Home > 2014 SD Legislative Session, South Dakota > SD HB 1232: South Dakota House fails to stick up for constituents due to fear of federal government

SD HB 1232: South Dakota House fails to stick up for constituents due to fear of federal government

February 11, 2014

masekj_Blank_BillboardRepresentative Nelson brought forth a great bill this year: House Bill 1232. The stated purpose of the bill is to “clarify certain provisions relating to the issuance of permits for outdoor advertising signs, displays, or devices.” The bill is quite short and I think it can be best summarized as forcing the SD Department of Transportation to issue a billboard permit when all local and state laws have been followed. Basically it tells the DOT to follow state law. This bill in part is a response to HB 1036, which the House wrongfully passed earlier this session.

The House Transportation Committee hearing on this bill from last week is well worth listening to (audio here, starting at about 15:00). Rep Nelsons proponent testimony for HB1232 was great. In his testimony he brought forth a case where the DOT has arbitrarily denied a permit to a constituent because they presumed the constituent zoned the land just for the purpose of billboarding. Rep Nelson brought for the facts in the case and I thought did a great job showing that the DOT is arbitrarily making decision on billboard permits. A large part of this appears to be because the DOT fears the federal government will withhold highway funds in the future.

The DOT also gave testimony in the hearing. They tried to make the case that a checklist they utilize gives them the right to decide the land was zoned improperly as strip zoning. I found the DOT testimony to be odd because the land in question was not a small strip of land (about the size of a billboard), but instead it was just over three acres. Even though the constituent followed all laws, the DOT is taking the stance that the land was improperly zoned because they think it is. The DOT testimony kept going back to a federal case 40 years ago where South Dakota lost some money for not complying with the Highway Beautification Act. Testimony from the DOT was unable to show any proof the federal government thought 1232 would go against the federal law, other than it is their opinion that it would.

Rep Nelson was able, in my opinion, to successfully counter all of the DOT testimony. He also rightfully pointed out that the DOT can arbitrarily impose their opinions without due process. Also of note in his testimony was referencing the DOT actions as a carnac routine from a bunch of bureaucrats. The whole Committee meeting is worth listening to. Most of the points made by Rep Nelson can also be seen in his speech as a proponent of this bill on the House floor yesterday (video here, starting about 1:22:00).

The bill did pass the Transportation Committee by a vote of 7-6. Unfortunately when the bill made it to the floor it died on a vote of 18-50. Most of the opposing testimony appeared to be elected State Representatives fearing the federal government MIGHT withdraw some funds if we as a state decide what is best for us. That was a despicable display of cowardice from the House floor. Instead of deciding what is right for South Dakota and their constituents, fifty representatives cowered behind the bureaucrats at the SD DOT afraid to stand up for the property rights and free speech rights of South Dakota citizens. It is a sad day when the South Dakota House of Representatives can’t even pass a law that says the SD DOT must follow the law…

  1. Merlyn Schutterle
    February 11, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Bid deal. The SDHP and DCI do arbitrary stuff all the time. They are just good at covering it up because they know the boss is going to back them up under any conditions. I’m talking about Daugaard and the Atty. Gen. I have the proof.

  2. February 11, 2014 at 11:27 am

    why do reps enjoy putting us under the authority of others? Their pockets certainly dont get lined. Please explain why they fear feds more than they enjoy freedom?

    • Merlyn Schutterle
      February 11, 2014 at 11:55 am

      It’s all about the money, Charlie. It’s always about the money.

    • February 12, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      That is the big question. There really isn’t money in it for them as you state. Makes no sense.

  3. Drew
    February 11, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    This was a great bill and I’m really disappointed that these career politicians killed this common sense legislation.

  4. February 12, 2014 at 11:27 am

    In support of this bill, I predominantly spoke from the SD GOP platform: http://southdakotagop.com/about-the-party/our-platform/

    To include:

    Preamble “recognizes the free enterprise system and the work ethic of our people as the foundation of our economic success and security”

    Preamble “believes the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations. The best government is that which governs least.”

    1.2 “supports free, fair and competitive markets.. believe free, fair and competitive markets”

    1.11 “supports private property rights.”

    1.14 “prohibit the adoption or implementation of policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process”

    5.4 “supports states’ rights and opposes government mandates”

    • February 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      Ya know Stace. Sometimes I feel like we are the only ones that have read the SD GOP platform or SD Constitution.

  5. Merlyn Schutterle
    February 12, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Looks like it is our federal legislators who need to take this up, not Nelson. If we have to lose federal money, which we paid in to or borrowed for, just to prove a point, it doesn’t make sense to me.

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: