South Dakota legislative report

Sen. Betty Olson
Republican, District 28

The 2015 session of the legislature is over except for Veto Day March 30. This last week was long and disconcerting as members of both chambers waited for conference committees to come to agreement over differences in the amendments made to various bills. These are some of the bills that were finally passed and sent to the Governor:

*SB 39 making an appropriation for costs related to disasters in the state.

*SB 52 repealing certain provisions regarding investment income that is transferred to the general fund.

*SB 54 revising the state aid to the special education formula and revising the property tax levies for special education.

*SB 55 revising the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2015.

*SB 65 revising campaign finance disclosure statements.

*SB 66 revising the county renaming process.

*SB 132 allows school districts to recruit teachers by providing financial incentives.

*SB 134 prohibits minor boundary changes for one year and establishes the school district boundary task force.

*SB 136 excludes municipal taxes from the gross receipts used to determine the tax liability for customers served by electric cooperatives and electric utilities.

*SB 152 makes an appropriation for costs related to mountain pine beetle suppression.

*SB 154 requires that employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs be veterans.

*SB 174 makes an appropriation for the Ross Shaft at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

*SB 180 revises the production tax for wind energy facilities.

*SB 190 clarifying health coverage for applied behavior analysis, and to establish the Applied Behavior Analysis Provider Workgroup. HB 1046 revising provisions regarding zero based budgets, budgeting procedures, and the coordination of federally aided programs.

*HB 1049 repealing provisions regarding reversions of appropriations for a repealed tax refund program.

*HB 1140 increasing the crimes and look-back period to enhance the penalty for violating a protection order.

*HB 1147 increasing the amounts of the annual awards given to recipients of the South Dakota opportunity scholarship.

*HB 1185 making an appropriation for property and casualty loss coverage and establishing a property and casualty captive insurance company fund for state properties.

*HB 1187 making an appropriation for liability coverage for the South Dakota Building Authority, South Dakota Health and Educational Facilities Authority, South Dakota Housing Development Authority, South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority, and South Dakota Educational Enhancement Funding Corporation, to establish the liability captive insurance company fund.

*HB 1190 making an appropriation for community-based provider workforce improvement.

*HB 1191 making an appropriation for the Jobs for America’s Graduates program.

*HB 1219 permitting entities to voluntarily disclose ownership on filings with the Office of the Secretary of State.

*HB 1225 prohibiting the unauthorized commercial use of a personality’s right of publicity.

*HB 1231 authorizing the forfeiture of any financial benefit or valuables gained from pimping.

*HJR 1002 making a formal application to the President of the United States to grant a presidential pardon to Peter L. Larson.

These bills passed even though I voted against them:

*SB 1 raising taxes and fees to fund improvements to public roads and bridges in South Dakota and to increase the maximum speed limit on interstate highways. We need to take care of our roads, but this bill has a lot of things in it that I couldn’t agree with. It will raise the motor fuel tax by six cents, increase the motor vehicle excise tax from 3 percent to 4 percent, increase vehicle license fees by 20 percent, raise noncommercial motor vehicle registration fees to 80 percent of the commercial rate, allow counties and townships to levy a property tax to maintain and construct roads and bridges, require any county using the bridge improvement grant fund to put on a wheel tax up to $5 per wheel for a maximum of 12 wheels and not to accede $60 per vehicle, and increase the speed limit on the interstate to 80mph. SB 1 will go into effect on April 1 because an emergency clause was added. I highly recommend that you license all your vehicles before April 1 in order to avoid the 20 percent increase in license fees that you will have to pay after that date.

*SB 2 providing for the establishment of river basin natural resource districts up in the northeast.

*SB 53 revising the state aid to general education formula, increasing the property tax levies for the general fund of school districts and making the funding of sparsity a local effort.

*HB 1041 increasing driver and commercial driver licensing application fees and to dedicate the revenue for the purpose of operating the driver license program.

*HB1110 increasing the number of judges in the Second and Seventh Judicial Circuits.

*HB 1192 appropriating $350,000 for pheasant habitat.

*HB 1228 creating a state supported debt collection agency.

Check out these bills at