Proposed domestic violence legislation discussed, along with hemp, at Pennington County Republican Women’s panel

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A proposed bill would allow victims of domestic violence a way to vacate their apartments without facing penalty.

During a panelist discussion at the Pennington County Republican Women’s Hot Topics luncheon, Rep. Michael Deidrich shared that one of his 2020 legislative priorities was to create a way for victims to leave their lease early if they needed to leave an abusive situation.

“They would not incur that financial penalty,” said Deidrich. “And a lot of those victims are making a decision between safety and the food budget. When you get a termination penalty that causes them to stay and at a higher risk.”

Deidrich said there is more being done for victims of domestic violence.

“This is a piece of a larger puzzle – educate our domestic abuse victims on what’s available to them…there’s just so many things to be done,” Diedrich said. “We’ve already enhanced penalties. We already have aggressive prosecution, but we also have to work on the causes of [domestic violence] and the symptoms of it and try to make things as good as we can.”

Hemp was another discussion brought up to the panel of legislatures.

While some panelists admitted to being uncertain about their stance on the issue, Rep. Tim Goodwin voiced his support for letting voters decide whether they should legalize it.

“We’re going to run [hemp legislation] again this year. We feel we’ll have the votes. The other thing we could do is put it on the ballot because the ballot just takes a simple majority of each body and then it goes on the ballot.”

Also in attendance, and a part of the panel, was newly appointed senator, Helene Duhamel. She was able to introduce herself in a brief address to the members of the Penn. Co. Republican Women’s group.

Other members of the panel included Representatives Chris Johnson, Tony Randolph and Jeffrey Partridge.

Some other topics discussed during the luncheon were meth awareness, mental health care, state budgeting, economic development in West River and a potential healthcare community college in West River.


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