- Associated Press - Sunday, February 15, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Lawmakers are set to consider measures on transportation, abortion, a youth minimum wage and all-hours drinking in Deadwood.

Here’s a look at some of the proposals they’ll take up this week in Pierre:

TRANSPORTATION

The House State Affairs Committee takes up a proposal on Wednesday to raise roughly $50 million for road and bridge funding in South Dakota. A separate House committee has also reviewed the proposal. The Senate approved its version of the plan last week, and the House’s passage will set up negotiations for what is likely the most serious issue lawmakers consider this session.

YOUTH MINIMUM WAGE



A proposal to carve out a $7.50 youth minimum wage from the measure that voters passed in November to establish an $8.50 minimum wage is to be considered in the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee on Tuesday.

Sen. David Novstrup, a Republican from Aberdeen, said the evidence he’s seen shows that states with higher minimum wage also have higher youth unemployment. His proposal would affect people under age 18, and the $7.50 youth wage wouldn’t be subject to future cost of living increases.

Novstrup said he doesn’t believe businesses will simply reduce wages for young workers if the bill is passed. He said competition would cause those employees to seek different jobs.

South Dakota residents voted 55 percent to 45 percent in November to raise the state’s minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour. The measure increased the $2.13 hourly tip wage to half the minimum wage and tied future increases to the cost of living.

BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT

Senate Majority Leader Tim Rave said that supporters will take another shot on Tuesday at passing a proposal that calls for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget on the Senate floor. The measure passed the House and a Senate committee but failed on the chamber’s floor.

If it’s approved, South Dakota would join 24 other states calling for a constitutional convention. Supporters argue an amendment is necessary because federal lawmakers have been unable to address the country’s growing debt.

Opponents argue the convention could backfire and be used to rewrite many parts of the Constitution.

CONCEALED WEAPONS AT THE CAPITOL

A proposal to allow people to carry concealed weapons in the Capitol is to be considered in the House Local Government Committee on Tuesday. Rep. Blaine Campbell, a Republican from Rapid City, said his proposal is about freedom.

A measure to authorize lawmakers to have weapons in the Capitol building if they undergo training was defeated last week in a Senate committee, which approved a similar measure for sergeants-at-arms.

DESTINATION DEADWOOD

The House Commerce and Energy Committee on Wednesday is set to hear a plan that would authorize the city of Deadwood to allow liquor to be served all the time except for Christmas Day. Sen. Bob Ewing, a Republican from Spearfish who is the Senate sponsor, said he likes the bill because it gives Deadwood the option to approve the extra hours and said it will make the city more attractive.

“It just gives them another tool,” Ewing said. “They’re competing with other states with gambling.”

ABORTION MEASURE

The House Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday is expected to take up a proposal that would prohibit physicians from beheading unborn infants. Rep. Isaac Latterell, a Republican from Tea, said it is a step during some surgical abortions and should be stopped.

“These children can feel pain, and they have every right to not be abused and beheaded,” he said.

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