Photo looking up into dome of capitol building in Pierre, SD

2024 Legislative session concludes

The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce once again proudly represented the Sioux Falls business community in the State Capitol during the 2024 South Dakota legislative session. The 99th session saw 559 pieces of legislation introduced. The Chamber reviewed them all and actively tracked 106 of them on our Bill Tracker. A full report of the Chamber’s work will be available later this spring in the form of our Annual Legislative Report. For now, I’ll share a few highlights of some of the key issues we advocated on this session.


One of the biggest wins for the Chamber this year was securing $10 million in funding for a grant program that will allow airports across the state to access dollars to improve and expand their current facilities. This is an exciting step, as the Sioux Falls Regional Airport is currently planning to expand their terminal and gate space to accommodate a continuously growing volume of travelers and flights.

There were also exciting developments regarding water and wastewater. Over $130 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars were appropriated to update and expand wastewater and freshwater infrastructure across South Dakota. Alongside this, Lewis & Clark Regional Water System secured legislative approval to expand their current water rights. This will allow them to supply more fresh water to the communities they serve, which will help the greater Sioux Falls region continue its strong growth trajectory.

Carbon pipelines and landowner rights

Legislators dedicated significant time and energy this session to bills related to the proposed carbon capture pipeline that would stretch across the eastern part of South Dakota.

There were more than a dozen bills total introduced related to the issue. At the close of session three major pieces of legislation had been passed and signed by Governor Noem: SB 201, HB 1185 and HB 1186. Together, these three bills create curbs and gutters around surveying regulations, landowner and county compensation for the project, and protections for private property owners. The goal of these pieces of legislation is to ensure that South Dakota remains open for business for large scale linear projects, especially ones that provide significant benefit to our agriculture industry, but also gives private property owners the rights and protections they deserve. Thanks to these compromises, the agriculture industry may be able to see considerable increases in their products at market if the project goes through as planned.

Education and workforce

A 4% increase in funding for South Dakota’s K-12 education system was approved for Fiscal Year 2025. In addition, SB 127 was passed, which provides a targeted ongoing benchmark for teacher salary increases. Together these two initiatives show continued support for both educators and children in South Dakota.

SB 45 provides an appropriation to create a new curriculum for quantum computing at two South Dakota regental universities. This will allow students to step into an emerging industry and be on the cutting edge of the next generation of computer sciences.

On the topic of the workforce, this year the legislature passed some additional licensure compacts in the healthcare industry to help garner more workforce in the long-term care space. The Governor’s proposal that would allow a person with a criminal record the ability to be considered for a professional license, so long as their prior offense does not cause conflict with the type of work they would be doing, was also passed by the legislature in hopes of tapping into a sidelined group of able-bodied workers.

Finally, a deep dive into the issues surrounding available and affordable childcare will be addressed through a summer work group. After the Department of Social Services gathers data and provides a report, legislators and stakeholders will convene to determine what steps can be taken to help alleviate this issue felt across the state and in every industry.

In conclusion, I want to thank all our members for being so vocal and engaged with the Chamber’s public policy team during this legislative session. It is only with your continued input, engagement and support that we can be effective advocates for the business community at every level of government.

Mitch Rave

Vice President of Public Policy, Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce