SD Cattlemen’s Association legislative report
This week marks the halfway point of the main run of Session, and like Bon Jovi, we’re pretty sure we’ll make it we swear, helped along the way with lots of prayer (and coffee, and dark chocolate, and other healthy coping strategies).
Friday was the deadline for introducing bills and joint resolutions. The final bill tally this year is 479, which is 16 more than last year. There are also six joint resolutions, which are kind of a big deal. These are used to refer a matter for referendum to the people, to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot at the next general election, to ratify proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution, to enact legislative reapportionment, or to grant a water right larger than 10,000 acre feet annually.
Enough of the legislative trivia stuff, let’s catch up on bills and issues we’re working on:
County Zoning: SB 157 is the governor’s bill to improve the county zoning process for conditional uses such as CAFOs, wind farms, and other economic development projects. The Senate State Affairs committee voted on Tuesday to introduce the bill on the governor’s behalf. A hearing has not been scheduled.
Property Assessment: HB 1006 and HB 1007, the two ag land assessment task force bills, are off and running. HB 1006 passed the House 66-1 and came out of Senate Tax committee on the consent calendar. HB 1007 passed the full House on a vote of 66-0 and has been referred to Senate Tax Committee.
There are a few bills that are attempting to improve the way noncropland assessments are done. SB 76, to specify that native grassland or land that has been in grass for at least 10 years and is used for grazing is to be assessed as noncropland, is still waiting for an initial hearing in Senate Tax Committee.
HB 1270 would require Class I through III soils to be categorized as cropland, classes V through VIII as noncrop. Directors of Equalization would need to determine whether class IV soils in the county should be classified as crop or noncrop.
Capital Outlay funding: At least six different bills have been introduced relating to school capital outlay funding. When the education funding formula was revised in 2016, additional restrictions were placed on capital outlay taxes. Every year we have seen several bills trying to readjust capital outlay taxes, to account for the varying needs of extremely diverse school districts. SB 170 is the governor’s bill and is still in the negotiation phase. We will sort it all out for you later as we know which ideas survive.
Bioprocessing: The $1 million planning and design request for developing a bioprocessing research and development facility is among funding bills referred to the Joint Committee on Appropriations.
Transportation: HB 1084 changes the height limit for baled feed from 14’3” to 15’. The bill tore through the House on a 66-0 vote and has been referred to Senate Ag committee.
HB 1065 updates when the use of drone is considered an invasion of privacy. The original draft removed the exemption for agriculture, other business and the federal government caused concern for many. The sponsor agreed to an amendment stating that it was legal to use of a drone for bona fide business and government purposes.
SB 90 would take revenue from value added agriculture and the state highway fund and give it to the townships for small structures. The bill came out of Senate Local Government committee on a 4-3 vote, despite opposition from South Dakota Association of Cooperatives, the Department of Transportation, Association of Conservation Districts, Associated General Contractors, Municipal League, Association of County Commissioners, and Retailers Association.
SB 178 would increase the fuel tax by five cents per gallon and give the extra money to the local bridge improvement grant fund. HB 1284 would remove the sales tax exemption for advertising and use the money for a “road improvement priority fund” for county and township roads.
SB 113 will revise requirements for instruction and restricted minor permits. Exemptions for school, school events, religious activities, farm and work are included in the language while providing common sense parameters for youth to gain driving experience. SB 113 will be heard in Senate Transportation, February 10th.
Electric Utilities: This continues to be a hot topic among affected parties. At least six different bills have been introduced on the subject; three each in the Senate and the House. Stay tuned.
Environment: HB 1071 would allow for anonymous complaints for surface water quality concerns. The bill is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday morning in House Ag Committee.
SB 63 dealing with the title to underground pore space was deferred to the 41st Legislative Day by the Senate Ag Committee
HB 1093 to establish a pipeline liability fund has been referred to the Joint Committee on Appropriations.
GF&P: HB 1257 would add a $500.00 fine to anyone convicted of trespassing.
General: Among the bills we are watching are those which make changes to how the Legislature functions. HB1001 repeals a number of statutes governing the Legislature and places them in the “red book,” making them less obvious to the general public. This bill passed the House 42-26 and has yet to be assigned to a Senate Committee (even though it’s been on the Senate side for seven legislative days).
HB 1104 is the bill to allow the leadership of either chamber to hire an attorney to represent them. It is on a holding pattern in House State Affairs while discussions continue with the Attorney General’s Office.
Brand Board: HB 1112 returns employment of brand board investigators to the Brand board. And the answer is yes if you think that is the way it was. HB 1112 will be heard in House Ag February 11th
Checkoffs: Senator Maher’s SB 48 requiring the Dept of Ag to charge checkoff boards, commissions and councils for the cost of providing administrative services is waiting for a hearing. One troubling part of the bill refers to charging not only checkoff boards, including the Brand Board, but also “similar” entities. SB 48 will be heard in Senate Appropriations February 11.
Really? To Daylight Savings Time or Not To Daylight Savings Time? HB 1085 was introduced by Rep. Lana Greenfield to have South Dakota always use standard time. It was amended in committee to have South Dakota always use Daylight Savings Time. On Tuesday, the bill failed in the House on a 33-33 vote. Under legislative rules, it was brought up for potential reconsideration the next day…where it died on a vote of 34-33 (a bill needs at least 36 votes to pass the House).
–South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association