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Only one of three vetoes were overturned by the SD legislature

April 1, 2015 Comments off

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.

Senate Education committee has 3 bills on Thurs Mar 5

March 4, 2015 1 comment

sport2010On Thursday, March 5th, at 8:00 AM the SD Senate Education committee will take on 3 bills.

HB 1118 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for oversight of postsecondary technical institutes.

Rep Mark Mickelson (R, Dist 13) and Sen Deb Peters (R, Dist 9) are the prime sponsors. This bill was hoghoused in House State Affairs and passed that committee 12-0 and the House floor 66-1. A big addition from this bill is to set up a board of nine members for each LEA. Mickelson has definitely been pushing for changes to tech schools. Possibly a good issue for running for higher office in the future…..

HB 1218 – SoDakLiberty PostsCreate certain funding for education in South Dakota.

Rep Julie Bartling (D, Dist 21) and Sen Billie Sutton (D, Dist 21) are the prime sponsors. This is a hoghouse vehicle bill that was actually filled with legislation in House Ed. The bill allows “Any school district may make payments from its capital outlay fund for the support of a postsecondary technical institute located in the school district’s region”.  Like I said with HB 1118. Mickelson is really pushing for Tech school changes. The bill passed the House floor 60-9.

BILLS FOR POSSIBLE ACTION WHICH HAVE HAD PRIOR HEARING.

HB 1161 – SoDakLiberty PostsLimit certain rule making authority of the South Dakota High School Activities Association.

Rep Steven Haugaard (R, Dist 10) and Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) are the prime sponsors. This bill passed out of House Education 9-6 and the House floor 46-23. This a companion to HB 1195 (SoDakLiberty Posts). It would prevent the SDHSAA from creating a transgender policy. HB 1195 is now dead, but this one is still alive. Here is what I said about HB 1195 and feel applies to this bill:

I’m no fan of the SDHSAA. But, it is probably time for the legislature to realize that transgendered individuals are a part of the modern world. No amount of laws are going to change that. This bill being passed into law isn’t going to change that. If the legislature wants to go after SDHSAA there are plenty of other areas to do that on. I’ve spoken with more than one athletic director in the last year that feels the SDHSAA doesn’t work with schools, instead they dictate to schools.

Senate Judiciary committee has 6 bills on Thurs Mar 5

March 4, 2015 1 comment

Anonymous-Pimp-hatOn Thursday, March 5th, at 8:00 AM the SD Senate Judiciary committee will take on 6 bills.

Also on the agenda:

Governor’s Reappointments:
Trevor Jones, Hughes County, Pierre, South Dakota, to the position of Secretary of the Department of Public Safety

Dennis Kaemingk, Davison County, Mitchell, South Dakota, to the position of Secretary of the Department of Corrections

HB 1215 – SoDakLiberty PostsProvide for an optional enhanced permit to carry a concealed pistol.

Rep Thomas Brunner (R, Dist 29) and Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) are the prime sponsors. This enhanced permit to carry a concealed pistol would be recognized by many other states for reciprocity. This bill was amended in House State Affairs. Part of the amendment provides that half of the hundred-dollar fee for this permit goes to the local sheriffs department and the other half goes to the Secretary of States office. It was also slightly amended on the House floor. There weren’t any No votes to this bill in the House. This bill should easily pass the Senate.

HJR 1002 – SoDakLiberty PostsMaking a formal application to the President of the United States, that the President grant a presidential pardon to Peter L. Larson.

Rep Mike Verchio (R, Dist 30) and Sen Bruce Rampelberg (R, Dist 30) are the prime sponsors. This passed out of House State Affairs with no opposition and the House floor 67-2.  There are some who believe the charges against Larson were politically motivated. This seems like a good resolution to me.

HB 1231 – SoDakLiberty PostsAuthorize the forfeiture of any financial benefit or valuables gained from prostitution or pimping.

Rep Paula Hawks (D, Dist 9) and Sen Scott Parsley (D, Dist 8) are the prime sponsors. This bill passed House Commerce and Energy 12-0. It was then amended on the House floor and passed 63-6. This adds a lot of references to other parts of code dealing with prostitution for forfeiture. Personally I believe forfeiture laws are misguided. There is too great of a danger when entities of the state are allowed to take property; especially when that property is taken before anything is proven in a court of law.

HB 1140 – SoDakLiberty PostsIncrease the crimes and lookback period to enhance the penalty for violating a protection order.

Rep Peggy Gibson (D, Dist 22) and Sen Angie Buhl O’Donnell (D, Dist 15) are the prime sponsors. This bill was amended in House Judiciary and passed that committee 13-0. It then passed the House floor 54-15. The lookback period in this bill changes from 5 years to 10 years.

HB 1143 – SoDakLiberty PostsIncrease the criminal violations that are subject to protection orders.

Rep Peggy Gibson (D, Dist 22) and Sen Angie Buhl O’Donnell (D, Dist 15) are the prime sponsors. This bill passed House Judiciary 8-5 and the House floor 50-19. This bill adds Aggravated assault–Felony (§ 22-18-1.1) to the list of violations. It also adds a penalty for repeat violations of protection order (§ 22-19A-16).

HB 1225 – SoDakLiberty PostsProhibit the unauthorized commercial use of a personality’s right of publicity and provide a civil remedy therefor.

Rep Elizabeth May (R, Dist 27) and Sen Jim Bradford (D, Dist 27) are the prime sponsors. This bill had a major amendment changing wording around in House Judiciary and passed that committee 12-0. I had apprehensions about this bill due to its ties to the MPAA. However the amended version of the bill doesn’t seem to raise any red flags for me. And it does seem to protect a persons likeness from being used commercially without permission in SD. It is an interesting bill for sure. The bill passed the House floor 66-2.

Senate Health and Human Services committee has 1 bill on Weds Mar 4

March 3, 2015 1 comment

cutebabies-pinkblueOn Wednesday, March 4th, at 10:00 AM the SD Senate Health and Human Services committee will take on 1 bill.

Also on the agenda:

Confirm the Governors reappointment of Gloria Pearson, Yankton County, Yankton, South Dakota, to the position of Secretary of the Department of Human Services.

Confirm the Governors reappointment of Lynn Valenti, Hughes county, Pierre, South Dakota, to the position of Secretary of the Department of Social Services.

HB 1230 – SoDakLiberty PostsAffirm the sanctity of human life.

Rep Isaac Latterell (R, Dist 6) and Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) are the prime sponsors. This was originally a bill to prevent beheading of unborn children during abortions. Technically the bill was unnecessary because the types of abortions that would do such a thing are not available in SD. The bill was gutted on the house floor and all it says now is: “The State of South Dakota recognizes the sanctity of human life”. It’s probably time to kill this bill, since it has no actual legislation.

Senate Local Government committee has 2 bill on Weds Mar 4

March 3, 2015 1 comment
Firetrucks in the Brookings Independence Day Parade. Photo by Ken Santema 07/04/14.

Firetrucks in the Brookings Independence Day Parade. Photo by Ken Santema 07/04/14.

On Wednesday, March 4th, at 7:45 AM the SD Senate Local Government committee will take on 2 bills.

HB 1083 – SoDakLiberty PostsRequire reimbursement to certain entities for fire suppression and extinguishment costs.

Rep Dan Kaiser (R, Dist 3) and Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) are the prime sponsors. This bill passed House Judiciary 12-0 after being gutted and simplified. It was then slightly amended on the House floor and passed 56-11. The current bill is actually quite short. Here is the current version:

Each fire department may bill and collect the costs of fire fighting and suppression of a fire not covered by the wildland fire suppression statutes set forth in chapter 34-35.

This will allow rural fire departments to collect for fires that were set negligently. Apparently fire departments in incorporated towns have this right already.

BILLS FOR POSSIBLE ACTION WHICH HAVE HAD PRIOR HEARING.

HB 1194 – SoDakLiberty PostsSet a minimum size for a sign about zoning changes or conditional use permits.

Rep Herman Otten (R, Dist 6) and Sen Ried Holien (R, Dist 5) are the prime sponsors. This bill passed House Local Government 10-3 after an amendment. It then passed the House floor 53-16. I really can’t believe this bill is going this far. Currently local governments can choose whether to have these signs and the requirements for them. Now the state wants to step in and say if a local government has these signs they have to meet certain requirements. This bill appears to be the state government overstepping its bounds.

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