South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association: Legislative Update
We are at the end of week two of the 2017 Session. Bill are trickling in slowly, but that is to be expected with the number of new legislators. Several bill of interest to agriculture have been filed:
HB 1038 will repeal the requirement for farm corporations to file farm annual reports with the secretary of state. HB 1038 was brought by the Sec. of State’s Office for several reasons:
Annual Farm Reports are mandatory major annual reporting requirements that pertain only to specific agricultural operations. The report requires that farm corporations, trusts, LLCs, and other entities to list each parcel of ground they own; rent, or lease; who resides on the property; who owns the farm and who is actively engaged in farming. The same information is collected at the time a qualifying entity qualifies as a family farm and files the Farm Qualification Report;
No other business is required to show each year how it is owned and all the property it manages.
All the agricultural property owned by the entity is on record at the register of deeds office or the information is even easier accessed through the director of equalization’s office. FYI lease and rental agreements may or may not be on file at the register of deeds office; and
The annual farm report is a free report costing the submitter nothing, but it does cost the taxpayer in that the reporting system has to be built, maintained, and secretary of state’s staff has to answer questions concerning filing the annual farm report.
HB 1038 passed House Ag & Natural Resources 13-0. The Ag Unity coalition supported the bill.
Two bills brought by the Watershed Task Force were heard on Thursday. Following testimony that placed many ag groups in opposition, the committee sent both bills, outlined below, to the 42st day.
SB 9 revised the river basin natural resource district boundaries, established sub-districts for each district, and established a procedure to adjust district boundaries; and
SB 10 would have provided for an election in the Red River and Minnesota River Basin Natural Resource District in 2018, removed certain areas from the East Dakota Water Development District and provided for elections in the other river basin natural resource districts at a later date.
SB 66, will classify certain agricultural land as riparian buffer strips, establish the criteria for the riparian buffer strip classification, and provide for their taxation. The riparian buffer strip shall be assessed at sixty percent of its agricultural income value. The bill list criteria and eligible rivers, streams, or lakes.
HB 1066 seeks to revise certain provisions concerning landowner liability for certain injuries by amending §20-9-16 to state:
Nothing in §§ 20-9-12 to 20-9-18, inclusive, limits in any way any liability which otherwise exists:
(1) For gross negligence or (delete) willful or wanton misconduct of the owner;
(2) For injury suffered in any case where the owner of land charges any person who enters or goes on the land for the outdoor recreational use of the land or for agritourism activity, except that in the case of land leased to the state or a political subdivision of the state, any consideration received by the owner for the lease may not be deemed a charge within the meaning of this section nor may any incentive payment paid to the owner by the state or federal government to promote public access for outdoor recreational purposes or agritourism activities be considered a charge; or
(3) For injury suffered in any case where the owner has violated a county or municipal ordinance or state law which violation is a proximate cause of the injury.
HJR 1001 proposes and submits to the voters at the next general election an amendment to Article XXI of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, relating to fishing, hunting, and trapping. Article XXI of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota would be amended by adding a new section that reads: § 10. Hunting, fishing, and trapping wildlife is a valued part of our heritage that shall forever be preserved for the people; water, wildlife, and other natural resources held in the public trust shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good but do not create a right to trespass on private property except as allowed by law, regulation, easement, or contract.
ADRDL: Discussions for funding of the Animal Disease and Diagnostic Lab continues as agricultural organizations, legislators and the administration continue to seek ways to generate funding.
SDCA Bill Tracking List
SB 14: make an appropriation from the coordinated natural resources conservation fund to the State Conservation Commission and to declare an emergency. Do Pass.
SB 15: make an appropriation for costs related to suppression of wildfires in the state and to declare an emergency. Do Pass.
SB 17: authorize the Board of Regents to contract for the construction of a natural resources research and support facility at South Dakota State University, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency. Do Pass.
Open Meetings or Open Records
HB 1006: revise certain requirements for a public notice of a public meeting to be held by a state agency, board or commission. Meeting notice would need to be posted 72 hours in advance, increase from 48 hours. House State Affairs passed unanimously, House passed 68-0; referred to Senate Local Government.
SB 27: prohibit certain direct conflicts of interest by public officials and to provide a penalty therefor. No public official (including CDs) can gain personal benefit from public duties. Would be a Class 5 or 6 felony. Senate Judiciary passed 7-0 Jan. 19.
HB 1039: authorize certain rule making authority for the State Board of Finance to promulgate rules for setting state mileage rates. Joint Appropriations Committee Jan. 20.
HB 1052: provide certain protections for public employees who report violations of law. Basically a whistle blower provision. House State Affairs Jan. 20.
SB 7: revise the criteria for determining if property is classified as agricultural land for property tax purposes. Would require land be a principal ag use and one of two other: a) receive a minimum gross income or b) be at least 20 acres. Referred to Senate Taxation.
SB 53: create a campaign finance ethics commission and to establish certain powers and procedures for the commission. Referred to Senate State Affairs.
SB 54: revise certain provisions regarding campaign finance requirements. Secretary of State’s bill. Referred to Senate State Affairs.
SB 59: clarify certain requirements relating to initiated measures. Changes the start date, if passed, from shortly after the election to July 01. Referred to Senate State Affairs.
HB 1035: revise and provide certain procedures for filing, certifying, and challenging petitions. House State Affairs hearing Jan. 20.
HB 1036: revise certain provisions concerning voter registration and notices of boundary changes for local elections. Referred to House Local Government.
SD Dept. of Agriculture
SB 11: revise certain provisions regarding the State Fair Commission. Provides more flexibility in setting their annual meeting date. Referred to Senate Ag & Natural Resources.
SB 12: revise certain provisions administered by the Department of Agriculture related to nursery stock, conservation, forestry, and farm mediation. Clean up bill to remove obsolete language. Referred to Senate Ag & Natural Resources.
SB 36: revise the time to file certain tax returns and remit certain taxes. Changes the due date from the 23rd to the 20th of the month. Referred to Senate Taxation.
HB 1027: allow two-wheeled off-road vehicles that meet certain requirements to be registered and licensed. Adds “any off-road vehicle with two wheels and with a combustion engine having a piston or rotor displacement of one hundred twenty cubic centimeters or more” to be licensed. Referred to House Transportation.
HB 1012: revise certain provisions related to wind and solar easements. Adds solar to the wind easement language. House Commerce hearing Jan. 20.
SB 22: exempt certain unmanned aircraft systems from the requirement to be registered as aircraft. Drones of a certain size would be exempt. Senate Transportation passed 7-0 Jan 18.
SDCA members are encouraged to contact Jodie at the SDCA office at 605.945.2333 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding SDCA’s legislative issues.
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://legis.state.sd.us.
For more information about SDCA and the issues we are working on, visit our website at http://www.sdcattlemen.org.
–South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association