PIERRE – It looks like South Dakota won’t have a law giving Good Samaritan immunity to underage drinkers who try to help other underage drinkers needing emergency medical attention.
The concept was that a person younger than age 21 who had been drinking alcohol could seek help from law enforcement or emergency medical services if another person under 21 who had been drinking needed emergency help.
The person needed to stay and provide assistance until help arrived and then cooperate with law enforcement or emergency responders.
The House committee amended the bill, removing the section on specific offenses that would be covered by the immunity: underage consumption, public intoxication and open container. Then the bill was killed.
The key was that two co-sponsors of the bill, Rep. Gene Abdallah, R-Sioux Falls, and Rep. Brian Gosch, R-Rapid City, changed their views and voted against it in the committee.
GOVERNOR GETS TWO REPRIEVES: The House Appropriations Committee resurrected two pieces of legislation Wednesday to help Gov. Dennis Daugaard, after the House of Representatives rejected his original measures on sparsity funding for school districts and building a new maintenance shop for the Capitol grounds.
Finance Commissioner Jason Dilges and Administration Commissioner Paul Kinsman told the committee Wednesday that they were at fault because they hadn’t adequately explained the legislation to House members.
The governor wants a law that proportionately reduces special aid to sparsely populated school districts if less money is appropriated. House members voted 40-26 against the original measure, SB 186, Tuesday.
The decision whether sparsity funding is actually cut 10 percent, as the governor wants, will be made as part of legislators’ deliberations on the general budget. The separate legislation merely establishes a mechanism for dealing with reduced funding.