Attorney general to propose harsher meth dealing penalties

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Attorney General Marty Jackley will unveil his priorities Wednesday for the upcoming 2018 legislative session, asking South Dakota lawmakers to impose harsher penalties for methamphetamine dealing and manufacturing, require disclosure of data breaches to affected state...

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Attorney General Marty Jackley will unveil his priorities Wednesday for the upcoming 2018 legislative session, asking South Dakota lawmakers to impose harsher penalties for methamphetamine dealing and manufacturing, require disclosure of data breaches to affected state residents, and change human trafficking laws.

The bills would also clarify sex offender registration requirements and enact tougher consequences for drug dealers whose product kills another person. The session starts next week and runs until late March.

"The manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs creates both a public health and safety concern," Jackley said in a statement. "Anyone who manufactures and distributes illegal drugs that result in a death should be held accountable."

A proposal cracking down on meth dealing would make distribution and manufacturing a more serious felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine, up from 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $20,000.

Other proposed changes include enacting harsher sentences for meth distribution if the person has things such as cash or firearms and increasing penalties for distributing the drug to a minor.

On data breaches, Jackley plans to offer a measure that would require companies to inform South Dakota residents whose personal information was acquired by an unauthorized person within 45 days of discovering the security intrusion. A breach affecting more than 250 state residents would require notification of the attorney general.

"South Dakota needs a fair reporting law which is not burdensome and requires consumers to be informed of the loss of their personal information," Jackley said.

Jackley and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem are Republicans competing to succeed GOP Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who can't run again because of term limits.

The Republican primary election is in June after what is expected to be an intense campaign. State Senate Democratic leader Billie Sutton has also entered the 2018 race.

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