Capitol Connections February 15, 2019
Into each life some rain must fall, according to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
The lobbyist corollary to that could easily be: into each Legislative Session, some frustration must arise.
As we deal with “vehicle” bills, hoghouse amendments, bills being smoked-out of committee, reconsideration votes on bills that died, and legislative deadlines, there are plenty of opportunities for frustrating moments.
Nevertheless we do our best to keep calm and carry on.
One of the more troubling moments came when the House Education committee amended
HB1139, dealing with school capital outlay taxes. Current state law has a three-part limitation on capital outlay taxes. This bill removes two of those limitations – the $2,800/student cap and the indexing factor. If this bill passes, the only limitation going forward would be the $3 mill levy cap ($3 per $1000 of valuation for all property classes). If all schools went to the $3 cap, property taxes statewide would go up nearly $30 million, in addition to the $237 million already being paid in capital outlay taxes. This bill is on the House calendar for Tuesday. SDCA is working with Farm Bureau, SD Retailers, SD Corn and the SD Chamber to defeat the bill on the floor of the House. You are encouraged to contact your Representative and ask them to oppose HB1139.
SB68, the “Fake Meat” bill, passed Senate Ag 8-0 with only a minor amendment. SDCA supported.
SB149 increase the amount authorized for certain brand fees and to authorize a brand registration application fee and an expedited registration fee. The proposed increases will allow the brand registration program to meet its financial obligations over the next 5 years. An amendment in committee reduced the proposed increases and removed the expedited fee. SB149 passed Senate Ag 9-0 and the Senate floor 26-6. SDCA supports.
SB4 is the bill directing a pilot study of “most probable use” ag land tax assessments. It passed the full Senate on a vote of 31-2. SDCA Supports.
SB43 is the bill allowing SDSU to move forward with the 2+2 Rural Veterinary Education Program. The bill passed the Senate with one dissenting vote. SB43 passed House Ag 12-0. SDCA supports.
SB44 allows SDSU to sell land it’s not currently using, and use the proceeds to buy other property that can benefit the college. It passed the Senate 30-2 a couple of weeks ago, and passed the House 69-0 this past week. A minor amendment put on in the House means it needs to go back to the Senate for concurrence which passed 32-1. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for signature.
SB40 transfers ownership of the ADRDL to the Animal Industry Board to allow for additional renovations on the lab. Once completed, ownership will revert back to the Board of Regents for the use and benefit of SDSU. SB 40 passed the Senate 32-0. It passed House Ag 12-0 and waits for House floor action. SDCA and Ag Unity support.
HB1188 recognizes the nutrient value of manipulated manure differs from the nutrient value of commercial fertilizer, and proposes adjusting the fertilizer tonnage fee accordingly. The bill passed the House 63-4. The bill has met some opposition as it will result in decreased funding to the Nutrient Research Education Council and the ADRDL bond payment. SDCA is neutral.
SB93 would double the amount of time a young driver – between 14 and 18 years – has to have an instruction permit before they could get a regular driver’s license. Currently, an instruction permit is valid for six months – this would take it to a year. Following an amendment in committee to allow for limited exemptions including agriculture and school functions, the bill was further amended on the floor by the prime sponsor to include additional exemptions covering work and religious activities. The amendments revise the bill closer to meeting the concerns of SDCA and other opponents, however we believe there is still room for improvement and we will continue to work with bill sponsors as the bill move to the House. SB93 passed the Senate 19-15.
SB147 would require commercial pesticide applicators to carry a $300,000 bond or liability insurance of $100,000. Senate Ag Committee sent SB147 to the 41stday.
HB1234 would take part of the contractor’s excise tax from CAFO construction and give the money to school capital outlay funds. HB1234 passed House Taxation on a vote of 8-5. The House has referred the bill to the Appropriations Committee. SDCA is neutral.
A similar bill, HB1223, would take a portion of the contractor’s excise tax generated from CAFOs and give the money to the counties. This bill has also been assigned to House Taxation committee but is not yet scheduled for hearing. SDAC supports.
HB1118 would also ding the state highway fund, to the tune of $7-8 million, by getting rid of the vehicle excise tax on rebates. The bill limped out of House Tax committee and a fiscal note was requested so floor action is delayed.HB1191would legalize the growth, production, and processing of industrial hemp. The bill passed House 65-2.
HB1089 will allow electronic actions that operate in accordance with the federal Packers and Stockyards Act to be held in South Dakota. The bill has been assigned to House Ag Committee. SDCA supports.
As drafted, HB 1240 would allow affected counties or municipalities to request a public hearing – which shall be granted – if they believe the quality or quantity of their water supply will be impacted.
HB1251 seeks to place funds into the special racing revolving fund and the South Dakota-bred racing fund from the tourism promotion fund and simulcast wagering in hopes of rebuilding SD’s horse racing industry.
SB63 increases the penalty for anyone found guilty of trespass to hunt, fish, or trap. The individual’s privileges shall be revoked for two years following a second or subsequent conviction of trespass within the last ten years. SB63 passed House Ag 12-1. SDCA supports.
SB112 (the actual use bill) would categorize any land seeded to grass for at least 10 years as noncropland. SB112 passed Senate Taxation 4-3, but failed to pass on the Senate floor with a vote of 7-27. SDCA supported.