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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Attorney General Jackley Releases 2024 Legislative Package

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, Dec. 18, 2023

Contact: Tony Mangan, Communications Director, 605-773-6878

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announces that the Attorney General’s Office’s proposed legislative package for 2024 features five bills including separate legislation to regulate the drug Xylazine, add fentanyl protections, and make Artificial Intelligence Generated Child Pornography a felony crime.

“This is a proactive legislative package designed to protect South Dakotans, especially the most vulnerable,” said Attorney General Jackley. “We look forward to working with the Governor and legislators on securing passage of these bills this session.”

The bills are:

  1. An Act to Regulate Xylazine.

The Attorney General’s Office and the state Department of Health will jointly introduce the bill. The draft legislation would criminalize the use and possession of Xylazine. The proposal also would add the drug to the state statute that criminalizes the possession of multiple controlled substances.

Because Xylazine is not an opioid, the use of Narcan by law enforcement is not effective in dealing with a person suffering from an overdose.

“Xylazine is important for veterinary uses and will remain available for those intended uses, but human consumption has led to overdoses and deaths,” said Attorney General Jackley. “This drug is dangerously being mixed with fentanyl by drug distributors.”

  1. An Act to regulate Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated child pornography. 

The proposal would revise certain definitions to the current child pornography laws and criminalizes the possession, manufacturing, or distributing of child pornography to include Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated image and videos. That would include “deepfake” images or videos of an actual child that have been manipulated to make it look like the subject is a child engaged in prohibited sexual acts and AI-generated images that do not depict any actual person but are created to look like a child engaged in prohibited sexual acts.  

“Artificial Intelligence can do great things, but there is potential for serious harm that we are now experiencing with several investigations in South Dakota,” said Attorney General Jackley.  “That harm is real with ‘deepfakes’ that include the use of real children’s voices and photographs taken from social media to create computer generated child porn.”

  1. An Act to modify the sex offender registry.

South Dakota’s sex offender registry has three tiers of offenders. Tier 1 includes those offenders who have been convicted of having sexual contact with a person under legal age while being 21 years old or younger themselves.

One current state statute indicates that a Tier 1 sex offender registrant must remain on the sex offender registry for a minimum of 10 years while a second current statute sets the minimum time at five years. Attorney General Jackley recommends 10 years as the minimum amount of time for someone to remain on the registry before removal.

“This bill would strengthen the registry to protect the public and remove the confusion about how long a Tier 1 registrant must remain on the sex offender registry,” said the Attorney General.

  1. An Act to modify the membership of the open meetings commission.

The South Dakota Open Meetings Commission was created in 2004 to consider possible violations of the state’s open meeting law. The commission currently consists of five State’s Attorneys appointed by the Attorney General.

Current state law only allows for State’s Attorneys to serve on the commission. This revision would allow Deputy State’s Attorneys, who are equally qualified, to serve on the commission.

5. An Act to modify the 24/7 participation in fentanyl testing.

South Dakota’s 24/7 program is a voluntary offender pay program aimed at keeping participants sober and protecting the public. A participant in the 24/7 program who wears a drug patch currently pays a user fee of $50 for each drug patch that is attached.

The new patches cost more than that with the increased cost of fentanyl testing. This proposal would raise the fee to no more than $70 for each drug patch that is attached.

“Fentanyl use is a growing concern in South Dakota, and preventive testing is important to public health and safety,” said Attorney General Jackley.

All five bills will be filed with the state Legislative Research Council prior to the legislative session starting Jan. 9, 2024.