S.D. Cattlemen: Legislative update
We’re rounding third and heading toward home, so to speak. Legislators have one week left to finish their work for the 2018 Session. Much of our work is successfully done; however, we have a few key issues we are still working on.
Crossover day was a week ago, and it ended a little later than expected for the House because of a motion to form a special disciplinary committee to deal with accusations that one Rapid City lawmaker had verbally assaulted another Rapid City lawmaker. Three days later the House disbanded the committee at the request of the legislator making the accusations. You can’t make this stuff up.
Nonetheless, both chambers did finish their work on all pieces of legislation introduced in their respective chambers, with the exception of appropriations bills which have a slightly different schedule to follow.
The main focus of the final week will revolve around the budget. This will involve deciding how much to increase K-12 spending, whether to give state employees a raise, and trying to find more money to pay community support providers.
As well, we continue to work with key legislators and others to develop a funding proposal for the Precision Agriculture Project at SDSU. By cutting costs and implementing the project in phases, what started out as a $70 million “ask” from the legislature is now $46 million. The current funding package includes:
Private Funding – $16.6 million
Corn Utilization Council – $6.6 million
Raven Industries – $5 million
Other South Dakota groups and individuals – $5 million
SDSU – $11 million
Research Infrastructure Investment Funds – $7.5 million
Cooperative Extension Service funds – $250,000/year *
Agriculture, Other sources – $18.4 million
Expiring ethanol subsidy – $650,000/year *
Fertilizer fee increase of 25 cents/ton – $475,000/year *
FY18 one-time funds – $4 million
* $18.0M Bond Annual Payment – $1,250,000/year
The project has received favorable reception so far from legislators; however, this package will require a 2/3 approval, which is not going to be easy. We encourage you to contact your legislators and urge their support for the project.
Other issues that will be resolved in the final week are efforts to make sure the initiative and referendum process works for South Dakotans without undue influence from out-of-state interests, how to regulate and tax alcohol, what to do for the SD wine industry, and how to pay for a new Veterans’ Cemetery in Sioux Falls.
After much travail, the legislature passed HB 1081 a bill to completely remove the sunset clause for the nonmeandered waters compromise. Part of the reason for this is that it gives GF&P the opportunity to negotiate ten-year contracts. We expect continued discussions and a variety of bills to be introduced in future legislative sessions which will attempt to make tweaks to the compromise, but for now the basic structure remains in place.
In other news…
SB166 started out as a bill to require the Department of Agriculture to annually inspect grain protein- and moisture-measuring devices. It was then hoghoused into a bill to require each moisture-testing device to be registered with the Department of Public Safety and to allow the department to inspect any moisture-measuring device “for cause.” It was further amended to repeal all statutes dealing with inspecting protein- and moisture-testing devices. The House will vote on this final version on Monday.
HB1184, to ensure that county commissioners had the authority to allow manure hoses to be used temporarily in road rights-of-way, was sent to the 41st Day on a 4-2 vote by the Senate Transportation Committee.
SB211, to create a Legislative Water Management Committee, failed on the Senate Floor on a vote of 7-28.
SB 29 allows an increase in the amount authorized for certain brand fees and to authorize a brand registration application fee and an expedited registration fee. Amendment to the bill in House Ag reduced the proposed increases. The bill will be heard on the House floor next week.
HB1292 deals with how to handle appeals of decisions to grant or deny a conditional use permit. The bill has passed both chambers, and if signed by the governor would require appeals to be determined under a writ of certiorari, rather than have a de novo review. This will bring consistency to what is now an inconsistent process.
HB1219 as signed by the Governor would allow landowners to give written permission for coyote hunters using night vision equipment. Currently, the law requires landowners to accompany any night hunters.
HB1139 is the adverse possession bill, which will face a Senate vote on Monday. The bill would shift property taxes to the adverse possessor, upon a judicial determination.
SB25 adjusts fees for surface water discharge permits to allow the state of South Dakota to continue implementing the programs, rather than have EPA take over. The bill passed the Senate 30-5, the House 51-14 vote and awaits the Governor’s signature.
HB1119 allows county commissions to permit tax breaks on riparian buffer strips in the county for a river, lake, or stream which is tributary to any of the water bodies approved last year for the tax break. Signed by the Governor.
SB156 will allow the Brand Board to inspect livestock outside the livestock ownership inspection area, upon request. Passed House Ag 12-0 and is waiting for floor action.
SB55 clarifies that the tax on endo- and ecto-parasiticides will be used for the ADRDL and for veterinary student tuition buy-down. Following a legislative audit, there was a request to clarify the transfer process for the wormer tax. Signed by the Governor.
Useful Contact Information:
SDCA Office: 605-945-2333
House Lobby: 605-773-3851 (to leave a message for your Representative).
Senate Lobby: 605-773-3821 (to leave a message for your Senator).
Additional information regarding the bills, legislative committees, etc. can be found on LRC’s website at http://www.sdlegislature.gov.
–South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association
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Cost savings, easier workload, better animal and rancher health are driving a shift to calve with nature in South Dakota.