Chamber Advocate: Jan. 19, 2024
The second week of session has wrapped up. There was not a significant increase in the number of bills filed this week, which surprised many of us based on how many had been introduced the week prior. As of this writing, there are about 230 bills filed. Many in the Capitol have taken note of how rapidly both chambers have been working through their bill loads as well. The unlimited bill deadline will be next Thursday, January 25, so we will see the majority of the remaining bills for the session introduced by then.
This week, a number of bills important to the Chamber saw some movement:
On Thursday, HB 1001, an act to repeal the sunset on the state sales tax repeal, was defeated in Senate Appropriations by a vote of 7-2. The Chamber testified against HB 1001, citing the need for fiscal responsibility as the pending ballot measure that would repeal the food tax could appear before voters in November.
Water access and infrastructure
Also on Thursday, the Chamber supported SJR 502, and it was passed out of the Senate Ag and Natural Resources committee unanimously. SJR 502 looks to expand Lewis & Clark Regional Water System’s water rights so that they can continue to expand their services to other communities across South Dakota. Today, Lewis & Clark provides fresh water to much of Sioux Falls and many of the communities that surround it, as well as communities in Minnesota and Iowa.
Sticking with water, SB 53 was heard before Senate State Affairs on Wednesday. If passed, SB 53 would appropriate around $122 million for water and wastewater treatment infrastructure across South Dakota. This consists of $94 million in remaining American Rescue Plan Act dollars that must be spent by the end of 2024, as well as $28 million in other federal funds. These dollars will allow for expanded and updated infrastructure across the state. The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber spoke in support of this bill. It was referred to the Appropriations Committee where it will join a list of other special appropriation bills that will not likely be heard for a few weeks.
With the unlimited bill deadline quickly approaching, we will continue to track any bills that may impact the business community. Please refer to our Bill Tracker and always reach out to our team if there is an issue you have thoughts on, or if there is an issue that we are not tracking you would like to make us aware of.
The Chamber’s policy team will be on the ground in Pierre throughout session. We will provide weekly updates via the Chamber Advocate email, on the Chamber News blog and you can follow the bills we are actively engaged in by checking our Bill Tracker.
Watch for the next edition of The Chamber Advocate on January 26, 2024.