on children in the state that will help make recommendation to the Legislature on polices that can effectively address this issue.
SB 46: Violators of animal cruelty acts will now be charged with a Class 6 Felony, facing up to two years in prison, a $4000 fine or both.
SB 75: This law prohibits local governments from banning certain breeds of dogs.
For a full list of new legislation signed and passed in South Dakota's 2014 Legislative Session visit legis.sd.gov.