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

Chamber Advocate: March 1, 2024

The penultimate week of the 2024 legislative session was once again book-ended by debate on bills that address the proposed carbon pipeline. On Monday, SB 201 had its final committee hearing in the House Commerce and Energy committee. The bill was amended by the prime sponsor in the committee and was passed to the House floor with an 8-5 vote in support. SB 201 was then passed by a vote of 40-30 on the House floor on Wednesday. Yesterday, the Senate voted to not concur and appoint a Conference Committee.

A Conference Committee is where each chamber appoints a handful of members to a smaller committee to work on changes to a bill that was amended after it passed the chamber of origin. This is common practice on controversial issues, especially towards the end of session. The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber was supportive of SB 201 as passed by the Senate and were still supporters with the amendment made in the House committee. The Chamber, along with many other stakeholders, look forward to ironing out a win-win compromise on SB 201 over the next week.

On Thursday, we capped off the week with hearings on both HB 1185 and HB 1186. These two issues are both related to the proposed carbon pipeline as well. HB 1185 aims to make stricter land survey laws to protect landowners. HB 1186 would put in place some guardrails around easements on carbon pipelines, as well as establishes a minimum fee assessed by the landowner to a company that is seeking an easement for a carbon pipeline. Both bills were passed to the Senate floor by the Senate Commerce and Energy committee and will be heard on the Senate floor on Monday.

Looking to next week, we have several bills that the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber is looking to get over the finish line, specifically related to funding. The first is SB 45, which would appropriate dollars to the Board of Regents to establish a Center for Quantum Information Science and Technology. This program would put the South Dakota public universities on the cutting edge of quantum computing and technology, opening us up to a whole new emerging industry. This issue will be voted on by the House on Monday. Please contact your Representatives to let them know the importance of this issue to our community and its benefits to higher education.

The other issue of great importance to the Chamber is SB 144. SB 144 looks to allocate $19.5 million to the Aeronautics Commission to create grants for airport infrastructure and improvement projects. These funds would be critical to the Sioux Falls Regional airport, and others across the state, to expand terminal and gate space, and to make improvements to continue to accommodate our growing communities. Without these dollars, airports across the state will struggle to obtain adequate funding to update and upgrade their facilities, which may lead to less flight options and increased prices. This bill will be heard on Monday as well. To help support this critical infrastructure, we would ask that you reach out to your Representatives to ask them for their support of SB 144.

As always, you can stay up to date with all the bills that the Chamber is engaged in by checking our Bill Tracker. If there is an issue you have questions about, or there is an issue that is not on the Chamber’s radar that you would like to bring to our attention, please reach out to our team.