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As some readers have noted my blog posts have slowed down dramatically since the SD Legislative session ended (for reference, I’ve had over 350 blog posts so far this year). That slowdown will end this Friday, April 10. I had to take some time off from blogging after the legislative session to get other projects caught up. By Friday this blog will be setup on a new web hosting service and I will be back doing consistent blog updates.
Below is my priority for blogging in 2015 now that the SD legislative session is done:
- Get information out to voters/constituents about the SD legislature. With the SD legislative session done that won’t change my commitment to reporting about committee meetings. As the year continues I will do blog posts about the SD legislative interim committee meetings.
- Report on political events. I will continue to attend a variety of political events and provide reports of what was said or done. I will continue to cover as many events as financially feasible. I have plans for going to a variety of events. Some are non-partisan and some are definitely geared towards Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Constitution Party members, or Independents.
- Follow up on legislation from the 2015 session. Water bills, ballot access bills, tax increase bills, etc… This summer I will plan on following up on what I feel were some of the more important bills to pass (or not pass) from the 2015 SD legislative session.
- Editorialize my viewpoints. I try very hard on my blog to be fair and treat everyone and all viewpoints with respect. But I am not unbiased. I will continue to add my opinions coming from a libertarian-leaning viewpoint. I will however work hard to ensure that I differentiate what I am reporting from my opinions. To me it is not only possible, but highly desirable.
- Federal posts. I haven’t done as many posts looking at federal issues as I used to. As the 2016 election gets closer that will likely change.
- Other posts. Occasionally I like to do posts that don’t necessarily fit into any of the above categories. That will likely continue.
I believe 2015 should be an interesting year to blog about! After all there are already signs of politicians positioning for the 2016 and 2018 elections.
On Monday, March 30, the SD legislature held the final day of the 2015 session. The whole purpose of this final day was to consider any gubernatorial vetoes. I’ve blogged about the three bills vetoed before (and a cliff note version here). SB 136 was the only bill of the three to have the veto overturned. SB 100 and SB 159 both had the veto sustained.
Here are the three bills that were considered for a veto override and how they ended up:
Sen Deb Peters (R, Dist 9) and Rep Don Haggar (R, Dist 10) are the prime sponsors. Sen Peters pushed hard on the Senate floor to override the governor’s veto of SB 100. She framed it as a way to look at whether government is getting in the way of affordable housing. She also noted that SB 100 doesn’t actually change the tax rate for leased residential property in its current form. That would have to be a discussion for a future legislature once enough data was collected from this new classification. Most of the opposition to this bill seemed to stem from a belief that property tax savings would not be passed on to tenants, thus it wouldn’t do anything for affordable housing anyhow.
The Senate failed to override the governor’s veto. 24 yes votes were needed and the final roll call vote ended up 22-10. Personally I was happy to see this one fail. Yes this was being touted as a way to possibly decrease taxes on leased residential property. But other states have taken such moves and actually implemented systems that do the opposite. Plus, in order for this bill to work it would have required all of the landlords across the state to change the classification of their property just so the state could collect data. I find it quite unlikely that would happen.
Sen Corey Brown (R, Dist 23) and Rep Al Novstrup (R, Dist 3) are the prime sponsors. SB 136 is an odd bill to talk about. It has to do with how taxes are applied to certain electric cooperatives and certain municipalities. Sen Brown didn’t really spend too much time talking about the bill. It had passed overwhelmingly the first time through the Senate, and there was nobody speaking on the governors behalf to sustain the veto. The Senate voted 31-1 to overturn the governor’s veto.
On the House side it was up to Rep Novstrup to push for the veto override. He pushed the fact that the Revenue Department was imposing a tax on a tax. There weren’t any Representatives that stood to speak on behalf of sustaining the governor’s veto. The veto override passed through the House by a vote of 63-1. That made SB 136 the only successful veto override of the 2015 legislative session.
Sen Brock Greenfield (R, Dist 2) and Rep Tona Rozum (R, Dist 20) are the prime sponsors. I thought Sen Greenfield made a pretty good case as to why the veto should be overridden. He noted it was through a reinterpretation of tax law by bureaucrats that these coaches suddenly were subject to sales tax. It was also noted that the only amateur coaches impacted by this bill would be for the American Legion and VFW leagues. Greenfield noted it has been harder and harder for these organizations to find coaches, and that between self-employment taxes and sales taxes it is getting even harder. Many of the other Senators speaking on behalf of the bill focused on the good that baseball programs do for the youth in SD.
The Senate vote for the veto override of SB 159 was 21-11. That was three short of the 24 votes needed for a veto override. I will admit I didn’t really care one way or the other about the bill. But I think in Greenfield’s final push to override the veto he made a good case and that this veto probably should have been overridden.