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Noem and Hawks faced off in third debate

October 19, 2016 Comments off
Screenshot from KSFY KOTA KEVN US House debate video.

Screenshot from KSFY KOTA KEVN US House debate video.

Yesterday there was a US House debate between Republican incumbent Kristi Noem and Democrat challenger Paula Hawks. The debate was moderated by Alicia Garcia of KOTA, Brian Allen of KSFY, and Peggy Vidal of KEVN. This was a pretty short debate, clicking in at just under a half hour.

Previously I posted my notes from the October 17 KELO US House debate and my notes from the October 10 Rotary Club US House debate. I am not going to do a note dump in this post because most of this was already covered in the two previous debate. This post will be much shorter and focus on any new talking points!

KSFY does not allow their videos to be embedded, so I can’t place it in this post. But the debate can be viewed here on the KSFY website.

Presidential Candidates

The debate opened up with Noem once again asked how she can support Trump after the things he has said. Noem once again pivoted to the things that disqualify her from voting for Clinton. Noem did note she wanted Marco Rubio to win the Primary, but will respect the choice of the voters.

Hawks was asked about her support for Clinton, especially with the email scandal. Hawks says that Clinton has thirty years of public service proving she puts the country and women first. But when looking at Trump she cannot stand behind a sexual predator, among other bad attributes. Hawks did not answer the question about the email scandal at all.

Ag Committee

Noem was then asked about her leaving the agriculture committee. She focused on the same talking points as the previous two debates. She noted it was odd Hawks was focusing on this for an attack on Noem, because Hawks never served on the Ag Committee while serving in the State Legislature. She also noted it is against the House Rules to server on both the Ag Committee and the Ways & Means Committee.

Hawks was asked why it is such a big deal that Noem has chosen to be on a committee with a broader scope. Hawks reiterated the talking points she had used before highlighting why thinks SD needs a Representative at the table of the Agriculture Committee. Hawks also noted Earl Pomeroy, a former ND US Representative, was able to get a waiver in order to serve on both the Ag Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.

Noem noted it was Nancy Pelosi that gave Pomeroy the waiver. She also noted she is glad she doesn’t have to work under Pelosi.

IHS

Hawks says Indian Health Services (IHS) has always been at the bottom of priorities for getting money. This is an issue both have debated about previously. Hawks really focused on the lack of funding for IHS.

Noem continued to focus on the lack of oversight for IHS and the needs for reform. Noem notes that IHS has been given over $500,000,000 more since she has been in office. She believes her legislation to reform IHS is what is needed.

Hawks did pipe in to say Medicaid Expansion would help with the health care problems on the reservations. Hawks also notes the bill Noem is supporting to reform IHS is part of the Affordable Care Act, which Noem has voted many times to repeal. Noem wanted to reply to that, but couldn’t due to the rules of the debate.

Tax Reform

Noem talked about the tax reform package she has discussed the last two debates. It would simplify the tax code and lower rates. Noem noted Hawks has supported many tax increases such as the sales tax increase, gas tax increase, payroll tax increase, and income tax in SD.

Hawks said her record is very clear because she voted against the largest tax increase in SD history. She is referring to the massive tax and fee increase for infrastructure bill from 2015, SB 1 (SoDakLiberty Posts). She did indeed vote no to that bill. Hawks says the plan being touted by Noem would push the country further into debt and pushes most of the benefits to the top 1%.

Noem says the information Hawks used about the tax plan is incorrect.

Refugee Screening Process

Hawks says there the current immigration screening process in place would be adequate if the programs in place were actually being enforced. She made this about having the resources to support being able to bring in immigrants. Hawks also noted the fear of immigration coming from the Presidential campaign.

Noem noted the House had to pass a bill recently that forbids the White House from waiving the vetting process on refugees from dangerous areas. Noem noted the state department accidentally gave citizenship to refugees. She noted there is no way to vet refugees from some of these countries because of a lack of government where they come from.

GOAC meeting on Tues Aug 23

August 22, 2016 Comments off

33372582On Tuesday, August 23, the Government Operations and Audit Committee (GOAC) will have its third meeting of the 2016 interim session. The meeting will begin at 9:00 AM CT in Room 413 of the State Capitol Building. The previous meeting was held on June 20. My post prior to that meeting can be viewed here, and the minutes from that meeting can be viewed here. There are future posts that will come out of that meeting which I am currently working on as part of another story, stay tuned.

The agenda for the August meeting can be viewed hereSDPB will also provide live audio for anyone wishing to listen in on the meeting.

There are eight agenda items to look at. In this post I will look very briefly at each item (I separated the ACJ in my right shoulder, have to keep my posts short for a few days):

Item 1

Department of Legislative Audit to review the calendar year 2015 audit reports of the:

  • South Dakota Authority Captive Insurance Company – Audit Report
  • South Dakota Property and Casualty Captive Insurance Company – Audit Report

The two above captive insurance companies were created by the legislature in 2015 via  HB 1185 (SoDakLiberty Posts), HB 1186 (SoDakLiberty Posts), and HB 1187 (SoDakLiberty Posts). This is to cover the great amount of assets the state owns, but has remained uninsured for all these decade.

Item 2

Follow-up information on the South Dakota Developmental Center

The SDDP was a huge focus of the previous meeting. There were unanswered questions. Personally I think there are even more questions that have yet to be asked. Perhaps that will be a future post!

Item 3

Technical Institutions of South Dakota – to discuss:

  • Student numbers
  • Programs
  • Economic impacts facing the schools
  • Salary enhancements

The Tech School instructors will also receive a pay raise this year thanks to an amendment from Rep Roger Solum (R, Dist 5) to the sales tax increase of 2016 via HB 1182 (SoDakLiberty Posts). Apparently that will be a focus for GOAC in this meeting.

Item 4

University Center in Sioux Falls to provide an update on the center

Item 5

Department of Revenue to provide an update on recently passed
legislation pertaining to the direct shipment of wine

During the 2015 legislative session HB 1001 (SoDakLiberty Posts) was passed into law. HB 1001 allowed the direct shipment of certain wines in South Dakota.

Item 6

Bureau of Human Resources to present the annual report of compiled authorizations in accordance with SDCL 5-18A-17.2. The Auditor General will provide an update on conflict waiver forms received.

Item 7

The Building South Dakota Fund annual reports from:

  • South Dakota Department of Education
  • South Dakota Housing Development Authority

Item 8

Department of Transportation to provide an update on the collection and use of additional taxes and fees raised by Senate Bill 1, 2015 Session

The SB 1 (SoDakLiberty Posts) in question is the massive tax and fee increase from 2015 to pay for roads and bridges.

District 28 State Senate Republican Primary: Maher and Ritch

May 24, 2016 Comments off
SD Legislative District 28. Screenshot from LRC website 5/24/16.

SD Legislative District 28. Screenshot from LRC website 5/24/16.

South Dakota legislative District 28 has  a Republican Primary for State Senate. District 28 is a VERY LARGE district. It is the North West corner of South Dakota, going all the way from the river to the western border. Towns in this district include
Belle Fourche, Bison, Buffalo, Camp Crook, Dupree, Eagle Butte, Fruitdale, Isabel, Lemmon, McIntosh, McLaughlin, Morristown and Timber Lake.

Incumbent Sen Betty Olson (R, Dist 28) is not seeking reelection.  The two Republican candidates trying for District 28 Senate are Ryan Maher (R) and Steven Ritch (R). The winner of this primary will have no general election opposition, so that will be the District 28 State Senator.

Here is a brief look at both candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the primary ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate.

Ryan M. Maher

Ryan Maher (R)
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty
LRC: Senate 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007

Ryan Maher. Photo from Maher's personal Facebook page.

Ryan Maher. Photo from Maher’s personal Facebook page.

Maher was a State Senator until he was term-limited in 2014. Now that he has taken a term off he is looking to get back to Pierre. There isn’t a lot of social media activity for him; but since he was a legislator I will look at a few bills he prime sponsored in the past to get an idea of his legislative priorities.

One bill worth looking at from 2014 is SB 117 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 117 was an Act to “establish a county highway capital improvement fund and to levy a capital improvement property tax for county highways, secondary roads, bridges, and culverts.” The bill failed in committee. Basically SB 117 would have allowed counties to authorize an annual property tax levy not to exceed one dollar per thousand dollars of the taxable valuation. This could have been used for roads, bridges, and culverts within the County. The only opposition testimony to the bill came from the Governor’s office. That was not surprising since the infrastructure summer study was coming up; which then lead to the massive tax increase from SB 1 (SoDakLiberty Posts) a year later. This bill might show Maher as looking for local solutions to problems. It could also be seen as Maher supporting a tax increase.

Election law is a big topic for SoDakLiberty, so it is worth looking at 2011’s SB 95 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 95 passed into law and was an Act to “provide for the printing of voting rights notices.” The bill added voting rights notices to be displayed alongside the already required instructions for the guidance of voters in preparing their ballots. This was a simple change, but very important. Many voters do not realize they have rights or what to do if they feel those rights are being violated. SB 95 was a good bill.

A bill to look at from 2013 is SB 72 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 72 passed into law and was an Act to “revise certain provisions concerning inspections of food service establishments by the Department of Health.” There are inspections the Department of Public Safety does for the Department of Health to restaurants and a score that comes out of that inspection. The problem at this time is the restaurants that got low scores were not getting timely re-inspections, which placed a financial burden on those restaurants. SB 72 clarified that certain higher scores could pay a fee to get a timely re-inspection. That ensures a restaurant doesn’t have to wait 18 months to try surviving with a low score that has been fixed. Maher is in the restaurant industry. This bill showed Maher looking to fix something that was a real problem for a specific industry.

Steven W. Ritch

Steven Ritch (R)
Facebook – Twitter– Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty

Steven Ritch. Picture from Ritch's campaign Facebook page.

Steven Ritch. Picture from Ritch’s campaign Facebook page.

Ritch has quite a bit of online activity, mostly on Twitter. I couldn’t find any actual issues or platform for Ritch. But I did find a few social media posts to look at in order to learn a thing or two about Ritch.

First, this post from Ritch’s campaign Facebook page:

In response to the Presidents “bathroom decree”

No matter what side of the fence you sit on over this whole situation one thing keeps getting ignored. That is the rights of the President of the United States is spelled out clearly in the Constitution and does not grant him the permission nor the power to do as he is trying to do here. That power resides with the states and local governments, not the President. Also how absurd that he would threaten to pull federal funding from school districts that didn’t go by his “decree.” These are the actions of a dictatorial man who is upset that he can’t get what he wants. Public schools in the United States already have all sorts of problems, withholding funding would just make situations worse all around, and alot of federal monies go towards free meal programs for kids who’s families are already in tight financial situations, he would essentially be stealing from these kids. I encourage school districts in SD to ignore this blatant federal overreach and take the power that is rightfully yours. Make up your own minds on what you would like to do with this situation, don’t let him bully you into a decision.

-Steven W. Ritch

Transgender issues have been on the forefront for the last year or so. What I like about Ritch’s post above is that he is tackling an issue that is getting lost in the whole transgender debate: should the President be allowed to go beyond his powers? Personally I don’t believe the President should be able to do so. Too bad supporters of any sitting President (whichever party that is) always gives their President a pass because they agree with what is being done; even if that action being taken goes outside the Constitutional limits of the President.

Ritch also has a series of tweets that many conservatives would agree with:

Steven Ritch Tweets

Steven Ritch Tweets

I’ll end my look at Ritch here. I think the tweets above show he is to conservative side of the Republican party.

District 19 State House Republican Primary: Osborn, Peterson, and Schoenfish

May 21, 2016 Comments off
SD Legislative District 19. Screenshot from LRC website 5/20/16.

SD Legislative District 19. Screenshot from LRC website 5/20/16.

South Dakota legislative District 19 has  a Republican Primary for State House. There is also a primary for State Senate in District 19, but that is covered in a different post. District 19 is in SE South Dakota. Towns in this district include Alexandria, Armour, Bridgewater, Canistota, Corsica, Delmont, Dimock, Emery, Farmer, Freeman, Fulton, Menno, Montrose, Olivet, Parkston, Salem, Scotland, Spencer, Tabor, Tripp, and Tyndall.

The current State Representatives, Rep Kent Peterson and Rep Kyle Schoenfish, are seeking reelection. Republican ReGina L. Osborn is hoping to take one of the two spots from the incumbents.  The two winners of this primary election will face Ardon Wek (D) in the general election.

Here is a brief look at all three candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the primary ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate.

ReGina L. Osborn

ReGina Osborn (R)
Facebook  – BallotpediaVoteSmartSoDakLiberty

ReGina Osborn picture from her Facebook campaign page.

ReGina Osborn picture from her Facebook campaign page.

Osborn is hoping to take one of the House positions from the incumbents. Her campaign Facebook page does not list any specific issues or platform. However for the last couple of months she has been very active on that page and it has become quite clear that she is running to the right of both Peterson and Schoenfish. Osborn calls herself a conservative, and if the posts she does on Facebook is any indication I would say that label seems more than appropriate.

The Mitchell Daily Republic did a small story about Osborn’s candidacy that included this:

… She is focused on reining in the tax, spend, create more government, and corruption we are all witnessing in Pierre.

I don’t think there are many conservatives that would disagree with Osborn on the above statement. In just the last two years the legislature has passed the two biggest tax increases in recent South Dakota History; those of course being the infrastructure tax increase of 2015 via SB 1 (SoDakLiberty Posts) and the teacher-pay/property-tax-reduction sales tax increase of 2016 via HB 1182 (SoDakLiberty Posts). Osborn’s opponents voted Yea to both bills. That could be an issue for her to run on.

She is dedicated to protecting family values, defending gun rights, supporting private property rights, and bringing back accessibility of our district representation to people within the community, which has been conspicuously absent the last two years.

I wish Osborn had provided a list of issues so constituents could learn more about how she would protect family values, gun rights, and private property rights. These are issues the right-wing of the Republican Party cares about and could be winning topics for her if she can reach the conservative base.

I have spoken with a few Republicans in District 19 who know Osborn. They say she is as conservative as her campaign Facebook makes her seem. It will be interesting to see if the primary voters in District 19 agree a more conservative voice is needed in Pierre.

Kent S. Peterson

Rep Kent Peterson (R, Dist 19) – Incumbent
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015
SDPB Video: 2014

Rep Kent Peterson on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/21/15.

Rep Kent Peterson on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/21/15.

Peterson has completed his first term as State Representative. He easily walked into the position without opposition in 2014 to fill the seat vacated by Stace Nelson. It will be interesting to see if he can win reelection.

Since Peterson has a legislative history (and a non-existent online presence) I will take some time to look at the bills he has prime-sponsored. He really hasn’t sponsored many bills, but even a couple of bills can show something about him as a legislator. [a lack of bills prime sponsored is not a bad thing in my opinion]

The first bill to highlight from Peterson is HB 1219 (SoDakLiberty Posts) during the 2015 legislative session. HB 1219 is and Act to “permit entities to voluntarily disclose ownership on filings with the Office of the Secretary of State and to establish a fee therefor.” The bill basically added the ability to submit the statement of voluntary disclosure of beneficial interests with the SOS office and added a $25 fee to amended annual reports. Peterson’s opponent may use this to show he is willing support a fee increase piece of legislation.

In 2016 Peterson was not the prime sponsor of any House bills, but he was the House Prime sponsor of SB 74 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 74 was an Act to “authorize members of certain governing bodies who are displaced by a natural disaster to continue their term of office.” Basically this bill would not force certain elected officials to resign if their house is destroyed by a natural disaster and are temporarily living outside of their district. This happened in Delmont. There were no problems there with the elected officials, but could have been. This legislation passed into law will give elected officials one less thing to worry about in emergency situations.

The two bills Peterson prime sponsored could show a pattern of wanting to ensure government works efficiently. HB 1219 might be used against him as a fee increase.

Kyle Schoenfish

Rep Kyle Schoenfish (R, Dist 19) – Incubment
Facebook – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015 2014 2013
SDPB Video: 2012

Rep Kyle Schoenfish on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/11/15.

Rep Kyle Schoenfish on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/11/15.

Schoenfish is currently on his second term as State Representative for District 19. Just like Peterson, Schoenfish’s online presence is virtually non-existent; making it very difficult for constituents to learn about him. He has only one post from 2016 on his campaign website, and it is basically someone on his campaign staff asking everyone to vote for Schoenfish and Peterson. It also asks people to vote for Caleb Finck on the Senate side.

Just like with Peterson above, I will now take a moment to look at a couple pieces of legislation prime sponsored by Schoenfish in 2016.

First in 2016 Schoenfish was the prime sponsor of HB 1230 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1230 was an Act to “require lights on certain animal-drawn vehicles while operating on a highway.” This bill basically came about because of an Amish community in District 19. Looking back it seems odd a law had to be passed in order to deal with one specific circumstance in one community; especially since one would think the Amish in question would want to stay alive and let others know they are on the road at night. But, on the other hand this is legislation that shows Shoenfish is paying attention to issues in his district.

The other bill prime sponsored by Shoenfish in 2016 was HB 1089 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1089 was an Act to “revise provisions for accumulation of funds for certain municipal enterprises.” Here is what I said about the bill after it was signed into law:

This would change the accumulation of funds from exceeding “an amount equivalent to ten dollars per thousand dollars of taxable valuation of all property within the municipality” and change it to “The governing body shall establish a maximum amount allowed to be accumulated in the fund.” In committee the proponent testimony noted the current limit was arbitrary. This change would make it more transparent for taxpayers and easier for cities to use their money in the ways the city finds necessary.

Since the LRC website lists Schoenfish as an accountant it makes sense this type of legislation would be prime sponsored by him. He does seem to prime sponsor legislation aimed at fixing specific problems.

One tax increase Senate bill was killed and brought back during legislative week 5

February 13, 2016 3 comments

23589627Yesterday I posted the list of Senate bills killed during South Dakota legislative week five. There is one bill I kept off the list that was killed in committee on Feb 8, and then brought back on Feb 10.

SB 110 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Increase certain fuel excise tax rates.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Undecided
Prime Sponsors: Sen Mike Vehle (R, Dist 20) and Rep Mike Verchio (R, Dist 30) are the prime sponsors.

I really didn’t look too deep into this bill before hitting the Senate Transportation Committee. In fact this is all I had to say about the bill prior to its hearing:

I was honestly shocked to see a fuel tax increase bill after SB 1 (SoDakLiberty Posts) from last year. I’ll have to listen to what Sen Vehle has to say about the bill before commenting.

Unfortunately there is no audio available for this part of the Senate Transportation meeting. Either there was technical difficulties or someone forgot to hit the record button. According to the minutes there were only people who testified about the bill. Sen Vehle have his proponent testimony. Dawna Leitzke gave opponent testimony on behalf of the SD Petroleum and Propane Marketers Association.

What was in the bill that was killed

Part of this bill seemed to be clean up. But there were also some obvious large tax increases.

Here are the cleanup parts:

  • Motor fuel (except ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, biodiesel, biodiesel blends, and aviation gasoline) stays at $0.28/gallon tax, but this has been cleaned up to be included in the list of fuel excise taxes, instead of in another section.
  • Special fuel (except jet fuel) stays at $0.28/gallon tax, but this has been cleaned up to be included in the list of fuel excise taxes, instead of in another section.
  • Ethyl alcohol and methyl alcohol stays at $0.14/gallon tax, but this has been cleaned up to be included in the list of fuel excise taxes, instead of in another section.
  • Biodiesel and biodiesel blends stays at $0.28/gallon tax, but this has been cleaned up to be included in the list of fuel excise taxes, instead of in another section.

Here are the new taxes:

  • Liquid petroleum gas goes from $0.20/gallon to $0.21/gallon.
  • Compressed natural gas goes from $0.10/gallon to $0.28/gallon
  • Liquid natural gas goes from $0.14/gallon to $0.18/gallon.
  • There is a section of code that deals with “any fuel that is not specifically taxed by this chapter that is used to propel a motor vehicle on the highways of this state”. That tax goes from $0.22/gallon to $0.28/gallon.

I don’t know how much compressed natural gas is used, that is a LARGE increase for that particular tax.

The bill gets resurrected with a new title:

During the Feb 10 meeting the Senate Transportation committee voted 7-0 to remove SB 110 from the table (bringing it back to life). Apparently there is new language for the bill and it will get amended when brought into committee again. It did however get a title amendment right away.

Here is the original title:

increase certain fuel excise tax rates

and here is the amended title:

revise certain provisions regarding motor vehicle fuel not specifically taxed under the fuel excise tax

So does that mean the tax on unspecified fuels will still increase from $0.22/gallon to $0.28/gallon in the new version of the bill? This bill is scheduled to be heard again on Feb 17. I guess we’ll have to wait until then to find out what will be in the bill.

Senate Transportation has 2 bills on Mon Feb 8

February 8, 2016 Comments off

2108628On Monday, February 8, at 8:00 am the SD Senate Transportation committee will take on 2 bills. This is compiled using the agenda at the time of composing this post. Agendas can and do change!

One way to listen to these meetings live is via the audio links on the Schedule page of the LRC website. While there you can also view the status board for the meetings as they are going on.

SB 66 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Permit the issuance of special license plates to parents of certain individuals.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Undecided
Prime Sponsors: Sen Betty Olson (R, Dist 28) and Rep Thomas Brunner (R, Dist 29) are the prime sponsors.

This bill would appear to allow the issuance of a handicapped plate for the parents of a kid with certain disabilities.

SB 110 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Increase certain fuel excise tax rates.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Undecided
Prime Sponsors: Sen Mike Vehle (R, Dist 20) and Rep Mike Verchio (R, Dist 30) are the prime sponsors.

I was honestly shocked to see a fuel tax increase bill after SB 1 (SoDakLiberty Posts) from last year. I’ll have to listen to what Sen Vehle has to say about the bill before commenting.

Bills on the SD Senate floor for Thurs Feb 4

February 4, 2016 Comments off
SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 01/27/16.

SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 01/27/16.

Here are the bills on the South Dakota Senate floor for Thursday, February 4, which begins at 2:00 pm central. This is compiled using the calendar at the time of composing this post. Agendas can and do change!

The Senate Floor video can be viewed live on the SDPB YouTube channel. Previous recordings can also be viewed there.

Today’s deadline: Last day for introduction of individual bills and joint resolutions.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

SB 3 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise the income criteria for determining if property is classified as agricultural land for property tax purposes.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Opposed
Prime Sponsors: Sen Larry Tidemann (R, Dist 7) and Rep Lee Qualm (R, Dist 21) are the prime sponsors on behalf of the Agricultural Land Assessment Implementation and Oversight Advisory Task Force.

*** This bill was defeated on the Senate floor 17-18 yesterday.

This is a bill I was still undecided on until the floor debate. At this time I am opposed. I just don’t think the case was made this would be a good change. And I really think there should have been a fiscal impact of some sort received from at least a few counties.

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

SB 7 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise the composition of the state trunk highway system.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Not Opposed
Prime Sponsors: The Committee on Transportation is the prime sponsor at the request of the Department of Transportation

Any time a change is made to the state highway system it has to be updated in statute.

This particular section of State Highway 17 in Lincoln County is going to be taken over by the county. Since there is an agreement to sell a section of HWY 17 to Lincoln the statute has to be updated so it no longer will part of the state highway system.

SB 74 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Authorize members of certain governing bodies who are displaced by a natural disaster to continue their term of office.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Support
Prime Sponsors: Sen Bill Van Gerpen (R, Dist 19) and Rep Kent Peterson (R, Dist 19) are the prime sponsors.

I don’t really see a problem with this change. It would be obvious the people in question are not moving by choice. And if it would appear the move would be permanent, hopefully the person in question would have the ethical fortitude to resign.

This happened last summer in Delmont, SD. There were questions about some council members that were displaced by the tornado. That is because current state law says that if a person no longer lives in their district they can no longer hold office.

HB 1003 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise certain administrative functions regarding county government.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Not Opposed
Prime Sponsors: Rep Joshua Klumb (R, Dist 20) and Sen Mike Vehle (R, Dist 20) are the prime sponsors on behalf of the Interim Committee on County Government.

This is a bill I was originally softly opposed to, but now have no opposition to it.

For the most part this bill is cleanup. The bill originally increased the contempt fine County Commissioners can impose on someone from $5 to $25. Commissioners can also put someone in jail for a day, that is already in statute. There was no reason given for this increase, and I really didn’t see why this contempt fine was left on the books. The bill was amended on the House floor to completely get rid the fine and jail-time penalties. With that change I think this is a good cleanup bill.

HB 1034 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise certain provisions concerning local government elections.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Support
Prime Sponsors: The Committee on Local Government is the prime sponsor at the request of the State Board of Elections.

See my post examining the Board of Elections bills for a look at this legislation. This is basically a good election cleanup bill.

HB 1025 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Place certain substances on the controlled substances schedule and to declare an emergency.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Opposed
Prime Sponsors: The Committee on Health and Human Services is the prime sponsor at the request of the Department of Health.

This bill went through the House with no opposition. I only oppose this bill because it is done to comply with bad War on Drugs policies of the DEA.

HB 1049 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise certain provisions regarding references to the Internal Revenue Code.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Not Opposed
Prime Sponsors: The Committee on Taxation is the prime sponsor at the request of the Department of Revenue.

A bill that has to be passed each year updating references to federal IRS code. This year the DOR is getting a bit more efficient. They are placing all of these references in one section of code, and pointing all the references to IRS code to that section. That should make it easier to make this change each year (which will still need to be done legislatively).

HB 1050 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Repeal certain obsolete mini-storage tax refund provisions.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Not Opposed
Prime Sponsors: The Committee on Taxation is the prime sponsor at the request of the Department of Revenue.

The two statutes this bill repeals to statutes that were enacted as a response to the South Dakota Supreme Court’s decision in In the Matter of the Sales Tax Liability of James Pirmantgen & Patricia Carlson, 2008 SD 127 (December 23, 2008). For anyone interested the opinion from that case can be read on the Court Listener website.

SECOND READING OF SENATE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

SB 59 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise certain provisions regarding the application of the special annual road funding levy.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Not Opposed
Prime Sponsors: Sen Mike Vehle (R, Dist 20) and Rep Mary Duvall (R, Dist 24) are the prime sponsors.

This bill clarifies a change made by SB 1 (SoDakLiberty Posts) last year. The special mil levy for counties as part of that bill can be referred. The mil levy increases by CPI or 3% each year, whichever is less. The year to year increase cannot be referred. It can only be referred if the actual levyy is changed. This bill would ensure the annual increase happens as intended last year and is not referable.

I was opposed to SB1 last year. But this bill does seem to clarify what was meant for SB1 as passed into law.

SB 5 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise the procedure to initiate a school district boundary change.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Undecided
Prime Sponsors: Sen Deb Peters (R, Dist 9) and Rep Herman Otten (R, Dist 6) are the prime sponsors on behalf of the School District Boundary Task Force.

*** Deferred again yesterday!

I did a post looking at this bill coming out of the School District Boundary Task Force. At this time I’ll refrain from commenting on the bill too much because I still haven’t listened to committee testimony. But I do wonder if school consolidation would be a solution that would fix this issue, along with other fiscal issues experienced by the school districts.

SECOND READING OF HOUSE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

HB 1016 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise the authority granted to the Building Authority and to the Board of Regents to construct certain improvements at South Dakota State University in Brookings and the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Undecided
Prime Sponsors: The Committee on Appropriations is the prime sponsor at the request of the Board of Regents.

This bill did not have to go before a Senate Committee because of the new appropriations process.

This construction items included in this bill goes back to HB 1051 passed in 2012. That bill had a long list of projects the South Dakota Building Authority (SDBA) and the Board of Regents (BoR) were approved to undertake for long-term capital projects.

The projects this bill would amend include:

  • South Dakota State University Performing Arts Center expansion. The total allowed construction cost of this project would change from $33,103,713 to $48,391,807.
  • University of South Dakota science, health and research laboratory building. The total allowed construction cost would change from $30,000,000 to $15,000,000. It would also change from $8,000,695 to $9,000,695 the amount that can be financed through revenue bonds.
  • University of South Dakota Patterson Hall renovation. The total allowed construction cost would change from $6,000,000 to $5,000,000.

HB 1035 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise and repeal certain provisions concerning voter registration, vote centers, and conducting elections.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Support
Prime Sponsors: The Committee on Local Government is the prime sponsor at the request of the State Board of Elections.

See my post examining the Board of Elections bills for a look at this legislation. Another good election cleanup bill.

HB 1052 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise certain alcoholic beverage business restrictions on Department of Revenue employees.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Not Opposed
Prime Sponsors: The Committee on Commerce and Energy is the prime sponsor at the request of the Department of Revenue.

*** Deferred from yesterday!

This bill basically allows DOR employees to work in or have an interest in the alcoholic beverage industry. For instance, currently no DOR employee can moonlight as a bartender. This bill only retains the restriction to those DOR employees that actually work in the department that issues licenses.

HB 1057 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise the rule-making authority of the South Dakota Commission on Gaming.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Not Opposed
Prime Sponsors: Rep Timothy Johns (R, Dist 31) and Sen Bob Ewing (R, Dist 31) are the prime sponsors.

*** Deferred from yesterday!

This bill is on behalf of Deadwood. This bill would allow blackjack and poker to have rules promulgated by the Commission. It would also variations of limited card games, craps or roulette.

Personally I don’t see a problem with the bill. But it barely made it through the House. It passed through the House floor by a vote of 39-30.

HB 1055 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Clarify that a gift of real property does not require a disclosure statement.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Not Opposed
Prime Sponsors: Rep Roger Hunt (R, Dist 25) and Sen Arthur Rusch (R, Dist 17) are the prime sponsors.

*** Deferred from yesterday!

This passed through the House without opposition. I believe a gift of real property missing from the statute is more of an oversight than anything. This will fix that problem.

HB 1058 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise the procedure for recovery of abandoned mineral interests.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Not Opposed
Prime Sponsors: Rep Timothy Johns (R, Dist 31) and Sen Arthur Rusch (R, Dist 17) are the prime sponsors.

*** Deferred from yesterday!

This bill has a lot more to it than I first read. There are times when mineral rights are reserved when selling land. Currently if mineral rights are not used within 23 years those mineral rights are presumed abandoned in certain cases. The State Bar Association is apparently the driver of this bill. Apparently the law now “is not workable” as far as mineral rights.

The bill was amended to include language the State Bar forgot to include, but was intended from the start.

I had apprehension about the bill after Rep Lance Russell (R, Dist 30) asked some good questions in committee. But after speaking with a lawyer friend of mine that deals with these situations, I believe this bill would be an improvement over what is in place.

It passed on the House floor without opposition.

On a side-note: apparently the State of SD does not have to worry about its mineral rights being abandoned after 23 years. This statute does not apply to the State.

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