This week is crossover week. This means that all bills that originated in the house of origin must either be voted in favor, or killed for this legislative session. Crossover week is the busiest week of the session, and this year will be no different.
The House of Representatives has had a breakout with positive COVID diagnoses with eight members testing positive and having to attend remotely for the past two weeks. I feel as if I am walking through a mine field as I visit and work with other house members. Many members are getting vaccinated now as vaccines are available to legislators in that age group. Hopefully, the worst is behind us now.
The members of the House meet on Sunday evening to discuss the different bills that all pertain to spending one-time funds. I made the comment several weeks ago that setting the budget in years when we have no extra money is easier than what we are confronted with this year. SB99 is the Dakota Events Complex project, and it seems that there is good support for this project. There are some nay sayers, but I think it will get approved in the end. I encourage you if you plan to made a pledge to this facility to get that pledge turned in. Approval is still contingent on the Community and State Fair Foundation raising $4,000,000.
The Agriculture committee has had several bills that we have passed out of committee and sent to the floor for approval. HB1210 passed the committee last week, and this makes an appropriation to Board of Regents to provide grant funding for a new bioproducts facility at the research park in Brookings. This is a joint effort between SDSU and School of Mines in Rapid City. They will do research on different ways we can add value to agricultural commodities and timber in South Dakota. Normally, you don’t see a joint project between two universities, but this project is exciting and will likely get approved.
I continue to appreciate all the emails and phone calls from you back home as you watch what is happening in this year's legislative session.
The final coffee with the legislators is scheduled for this Saturday the 27th. Please plan to attend or watch on Youtube.
To those who attended the last coffee with the legislators in Huron or came to the event in De Smet on the 13th, we appreciate your attendance. Your contact and interest are important to us as legislators. I will give you an update next week on what bills were passed by the House and some of the important bills that have come from the Senate. Stay safe and stay warm as spring and the end of the legislative session is near!
Contact Rep. Roger Chase via email at Roger.Chase@sdlegislature.gov or call or text him at (605) 354-0338.