AG Jackley outlines 2018 legislative priorities

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South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley unveiled his 2018 legislative package at a press conference in Rapid City Wednesday.

The package contains five priorities that the attorney general would like to see the state legislature take up in the 2018 session.

Taking center stage was the methamphetamine epidemic. Jackley calls for more severe prison sentences for meth distributors as part of a three-pronged strategy to combat the problem, which also includes prevention and treatment.

In his comments, Jackley emphasized the devastating effects from meth on South Dakota communities.

“If you look at what meth and other drug use does to the community, it tears up the family structure,” Jackley said. “It increases healthcare costs because of ER visits. It literally affects economic development, because the workforce just isn’t as viable. So I think if you look at what meth is doing, it’s all the more reason why we need to cut the head of the snake off and address distribution in South Dakota and stop it.”

The proposal also calls for even more severe penalties for distributors of meth and other controlled substances when a person dies from using the distributor’s product.

Jackley also hopes to see legislation that will increase law enforcement’s ability to apprehend human traffickers before a child becomes a victim.

“This legislation to strengthen human trafficking is so important,” continued Jackley. “It would allow for law enforcement to continue to run our operations without having an actual victim. We want to remove that sexual predator before they victimize a young child.”

At the conference, Jackley praised law enforcement across South Dakota, who have apprehended 56 human traffickers since 2013.

Jackley also proposed improving the state’s sex offender registry by clarifying definitions to encourage offenders to comply with legal requirements. The proposal also includes stricter penalties for second and subsequent registry violations. Such violations would become Class 5 felonies, punishable by up to 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

Other priorities included greater protections for South Dakota consumers whose personal information is leaked in data breaches. Jackley wants to see any breached organization that holds personal information to inform the victim within 45 days. If a security breach compromises the information of more than 250 South Dakota residents, a report should be made to the attorney general.

The proposed legislation would call any failure to comply with these rules a “Deceptive Act .” Jackley is proposing actions to recover civil damages in such cases of up to $10,000 per day per violation.

To see AG Jackley's complete proposal, click here.

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