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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sen. Tieszen and his bills

Some information about Sen. Craig Tieszen.

He sponsored SB 155, which prohibits people, employers and businesses from intentionally hiring unauthorized aliens to perform work within the state of South Dakota.  Under the law "No general contractor is in violation of section 1 of the Act solely because a subcontractor or independent contractor violates section 1 of this Act." Check carefully that word "solely." The bill failed 19-10 in the Senate, with good reason.

SB 156 establishes strangulation as one element of the crime of aggravated assault. I don't have a problem with this bill. It's headed to the House Judiciary committee after passing the Senate.

SB 172 was a bill that was killed in Senate Judiciary that would have included convictions of operating a boat while under the influence in the number of offenses for driving under the influence. A guy who sits on his pontoon and has a beer before anchoring and sleeping on the water can be convicted of operating a boat under the influence. Under Tieszen's bill, that conviction could be used as a second or third DUI in order to send the nasty drunk to prison.

Tieszen was a prime Senate sponsor of HB 1076 which allows members of municipal governing bodies to complete their terms once they've been moved to another district thorugh re-districting. It's an okay bill and it passes both the House and the Senate and is awaiting the Governor's signature.

Tieszen also is prime Senate sponsor of HB 1112 which has been tabled on a 65-4 vote. That bill was actually one of the better bills I've seen Tieszen's name on. Every candidate is required to file campaign finance documents. Tieszen's bill would have made one's candidacy dependent upon filing those documents. Apparently, 65 House members don't think it's that big of a deal.

The last bill upon which Tieszen's name appears as a prime sponsor is HB 1181 which prevents a person who has been convicted of a sex offense from circulating nominating petitions for any person other than himself or herself. The bill was tabled on a 68-2 vote in the House. Problem: A 17-year-old boy who is convicted of statutory rape of a 15 year old who is one month shy of her 16th birthday is on the sex offenders list...forever...even if he marries the "victim" and lives happily ever after. This bill was really vague.

Generally, I think Sen. Tieszen is doing a decent job for his constituents. He's bright, articulate and I believe he has genuine concern for the citizens of South Dakota.

I am not thrilled with his sponsorship of HB 1138. I'm also not all that excited by any legislator who seems to be looking for more reasons to arrest people, and his seeming willingness to add more regulations to businesses and individuals.

I like that he wanted to provide a pilot program for math and science academies in South Dakota. That was SB 98 upon which he was a co-sponsor. The bill failed in the senate.

1 comment:

Bob Newland said...

I like Tieszen personally, and he actually wrote a letter to Judge Delaney suggesting that I should not be treated harshly for possession of cannabis.

However, his entire working career was predicated on enforcing strictures on personal freedoms. Like most cops, in my opinion (which is based on some evidence), he views the world with a peculiar perspective...

"That which is not prohibited should be mandatory."

That perspective relies on developing huge volumes of laws.