South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association: State legislative issues as of Feb. 3, 2020 |

South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association: State legislative issues as of Feb. 3, 2020

Zoning & Permitting
On Friday, Governor Kristi Noem announced her bill to streamline the county zoning and permit appeals processes.  South Dakota’s local zoning and appeals process is impacting too many good rural development projects.  Projects are being delayed by an appeal process that can take years, which at the very least cost projects time and money, and at the very worst can kill them. This bill levels the playing field for rural development projects by:

  • Keeping local zoning decisions local; 
  • Approving Conditional Use Permits (CUP) by a majority vote; 
  • Improving the appeals process and appeal timeline; 
  • Allowing the courts to award attorneys’ fees and damages against unsuccessful appellants;
  • Creating an appeal bond for challengers; 
  • Making the appeals process tougher for bad actors and addressing frivolous claims.

This bill, which has not yet been filed, will make the process easier for rural projects to receive conditional use permits, facilitating investment and job creation in rural South Dakota. Locally permitted rural projects that will benefit are animal agriculture facilities, utility projects, power plants, wind farms, mines, etc.

SDCA President, Eric Jennings, joined Governor Noem at the Black Hills Stock Show on Friday for the announcement.

Property Assessment
HB1006 and HB1007 were introduced by the Ag Land Assessment Task Force.  The first would authorize the secretary of revenue to use additional data to determine agricultural income value.  The second would require directors of equalization to make certain adjustments to the assessed value of agricultural land if factors impact the land’s productivity and to require those adjustments to be documented.  With support from SDCA, HB1006 passed House Ag Committee and the House floor.  HB1007 received a hearing on Thursday and following a “friendly amendment” (one that SDCA supported) passed House Ag 12-0. 
SB76 specifying 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 has yet to have a hearing.
HB1100 seeks $1 million in one-time funds to allow SDSU and the School of Mines to develop plans for a bioprocessing research and development facility.  Over the summer, key legislators worked with the two colleges and private industry to develop an answer to challenge.  This year in her State of the State address, Governor Noem called the bioprocessing initiative “The Next Big Thing.” 
Brand Board
HB1112 returns employment of brand board investigators to the Brand Board. And, if you’re thinking this sounds familiar, it is.  HB1112 will restore things to the way they were prior to changes made during the Daugaard administration and has the support of the Brand Board and the Attorney General.
Education funding is a perennial discussion and SB67 and SB94 both deal with capital outlay.  Both bills will see changes as coalitions are still working on possible “solutions”.  We will continue to monitor these and other bills for potential changes that impact property taxation of agricultural land.
Senator Maher’s SB48 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. 
There are several bills that are causing concern due to their impact on how the state functions. HB1001 and HB1004 are at the top of the list.  HB1001 repeals numerous statutes and places them in legislative procedures (the red book), making them less obvious to the general public.  HB1004 allows for the leadership of either chamber to hire an attorney to represent them.  This means the legislature would bypass the Attorney General and spend extra taxpayer dollars.
HB1071 would change the state law dealing with surface water quality complaints.  Currently, the law requires complaints to be signed, although the identity of the person making the complaint is kept confidential by DENR.  This bill would allow for anonymous complaints.  SDCA will oppose.
SB49 would include gravel in the chapter dealing with compensation for damages from mining, oil, and gas development.  SB49 was tabled on a vote of 6-0 in Senate Commerce and Energy.
SB63 would not allow the title of pore space (“a cavity or void, whether natural or artificially created, in a subsurface sedimentary stratum”) to be severed from the surface estate.  However, the landowner would have the ability to lease pore space to someone else. 
HB 1093 would establish a pipeline liability fund.  This is another idea that has been tried before.
Supported by SDCA, HB1084 will change the height limit for baled feed from 14’3” to 15’ and passed House Transportation 13-0.  An emergency clause was added allowing the new height to take affect as soon as it is signed by the Governor rather than waiting until July 1.
SB90 would take revenue from value added agriculture and the state highway fund and create a special fund for township small structures.  While understanding the challenges facing many local entities, SB90 would require the reallocation of over $2 million to a fund for townships.  The impact on current agreements with many organizations supporting agriculture and the funding of roads causes great concern.  
SDCA Bill List:

SB 48authorize charges for and payment of administrative services.
SB 49add gravel to the definition of a mineral.
SB 57provide for the assessment of certain agricultural land as noncropland.
SB 67provide an option to sparse school districts regarding the amount of taxes collected in the capital outlay fund.
SB 75provide for a habitat stamp on hunting and fishing licenses.
SB 76provide for the assessment of certain agricultural land as noncropland.
SB 90revise the distribution of motor fuel tax revenue, create a small structure and large culvert fund, provide for the use and administration of the fund, and to make an appropriation thereof.
SB 94revise provisions for taxes levied by the board of a school district for the capital outlay fund.
SB 113revise certain provisions regarding instruction permits and restricted minor’s driving permits.
SB 127transfer certain funds, make an appropriation to provide horse racing relays, and to declare an emergency.
HB 1006authorize the secretary of revenue to contract with certain entities for purposes of creating or maintaining a database to determine agricultural income value and to specify the mandatory and permissive data of the database.
HB 1007require certain adjustments to the assessed value of agricultural land if factors impact the land’s productivity and to require those adjustments to be documented.
HB 1065revise drone surveillance protections.
HB 1071revise provisions regarding surface water quality complaints.
HB 1084increase the maximum allowable height of certain vehicles carrying baled feed and to declare an emergency.
HB 1085provide for permanent daylight savings time.
HB 1100make an appropriation to begin the research and development of a new bioprocessing facility and to declare an emergency.
HB 1111revise provisions regarding the qualifications to serve on the Game, Fish and Parks Commission.
HB 1112authorize the hiring of law enforcement officers by the South Dakota State Brand Board.
HB 1181revise certain provisions regarding bounties for coyotes.
HB 1184provide limited deer and antelope licenses to landowners.
HB 1200establish dates for the mowing of ditches on the state trunk highway system.
HR 7001to ensure the existence of a healthy, sustainable equine population.