2021 Capitol-ism: February 8

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

February 8, 2021


The Roller Coaster Has Arrived at the
Top of the Hill

Let the thrills begin (or, It’s all downhill from here)

The Count
: All bills should have been filed last Thursday.  As of Friday (legislative day 16), there are:

      283 House bills and
      194 Senate bills introduced for a total of
      477 bills 

Last year on legislative day 16, there were a total of 470 bills filed. 

    • Sports Betting in South Dakota
    • Birth Certificate Bill Update
    • Constitutional Amendment Proposal - HJR 5003
    • Annual Fees for Electric Vehicles Update
    • Pandemic Liability Limits Update
    • Capitol Week with David Owen February 7 - Podcast
    • Business Day at the Legislature - Register Today!


Sports Betting in South Dakota

Did you bet on the big game yesterday? Don’t tell anyone.

Voters approved Constitutional Amendment B which made sports betting legal in South Dakota.  It takes effect on July 1st and there are many questions about how those bets will be placed and where they will be placed and if you have to place the bets before the game - or if you can wait to see how it turns out to limit your losses

The language of the amendment makes specific reference to sports betting in the City of Deadwood, which is the location of all casino style gambling in South Dakota.  Federal law requires that any gambling that is legal in any state must be allowed on reservations run by sovereign Native American Tribal Governments.  So, sports betting will be available at reservation casinos as well. 

The question becomes “What does it mean to have sports wagering in Deadwood?”  Some states that have limited access to gambling (Atlantic City, NJ) have allowed sports betting in other locations, as long as those bets are handled by the casinos in the named cities. 

This debate is evident in the three bills introduced on the topic of sports betting.

First is SB 44 - authorize, regulate, and tax wagering on sporting events within the city limits of Deadwood – requested by the Department of Revenue on behalf of the Governor. 

This proposal is the narrowest application and would limit betting to people being actually in the city of Deadwood and would only allow bets to be placed from inside casinos in Deadwood.   

SB 44 was approved by the Senate State Affairs Committee last Friday on a vote of 8-Yeas to 1-Nay.  Here is that vote:

MOTION: DO PASS SB 44 AS AMENDED.  Prevailed by roll call vote (8-1-0-0)

Voting Yes: Schoenbeck, Duhamel, Crabtree, Schoenfish, Rohl, Heinert, Diedrich, and Cammack

Voting No: Bolin


The other approach is SB 1211, authorize, regulate, and tax wagering on sporting events.  Willadsen (R-Sioux Falls)  

HB 1211 allows access to sports betting across the state and limits it to establishments that hold a full beverage liquor license.  Bets would have to be placed inside the bar/restaurant and the betting lines and odds would be done through a casino located in the city of Deadwood.  This bill does not allow sports bets at establishments that have a wine and beer permit, lottery outlets or on computers or mobile devices.  One of the side effects to sponsoring a bill that is way different than one the Governor wants is that a Governor has something that no one else has . . . a veto pen, and she knows how to use it.

The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce believes that when voters approved sports betting in South Dakota, they expected to be able to place bets on their favorite teams or against the teams they don’t like as part of their regular activities.  It seems like a safe bet that voters didn’t have a trip out west in mind.  The courts may have to decide if having Deadwood control sports betting fits what the Constitution means when it allows gambling in Deadwood.    


The third approach is HB 1231 authorize, regulate, and tax wagering on sporting events within the city limits of Deadwood and provide a penalty for a violation thereof.  Pischke (R-Dell Rapids).

This bill takes the most wide open approach, allowing sports betting with a casino in Deadwood to be done “via the internet” and set conditions on those transactions.  This bill takes aim at the center of the Governor’s most adamant objections.  That fact renders HB 1231 as a bad bet.

It is essential that one of these bills pass if sports betting is going to be available this year.  The Chamber supports both SB 44 and HB 1211.


Update - Item 7: HB 1076 - require that birth certificates reflect biological sex.  Deutsch (R-Florence)

This bill required that birth certificates list a person’s sex as the visible evidence at the moment of birth and prohibits any court from changing the initial listing unless it can be shown to have been a mistake which does not include the actual person discovering it isn’t appropriate. 

This is a challenge to transgender individuals who may request their birth certificate be changed to affirm their identity.  HB 1076 is another bill that simply would have discriminated against transgender people and might have had economic consequences of previous legislation meaning the potential loss of conventions, tournaments, entertainment and investment from companies that have inclusionary employment policies. 

The proponents claim that issuing revised gender birth certificates is a threat to the veracity of public records does not stand up to scrutiny.  South Dakota issued approximately 12,000 birth certificates in 2016 alone.  There have two requests for revised birth certificates each year for the past two years.  Four requests for revised birth certificates during a time that some 24,000 such certificates were issued means that the percent of people seeking those revised documents is 0.0016%

The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry opposed HB 1076 in its hearing before Senate Health and Human Services Committee last Friday.  The bill was deferred to the 41st legislative day which means it is dead unless “smoked out”.  Here is the vote on that motion:

MOTION: DEFER HB 1076 TO THE 41ST LEGISLATIVE DAY - Action: Prevailed by roll call vote (6-0-1-0)

Voting Yes: Curd, Duvall, Foster, Rusch, V. J. Smith, and Steinhauer

Excused: Tobin   


HJR 5003 - Proposing and submitting to the voters at the 2022 primary election a new section to Article XI of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, relating to a three-fifths requirement for certain initiated constitutional amendments or measures. Hanson (R-Dell Rapids)

The joint resolution proposes a Constitutional Amendment to be voted on during the June primary election in 2022 to establish a “super majority” of 3/5th (60%) vote for an initiated measure that increases any tax or fee or that requires spending more than $10 million dollars in any single year within the first 5 years of passage.  Here is the text:

§16. Initiated constitutional amendments or measures--Taxes or fees--Certain funding obligations--Vote required.

Any initiated constitutional amendment or measure that imposes or increases taxes or fees, and any initiated constitutional amendment or measure that obligates the state to appropriate funds of ten million dollars or more in any of the first five fiscal years after enactment, to be annually adjusted for inflation as determined by the Legislature, shall become part of the Constitution or statute, respectively, only if approved by three-fifths of the votes cast thereon.

This would impose on the voters a similar super majority for fee and tax increases or ongoing expenditures of 2/3rds (66%) that are required by the legislature.  This does not seem to apply to amendments placed on the ballot by the legislature (this one included).  Note that is to be voted on in the June Primary and will take effective on July 1st so it may apply to the general election in 2022, after ballot measures have been placed on the ballot. 

HJR 5003 has been assigned to House State Affairs Committee but is not scheduled for hearing.  The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry is monitoring this proposal but has not taken a position as of this issue of Capitol-ism.


Update - HB 1053 – Annual fee for electric cars.  Willadson (R-Sioux Falls)

The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce has endorsed this bill as fair way to have all electric cars paying the user fees gas powered cars pay with gas taxes.  The technology to be able charge fees as electric cars are being charged is not available at this time.  The difficulty of charging fees while people charge their cars is complicated by the fact that people plug these cars in while they are in garages and away from public sight.  A fee that is paid when a license plate is renewed seems way more civil than going around and peeking in garages.    

HB 1053 passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 51-Yeas to 18-Nays.  Here is that vote:

"Shall HB 1053 pass as amended?"  The roll being called: Yeas-51, Nays-18, Excused-1, Absent 0

Yeas: Anderson, Bartels, Barthel, Beal, Blare, Bordeaux, Chaffee, Chase, Davis, Derby, Deutsch,  Drury, Duba, Finck, Fitzgerald, Lana Greenfield, Gross, Healy, Hoffman, Jamison, Kevin Jensen, Chris Johnson, Koth, Lesmeister, Marty, Milstead, Miskimins, Mortenson, Odenbach, Olson, Ernie,  Otten, Overweg, Perry, Kent Peterson, Sue Peterson, Reed, Rehfeldt, Reimer, Schneider, Jamie Smith, Soye, St. John, Stevens, Thomason, Tidemann, Vasgaard, Weisgram, Wiese, Willadsen, Wink, and York

Nays: Aylward, Cwach, Dennert, Goodwin, Hansen, Haugaard, Howard, Phil Jensen, Karr, Keintz, Ladner, May, Mulally, Pischke, Pourier, Randolph, Weis, and Speaker Gosch

Excused: Mills

HB 1053 has been sent to the Senate and has been referred to Senate Transportation Committee


Update - HB 1046Pandemic Liability Limits.  Anderson (R-Hudson).  

After amendments that used the term “gross negligence” in place of the language that allows a lawsuit to be filed related to COVID-19 and placing a sunset clause for December of 2022 on the limitations the bill passed the House on a vote of 60-Yes to 10-No.

Assigned to Senate State Affairs Committee the bill will have its hearing yesterday (Thursday 02.04).  The bill was approved by the committee on a vote of 5-yes to 0-Nay with 2 excused.

Diedrich, Michael (R)
Duhamel, Helene (R) - attending from remote location, rules didn’t allow a vote
Johns, Timothy (R)
Rohl, Michael (R)
Rusch, Arthur (R) Chairman
Schoenbeck, Lee (R) - was presenting a bill to another committee
Wheeler, David (R)

HB 1046 – will be voted on by the full Senate this afternoon.


Capitol Week with David Owen Podcast

In this week's edition of Capitol Week with David Owen, hear about HB 1046 advancing from the House State Affairs Committee, the annual Cutler/Gabriel levy adjustment and the opportunity to testify at legislative committee hearings via Microsoft Teams.

Link to Episode Four:  https:/youtu.be/hUlPx1iOihI


Virtual Business Day at the Legislature

Wednesday, February 17 – Register Today


1:30 to 2:30 PM (CT) – Legislative Update and Business Caucus featuring Chamber President David Owen and Ryan Budmayr, Lawrence and Schiller.

2:45 – 4 PM (CT) – Guests Speakers

o       Governor Kristi Noem (tentative)

o       Ron Wirtz, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

o       John Kirchner from the US Chamber of Commerce

Special Messages from

o       Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds and Congressman Dusty Johnson

Registration for the afternoon is $50.  The first 200 registrants will be sent a gift to enjoy during the event. 

Business Day is brought to you by:

  • First PREMIER Bank
  • Microsoft
  • Black Hills Energy
  • MDU Resources Group, Inc.
  • Midco
  • NorthWestern Energy
  • Xcel Energy
  • Avera Health
  • Bender Commercial Real Estate Services
  • Bluestem Capital Company
  • Daktronics
  • Lawrence & Schiller
  • POET
  • Sioux Valley Energy

With additional support provided by:

·         Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce

·         Dakota Valley Business Council

·         Deadwood Chamber of Commerce

·         Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce

·         Huron Chamber & Visitors Bureau

·         Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce

·         Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce

·        Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce

Thank you for your support of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry!



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