The 96th legislative session will start on Jan. 11 and open with Gov. Noem giving the State of the State Address.
This will be my second session serving District 17 in the State House. I expect this session to be packed full of various topics. Again this year, there will be a large budget surplus and many opportunities to allocate it to.
Last year I served on the House Health and Human Services and House Education committees and will continue to serve on those committees this session. I plan on supporting our state's emergency medical services by sponsoring a bill that would allow for more efficient use of emergency medications and help decrease costs to these departments.
I plan on working with stakeholders to modernize and update the EMS statutes that are 50 years old. Outdated language can pose a significant barrier to recruitment and retainment of EMS providers as antiquated regulations make South Dakota a less desirable place to practice. Updating outdated statutes could also positively affect monetary reimbursement for our local EMS departments, helping sustain struggling crews throughout the state.
I look forward to the discussion on the Bright Start program and the proposed $100 million request from the governor's office to implement it statewide. The Bright Start program gives new mothers the possibility of a nurse providing free care at home. As a mother, this is a step in the right direction to help our fellow South Dakotans in need and I look forward to the conversations this legislation will cultivate.
I also plan to sponsor a bill that would allocate $10 million toward the renovation of the Churchill-Haines laboratory building on the campus of USD. After touring the facility, these renovations are long overdue.
These are only a tiny percentage of the possible legislation for this next session. I am optimistic about working with my colleagues to create legislation that will positively impact our state. It is unavoidable that there will be hard votes and loud debates. However, it is my responsibility to consider constituent feedback, look at the facts provided and render my decision that can better position our state for the future.
Please feel free to send your questions or concerns to my email, Sydney.Davis@sdlegislature.gov. I do my best to respond to everyone and kindly ask that you indicate where you are from, as I do give preference to District 17 constituents.