South Dakota Cattlemen’s Legislative update: Feb. 11 |

South Dakota Cattlemen’s Legislative update: Feb. 11

Now that all bills have been introduced, the next major deadline is the day for bills to pass their house of origin – “cross-over day.” Cross-over day for non-appropriation bills in February 23. The coming weeks will find some committees with heavy bill loads while meeting afternoons and evenings. On February 28, special appropriation bills are allowed additional time to move through the house of origin. Currently, special appropriation bills have a hearing in a “policy” committee in hopes of being sent to appropriations for additional action and hearings.

SB 206 which was introduced last week is identical to HB 1039. Both require ag land to be assessed as non-crop land if it is at least 1,950 feet above sea level and was either native grass or had been seeded to perennial vegetation for at least 20 years and used for animal grazing or otherwise left unharvested.

HB 1039 has been waiting since January 26, for a House floor hearing. Action was further delayed after a fiscal note was requested. The fiscal note was released by LRC earlier this week but the prime sponsor asked for another delay in order to review the fiscal note. The floor debate has been deferred until Monday, February 14.

We are again asking you to contact your Representative and ask them to oppose HB 1039. Our concerns have not changed:

Inequities that are created between non-crop producers with the minimum 1,950 elevation requirement. Elevation is also not a sole predictor of land’s productivity.

Impact on counties, schools and local government budgets

Unknown shift in taxes to other property owners

The claim that this only impacts West River. Areas like the Wessington Hills and the Coteau area are above 1,950 feet and have grassland.

Underutilized adjustments available to county DOE’s to address issues with agriculture property. Those adjustment are location, topographical condition, size, climate, soil survey statistics, accessibility, terrain and surface obstructions.

The fiscal note indicates a $12.5 M shift within the counties that have land above the 1950 elevation. The shift would move to non-crop property below the 1950, crop-land, owner-occupied and commercial.

SDCA is Monitoring

SB 206 A note to members of the committee opposing SB 206 for the same reasons listed above would be beneficial. Committee members include: Castleberry, Jessica (R); Johns, Timothy (R); Klumb, Joshua (R); Novstrup, Al (R); Otten, Herman (R); Stalzer, Jim (R); Symens, Marsha (R).

Status: Hearing in Senate Taxation on February 16.

SDCA position: oppose.

HB 1096 seeking to prevent enforcement of a future “mandate” of electronic identification by USDA, will be heard in House Ag and Natural Resources Committee next week. If passed, the bill would not prevent the APHIS Administrator from approving RFID tags as the form of official identification for cattle moving interstate. It would restrict the state of South Dakota from expending any funds for the enforcement of mandatory electronic identification tags for the purposes of livestock identification, defaulting such enforcement to USDA. SDCA see these and other concerns with HB 1096 as impeding the use and implementation of electronic identification.

Status: Hearing in House ag and Natural resources February 17

SDCA position: oppose.

HB 1325 seeks to clarify the classification of agricultural land according to soil type with emphasis on the Class 4 soils

Status: Hearing in House Ag and Natural Resources February 15.

SDCA position: support.

HB 1276 seeking $300,000 to SD Dept of Ag and Natural Resource and GF&P for ariel predator control.

Status: sent to House Appropriations with a do pass recommendation by the House Ag and Natural Resources Committee.

SDCA position: support.

HB 1092 requests a one-time appropriation of $1.25M to develop an ag cyber security program between SDSU and DSU dedicated to agriculture that will provide research, programming and communication for the critical food and ag sector that we represent. Eleven organizations, including SDCA, supported the bill.

Status: referred to House appropriations with a do pass recommendation on a 13-0 vote.

SDCA position: support.

HJR 5002 proposes to amend the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, establishing the commissioner of agriculture and natural resources as an elected constitutional officer will be heard on February 15th.

Please do not hesitate to contact SDCA if you have questions or comments regarding legislative issues.

Resolved Bills

HB 1035 to allow the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources to collect receipts from timber sales on federal lands and disburse those receipts according to federal law.

Status: Passed the House and Senate. Signed by the Speaker February 3.

HB 1072 revise the safety zone within which a firearm may be discharged or trapping activities may occur.

Status: Failed in the House 19-45.

SB 128 would expand South Dakota’s current animal cruelty penalty from misdemeanor to felony.

Status: Deferred to the 41st day

SB 158 addresses situations were a person is convicted of violating animal cruelty law. SB 158, in part, states, that the owner of an animal seized is responsible for all costs related to the animal’s seizure; allows for law enforcement to hold a priority lien on the animal; and allows the court to order that the owner carry a bond to cover costs associated with the conviction.

Status: Withdrawn at the request of the sponsor.

SB 168 would provide public access to abandoned cemeteries. The bill would allow any person who wishes to access an abandoned cemetery, even if surrounded by privately owned land, the right of reasonable access (entry and exit) to visit the cemetery. The right of access is limited (visitation and maintenance) during reasonable hours and with the consent of the landowner. However, consent and access cannot be unreasonably withheld and county sheriff will enforce the provisions of this section.

Status: Deferred to the 41st day


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