House Passes Bill Allowing State To Respond To More Diseases

The state House of Representatives has passed a measure that would more easily allow the state to react to deadly disease outbreaks.

The bill backed by the Department of Health would expand the state’s authority to respond to serious communicable diseases. The proposal originally gave the state authority over all top-tier diseases. It was amended Tuesday to cover just five.

Rep. Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls, says he voted against the bill because it was not carefully crafted. Haugaard says the scope of the bill is too narrow and it contains vague language about how the state can act.

Rep. Karen Soli, D-Sioux Falls, said she was voting yes because it better protect the general public against deadly diseases.

The bill will now head to a Senate committee to be heard.