The Senate Health and Human Services Committee spoke today with Executive Director of the South Dakota Association of Health Care Organizations, Dave Hewett. Hewett gave the committee members insight into health care reform and what it would mean for South Dakota. Hewett says the goal of health care reform is to establish a system that has some basic attributes. Hewitt says, “It should leave no one uncovered, medical debt must disappear as a cause of personal bankruptcy in America, it should no longer be an economic catastrophe for employers, it should hold doctors nurses hospitals drug and device companies and insurers collectively responsible for making care better safer and less costly.” Hewett says health care reform also means patients should be allowed to contribute to their handling of health care.
A bill giving tax breaks for small and community based renewable energy projects passed in the Senate State Affairs Committee. The Public Utilities Commission drafted the bill to spur growth in smaller wind and solar projects. Dusty Johnson is the South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner. He says the bill makes it easier for small energy entrepreneurs to apply for incentives that mimic what big wind projects get from the state. “This bill exempts the first 50 thousand dollars or 70 percent, whichever is greater, of a renewable project from paying property tax,” says Johnson. Opponents of the bill say this is a loss of revenue for the state and will hurt local governments and schools. Member stations can download audio here.
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