2019 Capitol-ism March 13

Special Events


South Dakota Chamber Of Commerce - Capitol-ism E-Newsletter

The Main Run is Done – A summary of bills


Total bills introduced – 462 (Not including resolutions or commemorations)

  • Signed by Governor – 127
  • On Governor’s Desk – 90
  • Vetoed Bills      - 2
  • Withdrawn - 27



Pipelines Plus – Economic Development and Expanding Tax Base

Pipeline Problems – Very Problematic

SB 189 - establish a fund to receive civil recoveries to offset costs incurred by riot boosting, to make a continuous appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.

SB 190 - promote pipeline construction and fiscal responsibility by establishing a fund, to authorize a special fee for extraordinary expenses, to make a continuous appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency

Suppose there is an opportunity to have people stay at your house.  They will build an addition on to the house, increasing its value, and hire the kids so they can buy their own cars and video games.  And, perhaps even talk to their parents!

Then, there is a catch.  The people staying with you, the ones who built on to the house and hired the kids, have irked a small crowd of people who have recently taken over a city park across the street and are yelling at your guests, your children and you.  They don’t think the addition to your house fits the neighborhood.  They claim the guests are bad builders and the place will fall apart, causing damage to the entire neighborhood.

Even worse, in addition to the neighbors that are protesting, there are other people showing up who are real trouble makers.  They start damaging the park and your yard, they light the swing set on fire and make noise all night long.  In addition, they have set up a camp that isn’t allowed by city ordinance and are attracting a wide variety of law enforcement officers from the city, county and the next town.

What started out as a “win-win” has turned into a nightmare caused by people from outside the area who use extreme tactics to attempt to stop the project and then try to hide behind the First Amendment when they are detained and charged with the crimes for damaging your house.  Being mindful that it wasn’t what they said that caused the problems, it was turning the kids’ playset into a bonfire that was the problem.  How does a government punish those who have caused the damage, protect those who are expressing their right to protest and protect your property - without turning the entire town into an armed encampment? 

And so it is with the Keystone XL Pipeline.

South Dakota has tens of thousands of miles of pipelines running under the surface all across the state.  The construction of the Keystone Pipeline through eastern South Dakota helped many communities survive the great recession and continue to pay tens of thousands of dollars each year to schools and county governments.

And - they are controversial.

Many groups object to the source of the oil that flows through the Keystone pipeline.  They do have a First Amendment right to express those fears.  And last  . . .  and least . . . are the rabble rousers who appear to be paid by third parties to cause trouble by damaging equipment and promoting an atmosphere that goes beyond simple First Amendment speech, crossing the line to become a riot with property damage and threats to human safety.

What to do?

Last week saw the Noem Administration introduce two answers to this conundrum.

SB 189 - establish a fund to receive civil recoveries to offset costs incurred by riot boosting, to make a continuous appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.

The first step is to prepare for a possibility that people who damage property and promote riots might be held responsible for the damage and costs that are incurred as a direct result of their actions.  Proving again that hope springs eternal; this bill creates a fund to receive money from ne’er-do-wells, should they ever be ordered to pay up.

SB 190 - promote pipeline construction and fiscal responsibility by establishing a fund, to authorize a special fee for extraordinary expenses, to make a continuous appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.

Here is the real essence of keeping South Dakota ahead of the troubles that North Dakota witnessed during protests of this same pipeline.

SB 190 creates a fund and establishes a fee for the pipeline company to pay to cover the extraordinary costs, should things go badly.  The company is being asked to post money to be used to pay costs of law enforcement should there be a riot or damage that is caused by protesters.

Is this weird?

Yes – and necessary.  There is an unavoidable fact that this project has opponents, some of which are well-funded and lack a fundamental respect for the rule of law.  While it is strange to assess a fee to an economic development project that has been vetted and approved by the Public Utilities Commission for damage the company would not cause, it is weirder to ask counties, volunteer fire departments and state police to bear those costs.

H.L. Mencken said it best “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”  Senate Bills 189 and 190 are not clear and simple, but they are not wrong either. 



School General Fund Tax Rates Set for Payable 2020

Levies payable this year were set last session.


The annual Cutler-Gabriel adjustment was passed on Thursday and reduces the general fund levy for each class of property by 2.6%.  Here are the general fund levies for payable 2019 and 2020 (set by SB 179).

Class                           Pay 2019                     Pay 2020        

- Ag                               1.512                           1.473

- Homes                         3.383                           3.296

- Commercial                7.001                           6.821


General Fund tax rates applied to a $500 thousand property in each class  

     Property           Levy                  Tax Payment          Decrease

     - Agriculture        1.512/1.437        $756/$737               $19 (2.5%)

     - Homeowner       3.383/3.296        $1,692/$1,648         $44 (2.6%)

     - Commercial       7.001/6.821        $3,500/$3,411          $89 (2.5%)


These decreases in the General Fund Levy are offset in a small way by an increase in the Special Education Levy, which is paid at the same rate by all classes of property. 

Special Education Levy – Applied to $500,000 property

- Payable 2019 - 1.567 mils = $783

- Payable 2020 – 1.616 mils = $808 – increase $25 or 3.1%


Bill List with Updates





HB 1034

revise certain provisions regarding unemployment insurance contribution rates. 

On Governor’s Desk


HB 1050

revise certain provisions regarding the use and possession of scanning devices and reencoders. 

On Governor’s Desk


HB 1056

prohibit certain local ordinances regarding firearms.  Signed by Governor 


HB 1066

require students to take a civics test before graduating from high school. 

Failed Senate - Vote 13-Yea to 21-Nay


HB 1074

provide a privilege for journalists and newscasters regarding refusal to disclose information.

Signed by Governor 


HB 1102

establish certain provisions regarding fairness in repairs of equipment sold or used in this state. 

Failed in House Commerce Committee – Deferred to 41st day on a vote of 12-Yea to 1-Nay


HB 1103

establish a lemon law for certain farm machinery.

On Governor’s Desk 


HB 1111

provide for professional or occupational licensure for certain active duty military personnel and

spouses.  On Governor’s Desk


HB 1123

provide for the verification of hours worked on computers for certain government contracts. 

Failed State Affairs Committee – deferred to 41st day – 12-Yea to 0-Nay


HB 1139

repeal provisions regarding maximum taxes levied by a school district for capital outlay. 

Failed on House Floor – Do Pass – 33-Yea to 35-Nay – motion to reconsider failed.


HB 1175

establish the Early Learning Advisory Council.  Failed in House State Affairs – deferred to 41st day - 9-Yea to 2-Nay


HB 1272

provide for remote notarization.  On Governor’s Desk





SB 12

revise certain provisions pertaining to the disqualification of commercial driver license holders for

failure to consent to chemical analyses. Signed by Governor


SB 36

revise the membership of the State Workers' Compensation Advisory Council. 

Signed by Governor


SB 37

revise certain provisions regarding association health plans.  Signed by Governor


SB 47

repeal and revise certain provisions regarding permits to carry a concealed pistol. 

Signed by Governor


SB 59

revise certain provisions regarding public records.  On Governor’s Desk





SB 120

modify the time period allowable for certain covenants not to compete. 

Failed Senate Vote – Do Pass – 16-Yea to 18-Nay



Proposing and submitting to the voters an amendment to the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, providing for wagering on sporting events. 

Failed in House on vote to “place on the calendar” – 33-Yea to 32-Nay



Proposing and submitting to the electors at the next general election an amendment to the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, relating to the authorization of certain games of chance in the City of Yankton.  Failed Senate vote – Do Pass – 13-Yea to 22-Nay


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