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Posts Tagged ‘2015:SB159’

DOR decides against forcing farmers market in Sioux Falls to collect tourism tax

May 26, 2017 Comments off

Farmers market

Two days ago I published a post about the SD Department of Revenue (DOR) trying to force the farmers marking in Sioux Falls into collecting an additional 1.5% tourism tax. Actually I think just about every media organization in South Dakota did at least some coverage of the story. Apparently that caused enough of a backlash that the Department of Revenue has changed its mind. Here is what KELO is reporting:

However, Secretary of Revenue Andy Gerlach reviewed the case and determined the tax wasn’t applicable. He says the majority of people going to the market are consumers, not necessarily tourists.

He says any money the vendors have collected will be refunded back.

Gerlach calls the situation unique, but they will look at other cases in the state, and will talk with legislators about potential changes if the department sees a need.

It is good Gerlach decided to reverse the decision made by the DOR.  But this is not the first time the DOR has suddenly decided a sales tax should be collected in new ways. A few years ago the DOR suddenly decided that baseball coaches paid by the American Legion should be paying sales tax. This was due to a sudden reinterpretation of law by the DOR. To his credit Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) tried to fight the the DOR on the sudden reinterpretation of sales tax law; and tried to bring forth legislation to reverse the DOR’s decision a couple of times. Greenfield was even able to get SB 159 (SoDakLiberty Posts) passed through both chambers in 2015 to exempt American Legion and VFW coaches from sales and use tax. But the bill was vetoed by Governor Dennis Daugaard; who also happens the be the top elected official above the DOR.

As I said earlier this week, I think something needs to be done to keep state agencies from arbitrarily changing how the laws are interpreted. State departments should have to go through some sort of public and legislative review process before doing so. Doing so might prevent more state agency overreaches in the future.

District 2 State Senate already won by Brock Greenfield

June 27, 2016 Comments off
SD Legislative District 2

SD Legislative District 2

SD District 2 State Senate is another race with no general election. The current Republican incumbent, Sen Brock Greenfield, did not face a primary and will not have a general election opponent. Just as I am doing with all non-contested races, I will look at a few pieces of legislation from Greenfield so District 2 constituents can get an idea of the legislative priority of their chosen State Senator.

District 2 is an odd shaped district that resides in northeast South Dakota. Towns in District 2 include Aberdeen (in the SW corner of town), Ashton, Bryant, Bradley, Brentford, Castlewood, Claremont, Clark, Columbia, Conde, Crocker, Doland, Estelline, Frankfort, Ferney, Garden City, Groton, Hayti, Hazel, Lake Norden, Lake Poinsett, Mansfield, Mellette, Naples, Northville, Raymond, Redfield, Stratford, Turton, Verdon, Vienna, Warner and Willow Lake.

Brock L. Greenfield

Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) – Incumbent
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Sen Brock Greenfield speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.

Sen Brock Greenfield speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.

Brock Greenfield has served in Pierre for 16 years. After winning a fairly competitive State Senate race against Democrat Chuck Welke in 2014, Greenfield now has a pass for the 2016 election. In this post I will look at three pieces of legislation prime sponsored from Greenfield during the 2016 session.

First up is SB 117 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 117 is an Act to “Permit the practice of midwifery by certain persons.” Basically this bill would have allowed people who are licensed to practice midwivery in other states to perform most midwivery duties in South Dakota. This was basically seen as a way to get the midwife field moving forward in South Dakota until a true licensure scheme is created in South Dakota; which was attempted in HB 1162 (SoDakLiberty Posts). This is an issue that conservative groups have been following and pushing for. It was not surprising to see Greenfield sponsoring this bill because he does seem to bring forth a lot of legislation that is geared towards socially conservative issues. SB 117 failed to pass through Senate Health, but it is likely this will be attempted again in 2017. Personally I think the midwivery industry should be enabled in South Dakota; but at the same time I think anyone looking into midwives should do a LOT of research on who they are considering hiring as a midwife. I was able to hear a lot of good and bad stories about certain midwives this previous legislative session.

Another bill to look at from Greenfield is SB 119 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 119 was an Act to “require legislative authority for refugee actions under South Dakota law.” This bill of course came about due to the Obama administration announcing last fall that there would be an increase in the amount of refugees from Syria. Many governors around the country tried to take steps to bar these refugees from entering their states. South Dakota Governor Daugaard was not one of those governors. In response legislation such as SB 119 was brought forth in 2016. Basically the bill would have required the Department of Social Services (DSS) to get legislative approval before entering into agreements pursuant to the Refugee Act of 1980. In South Dakota that would be Lutheran Social Services (LSS). One of the problems with this bill is that DSS does not have an agreement with LSS. LSS deals directly with the federal government. Technically and legally the state of SD has no say in whether refugees come to the US and whether they enter SD. This bill died. But it was supported by hardcore conservatives and was another example of Greenfield taking on socially conservative issues.

Finally it is worth looking at a tax bill,  SB 147 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 147 was an act to “exempt certain amateur sports coaches from sales and use tax.” Basically this bill would have exempted American Legion and VWF coaches from sales and use tax. Traditionally these coaches were not subject to sales and use tax. However a couple of years ago the Department of Revenue (DOR) reinterpreted state law and decided to go after these coaches. In response Greenfield brought forth SB 159 (SoDakLiberty Posts) in the 2015 session that would exempt American Legion and VFW coaches from sales and use tax. That bill passed both chambers but was subsequently vetoed by the governor. The legislature was unable to overturn that veto. The 2016 version, SB 147, was not able to make it off the Senate floor. This was an interesting bill because it was not presented as a new exemption, but rather as a way to overturn the reinterpretation of law by bureaucrats. Greenfield is one of the few legislators that doesn’t seem afraid to call out bureaucrats on the chamber floor.

Senate Tax has 3 bills on Mon Feb 22, amateur coaches and cider

February 22, 2016 Comments off

4379739On Monday, February 22, at 10:00 am the SD Senate Taxation committee will take on 3 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.

*** Wednesday is crossover day. That means this is the last day this committee has to get any Senate bills out to the floor!

SB 147 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Exempt certain amateur sports coaches from sales and use tax.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Undecided
Prime Sponsors: Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) and Rep Jeff Partridge (R, Dist 34) are the prime sponsors.

This bill actually passed last year as SB 159 (SoDakLiberty Posts). But then it was vetoed by the Governor. I guess we’ll see if Sen Greenfield can get a veto-proof majority this year.

SB 165 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Authorize the manufacture of cider in certain amounts.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Undecided
Prime Sponsors: Sen Jenna Haggar (R, Dist 10) and Rep Don Haggar (R, Dist 10) are the prime sponsors.

This was tried last year as HB 1181 (SoDakLiberty Posts). Here is what I wrote about last years bill:

This bill creates cider production code that mostly mirrors the code for wine. This is another good step forward for alcoholic beverages in SD. It was slightly amended in committee and then sent to the 41st day. Part of the problem with the bill was due to it not being ready for passage. It appeared to be a copy/paste of other pieces of code and there were many problems found. Hopefully this can be cleaned up and passed through the 2016 legislative session.

HB 1083 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Change the taxation method used in the sale of certain off-road vehicles and require that the sale of these vehicles be by licensed vehicle dealers.

SoDakLiberty Stance: Not Opposed
Prime Sponsors: Rep Jim Stalzer (R, Dist 11) and Sen Bruce Rampelberg (R, Dist 30) are the prime sponsors.

This bill would treat certain off-road vehicles just like motorcycles for tax and dealer license purposes. So it gets rid of the sales tax and replaces it with the excise tax.

This bill was slightly amended in House Tax.  The amendment would have the excise tax go into the general fund, like the sales tax does.

HB 1083 passed the House floor 53-3.

Only one of three vetoes were overturned by the SD legislature

April 1, 2015 1 comment

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:

SD SenateSB 100 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Create a leased residential property classification.

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.

SB 136 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Exclude certain municipal taxes from the gross receipts used to determine the tax liability for customers served by electric cooperatives and electric utilities.

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 Tidemann asking Sen Greenfield a question about SB 159. Photo by Ashton Santema 03/30/15.

Sen Tidemann asking Sen Greenfield a question about SB 159. Photo by Ken Santema 03/30/15.

SB 159 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Exempt certain amateur sports coaches from sales and use tax.

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.

SD Senate and House have three veto’s to consider on Mon March 30

March 29, 2015 2 comments
SD State capital. Photo by Ken Santema 02/11/15.

SD State capital. Photo by Ken Santema 02/11/15.

Monday, March 30, is the final legislative day in 2015. Both the House and Senate will convene at 10:00 AM to consider whether to override Governor Daugaard’s veto of three bills. I‘ve blogged about the three vetoes before. Here is the cliff note version of each bill:

SB 100 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Create a leased residential property classification.

Sen Deb Peters (R, Dist 9) and Rep Don Haggar (R, Dist 10) are the prime sponsors.

This bill creates a new property tax classification of leased residential property. Technically the bill in its current form is a way for the state to collect data about how many leased residential properties there are in the state so that data can be used to push for a new tax levy in the future. This would theoretically allow for lower property taxes that can be passed on to families struggling to pay their rent. That is what proponents of the bill were saying. Personally I believe the bill would have done the opposite long-term. Long-term I believe this classification change would open up the door to property taxes per unit when dealing with rental situations. That could end up being one heck of a large tax increase. In a state where there are few sources of revenue, this bill could open a Pandora’s box of new revenue enhancements.

SB 136 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Exclude certain municipal taxes from the gross receipts used to determine the tax liability for customers served by electric cooperatives and electric utilities.

Sen Corey Brown (R, Dist 23) and Rep Al Novstrup (R, Dist 3) are the prime sponsors. This bill would prevent a tax from being taxed. I really don’t understand the Governor’s veto of the bill. It just doesn’t align with how I am reading the bill. Perhaps I just haven’t studied this particular bill enough.

SB 159 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Exempt certain amateur sports coaches from sales and use tax.

Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) and Rep Tona Rozum (R, Dist 20) are the prime sponsors. This bill is actually pretty simple. It exempts amateur baseball coaches from Sales and Use Tax if the team is a 501(c)(19) non-profit. I believe it may have been harder for Daugaard to veto if it hadn’t been specific to one certain type of amateur coach.

3 bills vetoed by Governor Daugaard on March 20

March 20, 2015 5 comments
Sen Brock Greenfield speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/16/15.

Sen Brock Greenfield speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 02/16/15.

Today, March 20, Governor Daugaard finally decided which bills he felt were worthy of a veto. He sent out releases about his veto of SB 100, veto of SB 136, and veto of SB 159.

None of these are the bills was I was truly hoping would be vetoed (although I am happy to see SB 100 get a veto). It almost seems like Daugaard looks for bills to veto that most people really don’t care about…

SB 100 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Create a leased residential property classification.

Sen Deb Peters (R, Dist 9) and Rep Don Haggar (R, Dist 10) are the prime sponsors. This bill passed Senate Taxation 4-3. It was amended on the Senate floor to remove the new levy for this classification. The amended version of the bill passed 25-8. The bill had a slight amendment in House Taxation and passed that committee 10-5 and the House floor 40-27. The Senate concurred 25-8 to the changes made in the House.

This bill would have created a new property tax classification of leased residential property. Technically the bill in its current form is a way for the state to collect data about how many leased residential properties there are in the state so that data can be used to push for a new tax levy in the future. This would theoretically allow for lower property taxes that can be passed on to families struggling to pay their rent. That is what proponents of the bill were saying. Personally I believe the bill have done the opposite long-term. Long-term I believe this classification change would open up the door to property taxes per unit when dealing with rental situations. That could end up being one heck of a large tax increase. It has happened in other states

Additionally I don’t think enough property owners would go down to the County office and change the classification of their property just so the state can collect data. In its current form, this bill really doesn’t incentive property owners into going through the trouble of changing their property tax classification.

This is a bill I am more than happy to see the Governor veto. He did it more for the reasons stated in his release:

Senate Bill 100 is a first step toward a different property tax levy for leased residential property – a change that will shift the property tax burden onto agricultural, nonagricultural, and owner-occupied property taxpayers, without any guarantee of savings for residents of leased properties.  For that reason, I oppose this bill and I ask that you sustain my veto.

He is correct, if fully implemented in the future this bill would shift tax burden. I just don’t think it would have stayed beneficial. I don’t see the legislature overriding this veto.

SB 136 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Exclude certain municipal taxes from the gross receipts used to determine the tax liability for customers served by electric cooperatives and electric utilities.

Sen Corey Brown (R, Dist 23) and Rep Al Novstrup (R, Dist 3) are the prime sponsors. This bill was gutted by Senate Tax. It passed the committee 6-1 after being hoghoused. The new bill seems to do about the same thing, just in a different way. It was then gutted again on the Senate floor, and language similar to the original bill was hoghoused into it. The re-hoghoused bill passed the Senate floor 32-0. It had a couple of amendments in House Tax and passed that committee 12-0. It then had a title amendment on the House floor to reflect the changes made in House Tax and passed 67-1. The Senate concurred with the House changes 34-0.

Basically this looks like a good bill. It prevents a tax from being taxed. The Governor gave this reason for his veto:

Senate Bill 136 would create a special exemption for rural electric companies that no other South Dakota business is given.  It would allow a rural electric company to deduct its payment in lieu of property taxes from its gross receipts before paying state and municipal sales tax.

Creating this special dispensation is contrary to the broad based sales tax principles that are the foundation of South Dakota’s sales tax, the primary source of state government funds, and could easily lead to other businesses requesting similar exemptions in future years.

South Dakota should not create a special tax calculation rule for rural electric companies that no other South Dakota business is given.  I oppose this bill and I ask that you sustain my veto.

I am going to have to research this bill a little bit more. Perhaps my understanding of this particular piece of legislation is wrong. It doesn’t match up with Daugaard’s assessment. The bill passed through both chambers strong enough that a veto override is possible. The question is whether the legislators actually have the guts to do so.

SB 159 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Exempt certain amateur sports coaches from sales and use tax.

Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) and Rep Tona Rozum (R, Dist 20) are the prime sponsors. This bill had a bit of a journey in the Senate. It originally failed a Do Pass vote in Senate Taxation 3-3, after another member came back to the committee it passed Senate Taxation 4-3. It then failed on the Senate floor 17-15. At the time the prime sponsor Sen Greenfield was out with an injury. Then came a vote to reconsider, which passed 28-3. Finally with Sen Greenfield back it passed the Senate floor 22-13. When it hit House Taxation it passed 10-2 and the House floor passed it 63-5.

This bill is actually pretty simple. It exempts amateur baseball coaches from Sales and Use Tax if the team is a 501(c)(19) non-profit.

Here is part of the reason given by Daugaard for the veto:

Exemptions to the sales tax base, such as Senate Bill 159, erode the sales tax base and diminish a steady, reliable source of revenue for our State.  Senate Bill 159’s exemption benefits a select group and could lead to additional exemption requests in the future.  We must resist any attempt to erode the sales tax base and must work to keep the sales tax base as broad, and therefore as stable, as possible.

In addition, Senate Bill 159’s exemption creates a privilege to the amateur baseball teams sponsored by select organizations, specifically American Legion and VFW organizations. While I admire these organizations and appreciate the work they do, it is bad tax policy to exempt coaches in these organizations, while continuing to tax other amateur baseball coaches

I must say I really never cared one way or the other about this bill. Personally I think the legislature should just let this veto stand. Let Sen Greenfield come back next year with a less specific coach exemption. There will still likely be resistance to the bill from the Governor, but at least he won’t be able to say it was because only a certain type of coach was targeted.

Bills on the SD House floor for Thurs Mar 5

March 5, 2015 Comments off

SONY DSCHere are the bills on the SD House floor for Thursday, March 5, which begins at 2:00 PM central.

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

HB 1050 – SoDakLiberty PostsRepeal certain funds, to make revisions to receipts dedicated to the property tax reduction fund, and to create the general revenue replacement fund.

Consideration of Senate Amendments

This bill passed House Appropriations 8-0, the House floor 58-11, and Senate Appropriations 9-0. It was amended on the Senate floor and passed 34-0. This bill puts funds directly to the general fund that were in special purpose funds. It appears this might be a way for the executive branch to get around using money the way they are supposed to. The House has to choose whether to agree with an amendment made on the Senate floor to include “any outstanding balance on repayments due to the budget reserve fund pursuant to a legislative act” in the definition of the budget reserve.

HB 1134 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise certain provisions concerning the expungement of arrest records.

Consideration of Senate Amendments

This passed House Judiciary 9-3 and the House floor 64-2. Senate Judiciary passed the bill 5-2. It was amended on the Senate floor and passed 33-1. The House must choose whether to agree with the amendment. It appears to me that the amended version of the bill still provides the opportunity to have charges expunged.

SECOND READING OF CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS

SB 119 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding abandoned mobile and manufactured homes.

SB 17 – SoDakLiberty PostsRevise the definition of motor vehicles that are subject to the lemon law.

SB 108 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions relating to aggravated DUI’s.‘s.

SECOND READING OF SENATE BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

SB 120 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding special alcoholic beverage licenses issued in conjunction with special events and to declare an emergency.

* Deferred from yesterday after being amended on the House floor to add distilled spirits.

This bill was hoghoused in Senate Commerce. The new version of this bill seems much more straightforward in allowing a special off-sale package wine dealers or malt beverage dealers license for use in certain special events. The committee also added an emergency clause so it could take effect after being passed into law. The amended bill passed through Senate Commerce, the Senate and House Commerce without opposition.

SB 98 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise the provisions related to the financial accountability system.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Judiciary 5-1, the Senate floor 31-2, and House Judiciary 11-1. If I remember testimony on this bill correctly it is mostly word cleanup.

SB 95 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise provisions related to human trafficking.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed Senate Judiciary 6-0 after being amended. It then passed the Senate floor without opposition. House Health and Human Services passed the bill 11-1. The biggest change here appears to be changing the definition from under age 16 to under 18 in human trafficking code.

SB 101 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Establish certain provisions regarding cancer treatment medication coverage by insurance companies.

In its original form this bill was a pure mandate. It was hoghoused to change its approach in Senate Health and passed that committee 6-0. It was then further amended on the Senate floor and passed 35-0. House Health passed the bill 11-0. Basically this bill makes medical insurance companies in SD treat medicine forms of cancer treatment the same as they do traditional (more invasive) methods. Apparently the insurance companies have been treating such treatments as medication, so it was not covered under the normal insurance plan. I agree with what the bill is trying to do. But it still looks like a mandate to me.

SB 50 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the South Dakota Building Authority to provide for the construction, reconstruction, renovation, and modernization of state park facilities and infrastructure at Custer State Park for the Department of Game, Fish and Parks, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.

This bill passed through the Senate and through House Appropriations without opposition. This is a long appropriation bill with a lot of amending done in Senate Appropriations. It appropriates $11,500,000 for the Custer project.

SB 172 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Strengthen the financial practices of the State of South Dakota.

This bill passed through the Senate and through House Appropriations without opposition. It appears to be changing how debt is utilized by the state. But I have to listen to the testimony to make sure.

SB 173 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Make appropriations from the water and environment fund, the water pollution control revolving fund subfund, and the drinking water revolving fund subfund for various water and environmental purposes, to revise the state water plan, to increase the authority of the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources to make consolidated water facilities construction program awards, and to declare an emergency.

This bill passed through the Senate and through House Appropriations without opposition. This actually has quite a few appropriations in it from the South Dakota water and environment fund. Here is the long list of appropriations in this bill:

  • $7,700,000 to provide funds to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing a no-interest loan to local project sponsors as an advance on federal funds for the construction of facilities included in the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System
  • $250,000 to provide funds to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing grants to state and local project sponsors for hydrology and water management studies to assess, model, and quantify the state’s surface water and groundwater resources.
  • $16,500,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing grants and loans to project sponsors under the consolidated water facilities construction program
  • $4,000,000  to the city of Clark, for the design and construction of a waste water treatment facility, a sanitary sewer interceptor, and sewer main.
  • $3,000,000 to the Big Sioux Community Water System, for the design and construction of water lines and a pump station to interconnect with the city of Madison and the Minnehaha Community Water Corporation.
  • $1,800,000 to the Minnehaha Community Water Corporation, for the design and construction of water lines to provide capacity to interconnect with the Big Sioux Community Water System and the city of Madison.
  • An increase from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 to any project in the state water facilities plan without specific authorization of the Legislature.
  • $1,300,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing grants and loans to project sponsors under the solid waste management program
  • $1,000,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing grants and loans to project sponsors for the construction, remediation, enlargement, closure, or upgrade of regional landfills.
  • $1,000,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing water quality grants under the state water pollution control revolving fund program
  • $150,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of contracting for the preparation of applications and administration of clean water state revolving fund loans under the state water pollution control revolving fund program
  • $150,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of contracting for the preparation of applications and administration of drinking water state revolving fund loans under the state drinking water revolving fund program
  • $250,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing grants to very small community water systems to address drinking water compliance and public health issues.
  • $200,000 to the South Dakota Board of Water and Natural Resources for the purpose of providing small system technical assistance set-aside grants to project sponsors under the state drinking water revolving fund program

SB 159 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Exempt certain amateur sports coaches from sales and use tax.

This bill had a bit of a journey in the Senate. It originally failed a Do Pass vote in Senate Taxation 3-3, after another member came back to the committee it passed Senate Taxation 4-3. It then failed on the Senate floor 17-15. At the time the prime sponsor Sen Greenfield was out with an injury. Then came a vote to reconsider, which passed 28-3. Finally with Sen Greenfield back it passed the Senate floor 22-13. When it hit House Taxation it passed 10-2. This bill is actually pretty simple. It exempts amateur baseball coaches from Sales and Use Tax if the team is a 501(c)(19) non-profit.

SB 111 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Repeal the provision that invalidates absentee ballots cast by voters who died before the date of the election.

This bill passed Senate Local Government 5-1 and the Senate floor 34-0. The bill failed a Do Pass motion last week by a vote of 6-6 in House Local Government. After being deferred the bill passed House Local Government 7-5. Here is what I said about the bill before, and stick with: “I don’t really see the purpose of this bill. Election day is election day. I already think SD over-uses early voting. I don’t see a problem with the current law that states if you are not alive on election day that your vote won’t count.”

SB 126 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain publications date citations for references to the International Building Code and International Property Maintenance Code.

There was no opposition to the bill on the Senate side or in House Local Government. This updates references from the 2012 edition of the International Building Code to 2015. This is an area that annoys me actually. If someone wants to find out how to comply with code they need to dish out $131 to find out what the code is for new buildings. This is a way for government officials to over-regulate without making it look like they are doing so.

SB 161 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Allow certain fireworks to be used all year.

This bill was amended in Senate Commerce to remove fountains, sparklers, and ground spinners from the fireworks being added by this bill. All that leaves in the bill is “snakes, and smoke effects, if they do not fly, travel, or explode, to single-shot parachute pieces without a flare”. After being amended it passed the committee 7-0. It was then amended on the Senate floor to put this language into a new section, instead of modifying current code. House Local Government passed the bill 12-0. There really isn’t much left to the bill, why bother at this point?

SB 3 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for mediation of certain drainage disputes.

This bill was amended in Senate Ag and passed that committee 8-0. It then passed the Senate floor 32-2. House Agriculture and Natural Resources passed the bill 11-0. This is a HUGE topic… especially here in Brown County, where the County Commissioners act as the drainage board. There have been a lot of incidents where neighbors get into battles (sometimes with fists) over water drainage issues. I don’t see getting the Dept of Ag involved as the answer. Currently cases dealing with drainage issues go to court. This bill would allow mediation of such cases without expense of a court. I have been opposed to this, and still have soft opposition to the bill. But this issue gets hotter and hotter each year in NE South Dakota. Perhaps it is time for an approach such as this to come forward.

SB 73 – SoDakLiberty PostsImprove public safety regarding juvenile justice.

* Deferred from yesterday!

This bill passed the Senate and House State Affairs with no opposition. This is part of the Governors and Chief Justices initiative to reform SD’s horrendous juvenile incarceration rates. This bill would mirror some of the steps taken to reform the incarceration rates for adults. Parts of this bill has some good ideas and changes. But until the state actually looks at reducing the number of victim-less offenses that are crimes, there will continue to be an outrageous number of people in SD locked up for no reason. But having said that, I do think this bill provides an improvement over what is currently.

SB 136 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Exclude certain municipal taxes from the gross receipts used to determine the tax liability for customers served by electric cooperatives.

This bill was gutted by Senate Tax. It passed the committee 6-1 after being hoghoused. The new bill seems to do about the same thing, just in a different way. It was then gutted again on the Senate floor, and language similar to the original bill was hoghoused into it. Basically this looks like a good bill. It prevents a tax from being taxed. The re-hoghoused bill passed the Senate floor 32-0. It had a couple of amendments in House Tax and passed that committee 12-0.

SB 2 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for the establishment of river basin natural resource districts.

This bill passed Senate Ag 6-3 after being amended. It passed the Senate floor 20-12. It was then amended in House Ag and passed 10-1. I think the amendment alleviates the fears of some (including me) about the bill. The amendment in part adds this language: “This Act does not give any district created pursuant to this Act any regulatory or taxing authority”. I still fear the districts would be used against land owners in the future. But the debate on whether this would help with excess water issues is worth having, It should be interesting to see what the House floor does with the bill.

SB 51 – SoDakLiberty PostsRepeal the contingency funds available for unanticipated costs related to medical services and to declare an emergency.

This bill passed the Senate and then House Appropriations without opposition. This was in the governor’s budget address. ACA has made this contingency fund unnecessary.

SB 33 – SoDakLiberty PostsExtend resident tuition eligibility to the spouses and children of active duty military personnel and of qualifying veterans.

This bill flew through the Senate and through House State Affairs with no opposition. Currently a veteran does not have to meet the twelve-month residency requirements to be considered a resident for tuition. This bill would add the same right to the veterans spouse or children.

SB 70SoDakLiberty Posts – Require that the mandatory reporter who witnessed the disclosure or evidence of child abuse or neglect be available to answer questions when the initial report is made.

This bill was amended by the Senate State Affairs committee and passed that same committee 9-0 and the Senate floor 33-0. After some good proponent testimony it passed through House State Affairs 12-0. Current state law has various professions that must report suspected child abuse or neglect. This bill would make sure the person reporting the abuse is available when the report is made to the authorities. That will help investigators actually determine what happened and if the case can be pursued.

SB 137 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding the term of the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council.

This bill passed through the Senate and through House State Affairs with no opposition. This seems to ensure that the legislators elected to the board only serve during the two-year period each legislator is elected to. I think the older language intends that, but this bill makes that much more clear.

SB 191 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise certain provisions regarding capital outlay certificates and lease purchase agreements of school districts and the pledge of state aid to education funds program aid to secure such obligations.

This bill passed Senate State Affairs 9-0 after being amended. The bill then passed House State Affairs 12-0. It then had a title amendment on the Senate floor and passed 31-1.

SB 13 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Require certain persons convicted for human trafficking to register as sex offenders.

This bill passed Senate Judiciary and the Senate floor with no opposition. It passed House Judiciary 8-4. This bill adds two types of crimes to those that require registering as a sex offender. These two are first degree human trafficking if the victim is a minor and second degree human trafficking involving the prostitution of a minor. This bill I wonder about, because either of these convictions seem to possibly fit under current types of crimes that already require registering as a sex offender.

SB 186 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Revise the procedure for the execution of a warrant.

This bill passed Senate Judiciary 6-0 after being amended. The amendment took out the new language that was to be added by the bill. Now the bill appears to clarify the words used in the law. The bill passed the Senate floor 32-0. Finally it passed House Judiciary 11-0.

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