January 17, 2023 Capitol-ism

Special Events


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

 Question: What is Reemployment Assistance?

Answer: The Former Unemployment Insurance

Question: What’s That?

Answer: Getting Less Expensive

HB 1011
- To Revise Employer Contribution Rates.

Sponsor - The Committee on Commerce and Energy at the request of the Department of Labor and Regulation.  Link: https:/mylrc.sdlegislature.gov/api/Documents/243454.pdf  (If the link fails to work, please copy and paste the address in your web browser.)

The House Commerce Committee on behalf of the Department of Labor and Regulation sponsored this is bill that creates a new rate schedule for employer contributions to the Reemployment Assistance (Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund).  This new rate schedule has lower rates than the two current rate structures.

Unemployment Insurance (now known as Reemployment Assistance to the department staff and other policy nerds like the lobbyist for the Chamber) contribution rates are determined by the past experiences of each business regarding whether or not they have employees that left the business for reasons other than being fired (otherwise known as leaving through “no fault of their own”) and have filed claims.

The contribution rate is a percent of each employee’s wages up to the “Wage Base” which is currently set at $15,000.  The percentages start at 0.05% ($7.50/employee) and have a maximum rate of 9.3% ($1,395/Employee).  The new schedule will decrease all contribution rates with the maximum rate decreasing from 9.3% to 8.80% ($1,320).

South Dakota is one of very few states that allow a business to earn a rate of “zero” which means exactly what is says.  Businesses with sufficient reserves in their RA accounts earn a rate of zero and do not need to pay any additional funds into the system.  With this new rate schedule, more businesses will earn a rate of zero.   

HB 1011 also addresses changes in the UI surcharge system by having future surcharges kick in at a higher level of UI the Trust Fund Balance but with a lower rate and allowing the surcharge payments to be credited to an employer’s account.  Currently, the surcharges kick in when the trust fund level falls to $11 million and are not allowed to be credited to an individual employer’s account.

The end-of-year for projected balance for calendar year 2022 in the Reemployment Assistance Trust Fund is $195.8 million.  The largest payout for benefits from the RA Trust Fund was during the Pandemic and that totaled $98.5 million (2020).  The fund was replenished when Governor Noem decided to move $88.6 million dollars of Federal CARES Act Funds into the RA trust fund in order to make sure it remained solvent.


Workforce Housing Money – Redux

SB 41establish a program for housing infrastructure loans and grants, make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.

Sponsor: Senator Crabtree (R-Madison) 

Link: https:/mylrc.sdlegislature.gov/api/Documents/242561.pdf (If the link fails to work, please copy and paste the address in your web browser.)

SB 41 is the bill to redo the $200 million set for workforce housing during last year’s session.  The funds were placed in the “Housing Opportunity Fund” (HOF) which is run by the South Dakota Housing Development Authority.

The Governor withheld the funds believing the statutes that control the Housing Opportunity Fund did not allow the income levels that are needed for the workforce housing money because the Authority and the (HOF) were created to deal with low income housing.

SB 41 will create a new fund also to be administered by the Housing Development Authority that will not have income restrictions and will provide $50 million in grants and $150 million in loans.  Both the money for grants and the money for the loans are to be distributed with 30% of each fund going to communities with populations exceeding 50,000 (Sioux Falls/Rapid City) and the rest of the funds reserved for all other communities.

The money must be used for infrastructure to help facilitate housing projects by helping to build water/sewer lines, pave streets and install lighting. 

SB 41 had its first hearing Thursday, January 12th before Senate Commerce Committee.  The bill passed out of Senate Commerce on a vote of 8-Yea to 1-Nay.  The floor vote on SB 41 was held on Friday, January 13th and the bill passed with a vote of 29-Yea to 2-Nay.


The question being "Shall SB 41 pass?"

And the roll being called: 24 Yeas 29, Nays 2, Excused 4, Absent 0

Yeas: Bolin, Bordeaux, Breitling, Castleberry, Crabtree, Davis, Deibert, Diedrich, Duhamel, Brent "B.R." Hoffman, David Johnson, Klumb, Jack Kolbeck, Steve Kolbeck, Larson, Maher, Mehlhaff, Nesiba, Novstrup, Herman Otten, Rohl, Schoenbeck, Schoenfish, Stalzer, Tobin, Wheeler, Wiik, Wink, and Zikmund

Nays: Beal and Pischke

Excused: Foster, Frye-Mueller, Hunhoff, and Reed


Business Day at the Legislature

Register today at www.sdchamber.biz(If the link fails to work, please copy and paste the address in your web browser.)

Legislative Briefing and Business Caucus featuring SD Chamber President David Owen and Ryan Budmayr, VP of PR and Business Development at Lawrence & Schiller.

Learn about Policy Directions and Priorities in Washington and the States from Neil Bradley, EVP, Chief Policy Officer and Head of Strategic Advocacy, US Chamber of Commerce.

Spend time at the Capitol and wrap up the day visiting with legislators, cabinet members and constitutional officers during the legislative reception.  Help us celebrate this year’s honorees for Distinguished Legislative Service, Business Legislative Service, Outstanding Public Service and Lifetime Achievement.

Thank you to our early sponsors First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard; Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Black Hills Energy, Midco, NorthWestern Energy and Xcel Energy.

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

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