Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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South Dakota Lawmakers at work

Week 5 Report from Pierre

This week saw the death penalty bill defeated in the Senate. This is the third year that an anti-death penalty bill has been heard. The testimony gets very emotional; there are definitely two sides on this issue.

The much awaited Governor’s bill passed out of House Appropriations on Monday and was to be heard on the House floor on Wednesday. The gallery was full, but discussion was stopped by a procedural motion, Rule 5-17. It is a rule that postpones further testimony on a bill. Then, at least one day needs to pass before the bill can be heard again. That means that it will be on Tuesday’s agenda. The bill raises sales tax to four and one-half percent and raises approximately $107 million with $40 million going to property tax relief.

The Family Farm Act was totally gutted today when Senate Ag pulled hog CAFO’s from the list of what corporations can operate. The Farm Act was created many years ago to protect the family farm by disallowing corporate farming. This bill opens the door fully to corporate ag.

Surveys continue to prove that Medicaid Expansion is a must for South Dakota. That process is still in the works. The Governor has included it in the general appropriations bill, so there won’t be discussion in the Houses until the general bill which funds all of state government comes before both bodies.  This usually happens on the very last day of the regular session. 

South Dakota is ranked towards the bottom of all the state as far as ethics. The Democrats have introduced  four proposals that address these issues. One of the bills establishes an ethics commission; another is concerned with no-bid contracts.

My brand bill will be heard next week. I have lots of support from livestock yards and local ranchers. There’s also a perpetual easement bill that will be heard in House Ag that limits conservation easements to 100 years.

You can follow legislation at www.legis.sd.gov

Please feel free to call me at 605-365-7367 or email rep.schrempp@state.sd.us.

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