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Friday, March 5, 2010

Passed by SD Legislature: Teacher Standards, Guns, Pickles, Charter School

Some bills headed for the Governor's desk:
  • Senate Bill 24 isn't a diktat to include Radioactive Chief in climate science curriculum, but it still smells of Pierre encroaching on local control in education. The Legislature is directing the Department of Education to establish statewide teacher evaluation standards. Now I kow he who has the gold makes the rules... but if Pierre is going to make these rules, couldn't it come up with a little more gold?
  • Legislators were just a touch more leary about SB 89, but it still passed easily. This bill exempts from federal regulation any firearms made and kept within South Dakota's borders. The measure will thrill the gun manufacturers Governor Rounds chatted up in Vegas in January and may even help lure a few of them here to make bang-bangs. But think about this: do you think gunmakers will come to South Dakota to make unregulated guns that they can only sell to South Dakotans? Do we really buy that many weapons? (Oh, well, maybe....)
  • The real slam dunk was HB 1222, a bill to clarify rules for farmers markets. Not one legislator cast a nay on this sensible legislation to promote local food production and local business. Governor Rounds, don't even think of vetoing this bill, or it's no pickles for you!
  • The Legislature delivered SB 63, a bill to establish a pilot charter school for American Indian students... just in time to learn Uncle Sam rejected our application for the federal grant that was to fund it. (Hey, wait a minute: the charter school was to be a residential school... weren't boarding schools bad for Indians? Well, that's complicated....)

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