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South Dakota's new laws extend breastfeeding protection, expand gambling, protect bikers

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SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota — The start of the state's new fiscal year Wednesday also meant a slew of new laws kicking in. Some of the more notable:

NO MORE "DASCHLE LAW"

Lawmakers repealed the so-called "Daschle law" that barred a presidential candidate from seeking another office on the same South Dakota ballot.

Under the new law, for example, a current state senator can seek re-election while also seeking the presidency.

That undoes a law passed in 2002 — a GOP-backed measure that was criticized by Democrats at the time for targeting Sen. Tom Daschle as he weighed a 2004 presidential bid.

BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC

Nursing mothers can now breastfeed their children in any public or private location in South Dakota as long as they follow other state and local laws.

Breastfeeding advocates had argued the practice should be protected in the state.

Nursing mothers must still obey state and municipal laws, mostly aimed at public decency. However, no municipality may outright ban breastfeeding in public places.

WEAPONS FOR MILITARY SPOUSES

Spouses of military personnel with permanent residency in South Dakota, but posted elsewhere, can now apply for a South Dakota permit to carry a concealed weapon in the roughly 25 states that have reciprocity. The permit would be necessary if they visited South Dakota and wanted to carry a firearm.

Before Wednesday, the law only extended those benefits to serving military personnel, not their spouses.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley proposed the measure, citing the case of a man who moved to Germany with his wife, who was serving in the military. The man wanted to renew his permit and potentially carry a weapon in South Dakota if he returned on vacation, but couldn't fulfill the 30-day state residency requirement because he was overseas.

EXTRA GAMBLING OPTIONS

Casinos in the historic Black Hills town of Deadwood can now offer keno, craps and roulette.

The new games were overwhelmingly approved by South Dakota voters in November and authorized by lawmakers this year.

Casinos and residents hope the new games will attract younger gamblers, as well as those who might otherwise have gone to Colorado or Iowa to seek out the games.

Deadwood officials have estimated the new games could bring as much as $2 million a year. They also tout other benefits, such as increased spending on other games by gamblers who might not otherwise come.

BIKE PASSING

In a nod to cyclist safety, drivers now have to give bikers a 3- to 6-foot buffer when passing.

It's 3 feet with the speed limit 35 mph or below, 6 feet when the limit is above that.

At least 25 other states require the 3-foot cushion.

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