I am writing this article near 10 p.m. on Thursday evening as we are finishing crossover week. This is typically the longest day of the session as all bills originating in chamber need to be approved or killed on the 28th legislative day. This gives us the last two weeks to finalize bills from the other chamber and set the budget for fiscal year 2022.
The big news this week beside the legislative activity deals with the impeachment process of the Attorney General. I really don’t want to go into detail as this process is just beginning, and there is no history on how to do this as it has never been done before in South Dakota’s history.
The leadership Huron team visited the Capitol today and witnessed the debate on HB1100. This bill modifies the medical marijuana program to a compromised implementation date of Jan. 1, 2022. We worked on this bill all week, and we had a number of amendments on dates and whether or not to allow some permitted usage before the above referenced date. The way the bill passed out of the chamber today is that there will be a summer work group along with representatives from the Department of Revenue, Health and Public Safety. The Legislature is committed to getting this program completed yet this year and effective on Jan. 1, 2022.
HB 1040 is the bill to provide a grant funding program to small meat processors within South Dakota. The governor has switched $5,000,000 in COVID-19 funds instead of one-time funds. This bill was tabled on Thursday, and now the program will begin to be developed and be available to meat processors soon.
SB 99 was approved in Joint Appropriations on Wednesday. There were questions and concerns from the committee, but it was approved on a 12/6 vote. Several members testified in support of this project from young to old. Interim Secretary Roberts did most of the testimony and did a fine job. This bill appears to have great support in the Senate, but we will have some challenges in the House of Representatives. All of the no votes came from the House appropriators. The House of Representatives will vote on this bill, and we will need 2/3 of the body to approve it due to the expenditure for the building. Stay tuned!
HB 1237 just passed on a unanimous vote, and that bill will allow for an appropriation for the purpose of funding county and township roads and bridges. The amount appropriated is $3,329,000, and this bill now goes to the Senate.
Contact Rep. Roger Chase via email at Roger.Chase@sdlegislature.gov or call or text him at (605) 354-0338.