All's Well that Ends Well
Everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief late last Thursday as the Main Run of the 2021 legislative session gaveled out slightly before 5:00 p.m. The final order of business was to pass the budget in an extremely unusual budget year.
Among proposals adopted were investments in infrastructure, public safety, health, and education. The final budget numbers for FY22, which starts July 1, include slightly over $1.8 billion in general funds, $1.8 billion in federal funds, and $1.4 billion in other funds for a total of $5.1 billion.
Next up will be Veto Day on March 29. It’s always a time of wait-and-see to find out whether the Governor will veto any bills. Even if no bills are vetoed, the LRC Executive Board will meet that day to discuss potential summer study topics.
Of All the Wonders
Looking back over the past nine weeks, we can point to some good things the 2021 Legislature accomplished. South Dakota will make investments in infrastructure such as broadband and railroads. South Dakota students will have access to a needs-based scholarship fund. Our economy will benefit from new bioproducts developed at the BioPro Innovation Institute on the Research Park in Brookings. We will see investments in public safety and health care.
The Legislature paid off bonds at the Tech Colleges, allocated money to improve the Dairy Research Farm at SDSU, and created a fund to address bridge needs on county secondary and township roads. All-in-all, this year provided an unprecedented opportunity to use one-time funds to invest in South Dakota’s future. The following are appropriations that will support and enhance agriculture.
· SB 34 - $100 million for broadband expansion. $75 million from the general fund and $25 million from Coronavirus Relief Funds.
· HB 1210 - $20 million for the BioPro Facility on the Research Park in Brookings.
· SB 93 - $20 million to rehabilitate the rail line between Ft. Pierre and Rapid City.
· SB 99 - $20 million for the DEX (Dakota Events CompleX) at the State Fair Grounds.
· SB 48 - $21.5 million to buy-down the bonds for Technical Colleges.
· HB 1153 - $7.5 million for the Dairy Research Farm at SDSU.
· HB 1259 - $6 million for small bridges/culverts on county secondary and township roads.
· And - $435,000 for Precision Ranching work at Cottonwood.
Discussions are already turning to interim topics, whether through the formal Interim Committee process or through informal work groups.
The Senate Resolution of Disapproval 901 (SRD901) disapproving of the DENR/Ag merger was ultimately defeated. Following a very close vote the resolution failed on a 17-18 vote, notice of intent was given to reconsider the vote by which the resolution failed, with that notice being withdrawn. The merger will move forward with the new agency titled the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) for short.
SB 34 make an appropriation to expand rural access to broadband services and to declare an emergency.
SB 41 revise certain requirements for contesting certificates of assessment.
SB 52 revise the permit duration on certain concentrated animal feeding operations.
SB 70 revise and reorganize certain provisions regarding the assessment of property for the purposes of taxation.
SB 76 revise provisions regarding public access to certain meandered bodies of water.
SB 87 exempt health benefit plans sponsored by nonprofit agricultural organizations from insurance regulation.
SB 99 authorize the Department of Agriculture to contract for the construction of a livestock and equestrian complex at the State Fair, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.
SB 105 revise certain provisions regarding operator's licenses, instruction permits, and restricted minor's permits.
SB 113 classify land used for horse husbandry as agricultural property for tax purposes.
SB 147 revise certain provisions regarding records that are not open to inspection and copying.
SB 191 provide an appropriation for a study regarding the future renovation and expansion of the Meat Laboratory on the campus of South Dakota State University and to declare an emergency.
SCR 604 Supporting trade negotiations to remove barriers to country of origin labelling.
SRD 901 Proposing to disapprove Executive Order 2021-03 as set forth on pages 52 to 64, inclusive, of the Senate Journal.
HB 1014 establish uniform complaint and declaratory ruling procedures for agencies regulating certain professions and occupations.
HB 1027 identify Water Management Board officers, authorize appointment of a prehearing officer, and define the duties of the prehearing officer.
HB 1028 revise petition requirements and the criteria for issuance of a water right permit.
HB 1040 make an appropriation to fund certain small meat processor grants and to declare an emergency.
HB 1042 revise certain provisions regarding riparian buffer strips
HB 1085 redefine the criteria for classifying land as agricultural for tax purposes.
HB 1099 revise the property tax exemption amount for certain agricultural property.
HB 1111 revise certain provisions regarding inspections and seizures by, and forfeitures involving, the Department of Game, Fish and Parks.
HB 1112 revise the safety zone within which a firearm may be discharged.
HB 1140 restrict the entry of conservation officers onto certain private land without permission.
HB 1149 establish timberland as a separate classification of property for tax purposes, define the criteria for timberland classification, and set the tax parameters for property classified as timberland.
HB 1153 authorize the Board of Regents to contract for the design and construction of a new dairy research and extension farm on the campus of South Dakota State University, together with equipment and furnishings, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.
HB 1162 establish the Re-Homestead South Dakota Program.
HB 1210 make an appropriation to the Board of Regents to provide grant funding for a new bioproducts facility at the research park in Brookings, and to declare an emergency.
HB 1215 establish criteria for meat labeled as a product of the United States.
HB 1219 join the Interstate Cooperative Meatpacking Compact.
HB 1226 permit electronic livestock auctions. HB 1250 repeal an exception to trespass liability on certain lands within national forests.
HCR 6006 Urging efforts to increase competition and transparency among livestock packers.
HCR 6007 To provide for an interim study regarding foreign ownership of agricultural land.
HR 7001 On the potential impeachment of Jason Ravnsborg, Attorney General of the State of South Dakota.