Meade county residents discuss legislative topics at Cracker Barrel

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Meade County residents expressed concerns to District 29 Representatives, Feb, 3, 2018 Meade County residents expressed concerns to District 29 Representatives, Feb, 3, 2018

Meade County residents expressed their concerns with South Dakota District 29 officials regarding the 2018 legislative session at the Cracker Barrel in Sturgis.

Raising tax on alcohol was a big topic. An increase of a nickel per drink on the whole sale level would require wholesale to pay that up front and it could double the state excise tax. This has the possibility to raise around $17.5 million.

The law states that the funds will be distributed back to counties and municipalities to be used for education and prevention.

"I think generally speaking people realize it’s time to step up to the plate,” said Rep. Tom Brunner, District 29. “We do have a lot of alcohol issues, in Sturgis because of the rally but every school every municipality is dealing with those issues every county, and it's time to start putting money back into prevention and education so that if we reach young people earlier and younger in life so we don't have to deal with those issues later on."

Other concerns related to non-meandered waters and an ongoing battle between landowners and sportsman on who has the right to use the water. The supreme court ruled that water is a public trust so public use of flooded land on private property was up to the legislature to decide.

The legislator implemented a law to deal with it.

"What we did do in special sessions is the senate amended it so it sunsetted it this year,” said Rep. Larry Rhoden, District 29. “In other words, we had to take action in this legislative session or the law goes away and we are back to square one so we've been having a lot of issues of just getting some of the people who still had issues with it to agree to just remove the sunset or extend it out another couple years."

Other topics discussed were home schooling regulations, voting for buffalo chip residents, and precision agriculture. 

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