FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 10, 2020
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg announces the Attorney General’s proposed legislative package for 2020 requesting the legislature to consider and enact the following:
Senate Bill 6: An Act to revise certain conditions under which presumptive probation may be applied.
“Presumptive Probation has destroyed any incentive for Defendants to work with law enforcement and help eliminate the source of illegal drugs in South Dakota. I want to give law enforcement another tool in their toolbox to keep South Dakota safe.”
In a continuing effort to ensure that our Courts and Judge’s have all the tools they require to keep South Dakota safe the new proposed language would add that “it is also an aggravating circumstance if the court determines the person failed to cooperate with law enforcement in an ongoing investigation.”
Senate Bill 7: An Act to revise the eligibility for presumptive probation.
“Another year has passed with Presumptive Probation continuing to be a failed program which has incentivized criminals to continue their illegal conduct with no consequences or deterrence. Similar to a DUI or simple assault, continued illegal activity should result in greater consequences to help deter criminal conduct. This bill gives our judges greater discretion and provides the defendant with the forewarning that, should they continue with their destructive behavior, the State can bring more severe punishment.”
Building off the existing model already used in South Dakota law for enhanced sentencing for certain violations this legislation seeks establishes a ten-year lookback for an individual who violates in excess of 2 times within the lookback period and has already received a sentence consisting of presumptive probation on the previous occasions.
Senate Bill 25: An Act to establish certain requirements to maintain state compliance with the Master Settlement Agreement.
“The State of South Dakota receives approximately $25 million annually as part of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. We work tirelessly to maintain compliance with the Agreement and this bill will assist us in performing our due diligence.”
Historically there have been occasional bad actors in the world of tobacco sales. This bill will add additional tools to allow the State of South Dakota to more easily identify and monitor entities selling tobacco products.
Senate Bill 26: An Act to increase the assessment of liquidated court costs and to revise the disposition of the funds collected.
“911 services are an essential service there to help and assist all South Dakotans in the worst of times. We have identified structural problems relating to the funding and continuation of the system and this bill aims to insure resources will be available to sustain this necessary service.”
Increasing the assessment from $40 to $50 will provide necessary funds to both the 911 Telecommunicator training fund and the Law Enforcement Officers training fund. These monies are essential to make sure that the training provided to our law enforcement professionals remains at the high levels our state is accustomed to.
Senate Bill 27: An Act to establish a missing persons clearinghouse.
“I want to bring more awareness to the public as we search for people that go missing in our state. Legislation passed in 2019 regarding Murdered, Missing Indigenous Women was a significant step forward. We now need to take the next step so we can more efficiently and effectively use our resources to find all missing South Dakotans.”
The proposed legislation would establish the clearinghouse within the Division of Criminal Investigation and set forth the guidelines for the administration, notification procedures, training, and management of the project. It will include connections to the National Crime Information Center as well as a process for clearing the system when a listed person has been found and/or the case is closed to make sure that resources are used to their full capacity in this important endeavor.
An Act to revise certain provisions regarding sex offender registration statutes.
“Technology available to all of us has also created new avenues for those who seek to victimize our children. Adding to the possible activities that define a sexual predator is a prudent step to take in safeguarding our youth from these individuals within our society.”
The proposed legislation would expand the actions for which the Sex Offender Registry would be utilized to include any individual, age 21 or older, who takes or produces sexually based, nonconsensual videos or photos of a minor.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the State of South Dakota and provides legal advice to agencies, boards, and commissions of the State as well as representing the State in state and federal court. The Office of Attorney General also handles prosecutions, felony criminal appeals, civil matters, consumer protection issues, and issues formal opinions interpreting statutes for agencies of the state. Visit www.atg.sd.gov to learn more.
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CONTACT: Tim Bormann, Chief of Staff, (605) 773-3215