Capitol Connections March 11, 2019
The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat... Anyone who has been around the legislature long enough has experienced both. This past week was largely on the “thrill of victory” side, which is a good place to be.
Thursday was the last day for a bill or joint resolution to pass both houses. House members worked until about 7:30 p.m. to finish up work on remaining bills. The Senate finished their work about 5:00 p.m.
There are only three days left in the Session, days which are reserved for conference committees and finalizing the budget. At this point, we don’t foresee any great challenges left; however, there’s an old saying that no man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the Legislature is in session. We’ll be watching to see if anything crops up in the final three days.
The big news last week was the Governor’s proposal of two bills to help the state and counties deal with potential pipeline protests. SB189 creates a “riot boosting recovery fund” and provides civil legal remedies to pursue out-of-state money used to fund anti-pipeline riots. The governor stressed that South Dakota supports free speech and peaceful assembly, but we do not support rioting. Our statutes on rioting date to 1877, and have been upheld by our state Supreme Court.
SB190 creates the Pipeline Engagement Activity Coordination Expenses (PEACE) fund, to cover extraordinary law enforcement costs related to pipeline protests. Money in the PEACE fund will come from the Riot Boosting Recovery Fund, a surety bond from the pipeline company, and US DOJ grants or awards. The bills easily passed both houses and will go into effect when the Governor signs them.
HCR 1007 encouraged state legislators support country-of-origin labels and encouraged action on the federal level as well. HCR1007 was sent directly to the House floor (no committee hearing), where it passed the House 47-22. The Senate Ag committee amended the resolution to state support for “voluntary” COOL and sent it to the Senate floor. A Do Pass Motion on the Senate floor failed 8-25.
The big news this week will presumably be the budget. The Appropriations Committee started this morning with budget setting for:
· Department of Agriculture
· Department of Public Safety
· Department of Education (Except State Aid)
· Board of Technical Education
· Governor's Office of Economic Development
· Department of Education (State Aid)
· Department of Labor & Regulation (Administration)
· Board of Regents (Central Office/Scholarships)
· Department of Health
· Department of Corrections
· Unified Judicial System
· Department of Human Services· Department of Social Services
· Bureau of Finance and Management (Employee Compensation)
· The Legislative Branch
· Bureau of Administration (Maintenance & Repair)
Early indications are that there is legislative support for the governor’s proposed 2.5% increase for education, state employees, and community support providers. There also seems to be legislative support for doing something more than the Governor’s proposed 5% increase for Medicaid reimbursement for nursing homes.
Bills still our radar…
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 the House floor 57-7. SDCA supported. It now heads to the Governor for her signature.
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 House Transportation Committee further amended SB93 to reduce the permit time from 12 months down to nine and passed it out of committee 7-4. The changes addressed the major concerns of SDCA and Farm Bureau. Due to amendments made in House Transportation, sponsors asked that the bill be tabled on the House floor. That motion passed 62-2.
SB68, the “Fake Meat” bill, passed Senate 33-0 and House 63-0. SB68 now heads to the Governor.
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 and the House 66-0 and now awaits the Governor’s signature. 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 has been delivered to the Governor. SDCA supports.
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 in on the Governor’s desk. SDCA and Ag Unity support.
HB1191 would legalize the growth, production, and processing of industrial hemp. The Governor has been very public in her opposition to this idea, a point apparently lost on the legislature. It passed the House 65-2 and came out of Senate Ag committee on a vote of 7-2. It was amended twice on the Senate floor and voted on twice before passing on a vote of 21-14. This will be one of the bills that ends up in conference committee, so stay tuned.
HB1251 seeks to place funds into the special racing revolving fund and the South Dakota-bred racing. An amendment to the bill changed the source of funding to a market fee of five percent of gross receipts of all pari-mutuel wagering by South Dakota residents. The special racing revolving fund would receive four percent of gross receipts and the South Dakota-bred racing fund would receive one percent. After passing out of Senate Appropriations., HB1251 failed to pass the Senate floor.
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 65-2. SDCA supports.