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

Chamber Advocate: March 3, 2023

The main run of the 98th Legislative Session is almost complete. The last day will be March 9. Veto day is scheduled for March 27. This session saw 491 items the legislature had to take action on this year. This week has been very busy as legislators work to wrap things up, particularly as it relates to the budget. There is much negotiation in the halls and in party caucuses about where the dollars should be spent.

Three long-standing and valuable programs received a promotion of sorts this week. HB 1117 and HB 1118 would have appropriated funds in support of the SD Manufacturing and Technology Solutions, the SD Small Business Development Center and the SD Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Legislators determined that these programs are important enough that they should be funded in the general budget. This eliminates the need to revisit and renew the appropriation each year. The Senate tabled these bills. The Chamber supports the ongoing appropriation within the general budget.

Signed bills

This week, Governor Noem signed several bills of interest to the business community. The Chamber supported each of these:

  • SB 13 and SB 14, complementary bills that authorize and appropriate for the construction of the BG Dean Mann Readiness Center in Sioux Falls.
  • SB 76, which recognizes any license for any occupation from another state. This change to state regulations support workforce development by making it easier for skilled workers to move here.

Awaiting signature

The Chamber lobbied in support of a number of bills that were approved by the Legislature this week. Each of these is now awaiting the Governor’s signature.

  • SB 59 passed the Senate on Monday and the House on Thursday. This bill appropriates general funds in the sum of $5 to the Department of Education, for the purpose of providing grants to school districts for the construction, addition, and equipping of new or existing area career centers.
  • HB 1039 will allow any member of the S.D. National Guard who is a resident of the state be eligible for 100% of their tuition to be paid for or otherwise credited by the Board of Regents. The Senate approved it on Wednesday.
  • HB 1055 increases the dollar amount of South Dakota opportunity scholarships to $7,500 over four years. This week it passed the Senate on a 30-4 vote.
  • HB 1056 modifying the limit of consecutive terms for members of the Board of Technical Education passed the Senate 31-3.

Bills in progress

HB 1137, which reduces the gross receipts tax rates was amended this week to include a sunset clause that would kick-in two years after the bill takes effect. Senate Appropriations passed the amended bill. The Chamber supports this bill, but is watching closely for additional changes.

HB 1193 seeks to update the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The UCC provides commercial law for broad categories on transactions: the sale or lease of goods, negotiable instruments, bank deposits and collections, funds transfers, letters of credit, documents of title, investment property, and secured transactions in personal property. The bill passed the Senate 24/9. The Chamber supports this bill.

The House passed SB 120 on Wednesday after amending it. It increases amount of property value owned by a local industrial development corporation that is exempt from taxation to $2.5 million.

Both the full Senate and the House Appropriations Committee passed SB 149 this week. It transfers monies received as a result of expanding Medicaid eligibility. The Chamber supports this bill.

SB 174 was amended and passed by the House Commerce and Energy Committee. This bill prohibits the enactment or implementation of an ordinance, resolution, or policy that prohibits the use of an energy utility service. The Chamber supports this bill.

The Chamber supported SB 158, but the bill died in the House of Representatives on a vote of 18-50. It would have appropriated funding for major infrastructure project to support South Dakota airports.