S.D. Cattlemen’s Association legislative update | TSLN.com

S.D. Cattlemen’s Association legislative update

At the time of this writing, the deadline for the Legislature to move bills out of the house of origin, known as "Crossover Day," is rapidly approaching on Feb. 25. Those who are following the legislative discussion know the biggest issue the body is wrestling with this year is road funding. Currently, two comprehensive proposals remain active, along with a few other stand-alone bills that would address certain funding pieces.

HB 1131 is the Governor's road and bridge funding proposal and has had a hearing by the House Transportation Committee, where it was amended slightly then re-referred to the House State Affairs Committee. It now awaits another hearing by that committee. SB 1 originated as the bill proposed by the Interim Committee on Highway Needs & Financing and was heard by the Senate State Affairs Committee. The committee amended SB 1 to closely mirror the Governor's road and bridge funding proposal before passing it to the Senate floor where it was again amended slightly and passed on a vote of 26-8. It was referred to the House State Affairs Committee and also awaits a hearing by that committee. SDCA supports increased funding for roads and continues to work closely with lawmakers to ensure enhanced funding for our vital local infrastructure.

HB 1201 was introduced by Representative Mickelson (R-Dist. 13) in an effort to encourage economic development in SD. Opponents assert this bill is only about making it easier to gain a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). Despite what the perpetual opponents of CAFOs would have citizens and legislators believe, HB 1201 is meant to allow local governments flexibility in their zoning and conditional use permitting processes.

There are three main components of HB 1201. First, it will allow local leaders in both counties and municipalities authority to include a site certification program in their local zoning ordinances to certify land for certain uses which require a CUP. Second, HB 1201 clarifies the authority of local Boards of Adjustment in making decisions regarding Conditional Use Permits. Lastly, the bill allows the county or municipality to decide if a Conditional Use permit must be approved by a two-thirds vote or a simple majority of the governing body.

In his testimony, Representative Mickelson pointed out that CAFO permits make up a mere 1 percent of requests for Conditional Use Permits at the local level, which underscores the fact this bill will impact more than just agriculture. Rather, it will serve as an economic development tool for local governments to potentially attract a wide variety of industries which may require a Conditional Use Permit. HB 1201 passed the House Local Government Committee on a 10-3 vote and awaits action on the House floor. SDCA supports HB 1201 and thanks Representative Mickelson for his efforts to advance economic development.

More information about these bills can be found on the Legislative Research Council's website at http://legis.sd.gov/. You can also contact your local legislators through this site and find information throughout the year on issues the Legislature is working on. Visit SDCA's website at http://www.sdcattlemen.org for weekly updates throughout the legislative session or contact the office at 605.945.2333 or executive@sdcattlemen.org with any questions or concerns regarding legislative issues.

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–South Dakota Cattlemen's Association