S.D. Cattlemen’s legislative update
The Legislature has a four-day week-end and will return Tuesday, February 2 for a four-day session. Last day to introduce a bill or joint resolution is February 4 so legislators have one week to drop in several pieces of legislation. Expect the list of bills I report on to get longer!
Reminder of what some of our legislative terms mean:
“Defer to 41st day” means the bill is dead because there can be no more than 40 days in a legislative session.
Hoghouse means the original bill (except “be it enacted”) is deleted and a whole new set of legislation is inserted. The new legislation has to be germane to the original purpose. Every state has this process but they don’t call it “hoghouse.” South Dakota coined the term when the SDSU swine unit burned (think it was in the 30’s or 40’s) and needed to be replaced so they used this process to get the money for the new hoghouse.
Livestock development: Rep. Mickelson is prime sponsor of HB1140, to improve some of the statutes governing county zoning. This bill is the result of a working group that met throughout the summer to find ways to clarify the process so that potential projects are not subject to an endless cycle of appeals and delays.
The bill would allow counties to amend a zoning ordinance in the same way cities can, clarifies that appeals are for non-ministerial actions and must be consolidated, requires bond to be posted, defines standing in appeals as those “aggrieved,” and clarifies the vote required when county commissions act as a board of adjustment. The bill was introduced the end of last week and has been referred to House Local Government committee.
Education funding: Legislators and lobbyists spent much of the last week learning more about the governor’s education funding proposal. The plan is funded with a half-cent increase in the state sales tax to improve teacher pay and provide about $40 million in property tax relief.
In 2016, property taxpayers will contribute $328,338,264 to schools through the general education levy.
The $40 million in property tax relief would fund a 12% reduction in the general education levy across all classes, in proportion to what each class pays.
There are ongoing discussions about how to ensure accountability of any new revenues provided to schools, to make sure the money raises teacher pay and doesn’t get diverted to other uses.
Workers’ compensation: On May 5, 2015, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Wheeler v Cinna Bakers LLC that workers’ compensation disability benefits should be calculated using the earnings from all employments the injured worker concurrently held on the date of injury. Up to then, the Department of Labor held the position, based on Supreme Court rulings going back to the 1930’s, that only earnings from the injury work could be included, and benefit payers have paid accordingly.
The bill aims to clarify whether, when and how concurrent earnings will be considered. It excludes seasonal earnings, earnings from employment in which the worker is not “working” to prevent a worker from including income from employment such as a teacher not teaching in the summertime but still paid under a contract, or a construction worker temporarily laid off at the time an injury occurs at some other job, and earnings from a job which the claimant can still fully do after the injury. An employer or insurer has the right to demand records from a concurrent employer to establish the earnings received there (including deductions, as in some cases benefits are based on the worker’s net earnings). An employer is entitled to charge for having those records reproduced.
Section 6 of the bill requires the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council to report to the 2019 Legislature on the bill’s cost impact. Section 7 would prohibit an insurer from including the insured workers’ concurrent earnings in base rate premium calculations (they would be included in the experience modification factor, but only if a claim is made involving concurrent earnings, and then only for three years).
SDCA Bill List
HB 1007 makes a $175,000 appropriation to revise and update the values and methods used to determine the agricultural land production capacity and to declare an emergency. Referred to House Appropriations.
HB 1018 defines manipulated manure as related to commercial fertilizer and soil amendments. House Pass 67-0. Scheduled for hearing in Senate Ag on 2/2/16.
HB 1019 revises provisions related to milk sampling and grading licenses and tester and grader licenses. House passed 67-0. Scheduled for hearing in Senate Ag on 2/2/16.
HB 1024 requests a $250,000 appropriation for the maintenance and repair of state owned dams and to declare an emergency. Referred to House Appropriations.
HB 1037 to revise certain provisions concerning petitions for initiated constitutional amendments, initiated measures, and candidates. The Committee on Local Government at the request of the State Board of Elections. Passed House 60-0. Referred to Senate Local Government.
HB 1043 to revise the state aid to special education formula. The Committee on Appropriations at the request of the Bureau of Finance and Management. Referred to Joint Appropriations.
HB 1044 revises the state aid to general education formula. The Committee on Appropriations at the request of the Bureau of Finance and Management. Referred to Joint Appropriations.
HB 1054 authorize the production and sale of industrial hemp. Scheduled for hearing in House Ag on 2/2/16.
HB 1058 revise the procedure for recovery of abandoned mineral interests. Referred to House Judiciary and scheduled for hearing, January 22.
HB 1064 apply certain penalties regarding damages, tampering, and malicious acts to certain railroads that carry passengers. Sponsors Representative Verchio and Senator Monroe.
HB 1068 adopt the South Dakota Nonprofit Corporation Act. This is a 171-page bill from the State Bar that had its first hearing on Wednesday in House Judiciary. Will be heard again on 2/3/16.
HB 1071 revise certain provisions regarding the annual conference between county commissioners and the director of equalization. Passed House Local Government 13-0 & placed on consent calendar.
HB 1080 appropriate $1.575 million from the Livestock Disease Emergency Fund for design and planning of the ADRDL in Brookings. Introduced at the request of the Governor.
HB 1084 define when concurrent employment may be used to calculate earnings in workers’ compensation cases. House Commerce and Energy passed 13-0.
HB 1094 increase the commercial fertilizer inspection fee for fertilizer-related research and education. Referred to House Ag Committee.
HB 1109 exempt from liability persons who voluntarily maintain no maintenance roads or no maintenance section lines. Referred to House Judiciary.
H1140 revise certain provisions regarding county zoning. Referred to House Local Government.
SB 3 revises the income criteria for determining if property is classified as agricultural land for property tax purposes. Passed Senate Ag 7-1.
SB 4 provides for the assessment of certain agricultural land as noncropland. Referred to Senate Ag.
SB 16 increases fees for nursery inspection and to declare an emergency. Referred to Joint Appropriations.
SB 18 requests continued support for $1 million expenditure authority for Coordinated Natural Resources Conservation Fund. Passed Joint Appropriations 16-0.
SB 23 would allow School & Public Lands 5 years to complete a land exchange instead of the current 2 so that SPL has time to negotiate with the federal land managing agency. Passed Senate 31-0. Referred to House Ag.
SB 35 updates references to certain federal motor carrier regulations. The Committee on Transportation at the request of the Department of Public Safety. Passed Senate 28-6. Scheduled for hearing in House Transportation 2/2/16.
SB 36 revises certain fees and the allocation of fees collected by the secretary of state, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency. Referred to Joint Appropriations.
SB 49 revises certain fees collected by the secretary of state, to revise the allocation of fees, to make an appropriation for an online business registration and filing system, and to declare an emergency. Referred to Joint Appropriations.
SB 56 Requires legislative approval of all land acquisitions by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Senate State Affairs deferred to 41st day.
SB 58 Revises certain restrictions for the use of night-vision equipment for hunting under certain conditions. Referred to Senate Ag and Natural Resources.
SB 59 Revises certain provisions regarding the application of the special annual road funding levy. Scheduled for hearing in Senate Transportation 2/3/16.
SB 62 “Lemon law” for farm machinery & equipment. Scheduled for hearing in Senate Commerce on 2/2/16.
SB 68 Annual omnibus water funding bill. Passed Joint Appropriations 16-0.
SB 98 Revise and repeal certain anti-corporate provisions regarding pork production. Referred to Senate Ag.
SB 107 Clarify the 660’ safety zone restriction on hunting. Referred to Senate Ag.
SB 109 Require counties to conduct random checkpoints for overweight vehicles as a condition of receiving funds from the bridge improvement grant fund. Referred to Senate Transportation.
SB 110 Increase certain fuel excise tax rates. Referred to Senate Transportation.
SB 111 Revise certain provisions regarding the county wheel tax, in reference to wide-based super-single tires. Referred to Senate Taxation.
–South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association
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