PIERRE — The state House of Representatives is scheduled to talk next week about a different approach on forests that is taking root for the Black Hills. A resolution that calls for a "resilient forest strategy" is on the House calendar for Tuesday afternoon. Rep. David Johnson, R-Rapid City, is prime sponsor of HCR 1003. Johnson, who's 57, said he's worked about 40 years as an arborist in western South Dakota. He helped put together an information session for state lawmakers Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol.
PIERRE — The data breach piece of the state attorney general's legislative package cleared the South Dakota Senate Thursday. The vote was 30-2. SB 62 now goes to the House of Representatives for action. The proposal from Attorney General Marty Jackley is intended to address situations that have been in the news with increasing frequency. Jackley and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem are competing for the Republican nomination for governor that will be decided in the June primary. Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, can't seek a third consecutive term.
PIERRE — A majority of state senators decided Thursday they didn't want the second-ranking House member to hold an official non-voting seat on an often-powerful joint panel that oversees many activities of the Legislature. The Senate voted 18-14 against the plan to make the House speaker pro tem automatically an ex officio member of the Executive Board. The rejection came despite an assurance from Sen. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark. "There was no nefarious intent," he said.
PIERRE — The state Senate gave final legislative approval Thursday to changes Secretary of State Shantel Krebs seeks for South Dakota's voter-confirmation process. The 32-0 vote sends HB 1011 to the governor's desk for Dennis Daugaard's decision whether it becomes law. The proposal didn't attract a nay its entire way through the legislative process, via two committees, the House and the Senate, where it passed on the consent calendar. There weren't any amendments either.
PIERRE — Legislation that would make all crops eligible for lenders' liens in South Dakota won the backing of a panel of state lawmakers Thursday. The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee endorsed the bill sponsored by Rep. Mary Duvall, R-Pierre. The House of Representatives will have HB 1115 on its debate calendar Wednesday. An alfalfa marketer who sold seed discovered a lien couldn't be filed on it, Duvall said. "This started about a year ago," she told the committee.
PIERRE — To keep a trademark alive, state lawmakers sent a beef bill to the political slaughterhouse Thursday. The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee decided against repealing the South Dakota Certified Beef program. Rep. Dan Ahlers, D-Dell Rapids, asked lawmakers to save it. That turned some heads on the committee, because he had sponsored the repealer. His argument didn't change. "It's really been an underfunded, underutilized program," Ahlers said. But after he introduced HB 1089, members of livestock groups suggested he wait.
PIERRE — Credit unions in South Dakota shouldn't need broker licenses for participating in real-estate transactions, the state House of Representatives decided Wednesday. The vote was 46-19. The Senate gets HB 1032 next. Rep. Tom Pischke, R-Dell Rapids, said the legislation clarifies credit unions are exempt from broker license requirements. "The real estate commission has no record of receiving complaints about credit unions," Pischke said. Credit unions operate under federal regulations.
PIERRE — Changes to clarify 'yes' and 'no' explanations for ballot measures received nearly unanimous approval Wednesday in the South Dakota House of Representatives. The vote was 61-4. Now the Senate gets HB 1005. The legislation says the recitation for each proposed amendment to the state constitution shall state "Vote 'Yes' to adopt the amendment" and 'Vote 'No' to leave the Constitution as it is." For initiated-law proposals, the same would be in effect.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Senate agreed Wednesday to put a resolution on the November election ballot. Senators want voters statewide to decide whether the South Dakota Constitution should be amended, so that constitutional amendments would require 55 percent approval. The current requirement is a simple majority. The state House of Representatives considers SJR 1 next. Gov. Dennis Daugaard doesn't have a direct say whether the question gets there.
PIERRE — Lawmakers asked questions but appeared unwilling to reach a decision Wednesday on a senator's request that legislative auditors participate in a financial review of South Dakota's state-owned railroads. Sen. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, and other witnesses told the Senate Transportation Committee about financial and safety concerns they and others have regarding Dakota Southern operating the Mitchell-Rapid City and Napa-Platte lines.