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

Chamber Advocate: March 10, 2023

The nine week long main run of the 98th Legislative Session is now complete. Veto day is scheduled for March 27.

There were 450 bills and 41 resolutions/commemorations for a grand total of 491 items the legislature took action on this year. The focus of this final week has been the budget and funding priorities. There was much negotiation in the halls and in party caucuses about the agreed priorities between the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Budget and taxes

HB 1137 was one of the last bills of the session. It reduces the state’s existing 4.5% tax rate to 4.2%. HB 1137 was amended several times in each chamber before a comprise version passed both the House of Representatives and Senate. The final version includes a sunset clause that will repeal the .3% reduction on June 30, 2027. The Chamber supports this bill – it is now in the Governor’s hands.

SB 210 is the bill that funds the big three: teachers, state employees and community providers. Through this legislation, community providers received a rate adjustment of 100%. The state employees received an increase of 7%, with targeted increases. There are tuition freezes for state universities and technical schools. The bill also funded Medicaid Expansion as that program begins on July 1, 2023. (Note the original bill number for the FY2024 budget was SB 203.)

HB 1049 revises the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2023. This bill is often called the supplemental bill. It funds the ordinary expenses of state government in the second half of the current fiscal year, making the necessary changes mid-year to adjust for changing circumstances. HB 1049 decreases $45.8 million general fund expenses and other related reductions, such as a savings of $70 million to the FY23 budget that it allowed funding for important programs that have been backlogged.

Governor Vetoes

As of this writing, the Governor has vetoed four bills so far this session. Last week, she vetoed HB 1109, the occupation tax for business improvement districts. This week saw three more vetoes:

  • SB 108 providing an educational exception to consumption prohibitions for persons over eighteen years of age who are required to taste an alcoholic beverage as part of a course.
  • SB 129 included school employees in certain assault provisions and provide a penalty therefor.
  • HB 1193 amended provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code. The Chamber supported this bill and we will be in contact with legislators over the coming weeks encouraging them to vote to override the veto.

Other bills

Bills that the Chamber supports that were passed by the legislature and are now waiting for the Governor’s signature include:

  • SB 59 appropriates general fund in the sum of $5 million 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.
  • SB 174 prohibits the enactment or implementation of an ordinance, resolution, or policy that prohibits the use of an energy utility service.

One bill that the Chamber supported will not be headed to the Governor’s desk. SB 149 would have created the Medicaid expansion fund and transferred monies received as a result of expanding Medicaid eligibility. The bill died because the House and the Senate did not concur on amendments to the bill.