Prior to coming to Pierre in January I was asked to pay close attention to certain issues. Here are a few: decreasing property taxes, address the Partridge Amendment, support school funding and truancy issues, growing industrial hemp, and encourage the licensing and liability insurance for commercial aerial sprayers.
Two bills and one House Joint Resolution address property taxes.
. HB 1125 to create a property tax relief fund and to provide for the transfer of certain un-obligated
cash balances. HB 1125 passed out of the House Tax Committee with a 12-0 vote. I am hoping this will be debated and passed by the House and passed over to the Senate this week.
. HJR 1003 is a similar measure to creating a fund to reduce property taxes using a Constitutional
Amendment to fund decreasing taxes using the collection of unclaimed property. This measure passed the House on a 40 to 29 vote.
. HB 1080 Increase the property tax exemption for certain disabled veterans and spouses is another property tax reduction bill. This is not an increase tax but an increase in the exemptions.
The Partridge Amendment is addressed in HB 1265 which passed out of State Affairs late Friday afternoon and will be moved to the House floor. HB 1128 (2016) focused on a state wide teacher pay raise with funding coming from an increase in our sales tax from 4 percent to 4 ½ percent. The Partridge Amendment motto is a IF WHEN statement. “IF we are ever able to collect sales tax from online sales, THEN we will give the extra revenue back to the people.” The sponsor of the amendment closed his statement with “and bind future legislators to give the money back.” HB 1265 will revise certain provisions regarding the disclosure of tax returns and begin to return money to the people of South Dakota.
Three bills sought to reverse some legislation put in statute during the 2016 legislature that changed school funding.
. HB 1109 sought to exclude certain funds from the calculation of local effort in the State Aid to the
Education Formula. HB 1109 was passed out of House Ed but sent to the 41st day by Appropriations.
. HB 1127 sought to revise the calculation of fall enrollment for the purposes of education funding.
The House Education Committee passed this out of committee however the Appropriations Committee sent the bill to the 41st day.
. HB 1139 sought to revise provisions regarding maximum tax levied by a school district for capital outlay.The House Education passed this to the House floor but it was defeated there.
Thirty-five House Education bills and 23 Senate bills are listed. I would like to mention another bill seeking funding.
. HB 1141 an act to adjust certain maximum school district tax rates. This bill would have increased state aide per student from $2,800 to $3,800. This bill was heard in House Taxation but failed on a 10-2 vote.
HB 1195 addresses Juvenile Justice.
. HB 1195 passed out of House Judiciary on a vote of 9 to 4. I encourage everyone to listen to the
committee meeting on this bill! Many issues are involved with this piece of legislation and I believe our state needs this bill. HB 1195 would help our youth, schools, parenting, and county financial responsibilities. Phone calls and e-mail do effect votes; I ask you to contact all House legislators to vote yes on HB 1195.
HB 1109 is the Industrial Hemp bill.
. HB 1191 would legalized the growth, production, and processing of industrial hemp and derivative products in the state. The bill passed out of the Agriculture and Natural Resources on a vote of 13-0 and it passed the House 65-2. HB 1191 is headed for the Senate.
SB 147 would have provide certain provisions regarding commercial pesticide applicators. Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources sent the bill to the 41st day on a vote of 5 to 4. This is a similar bill brought to the Senate Agriculture Committee last year. Conversations were held after the committee with an agreement to work on this subject over the next year to reach a better conclusion.
The House welcomes Duncan Pease from Centerville to Pierre as he serves the House as District 17 Page. These are the busiest weeks of the session and we all appreciate the long hours and dedication the House Pages assist the legislative process.
Last week Dr. Denise Hanisch from Viborg served the House as the doctor of the day. A service we all appreciate! Thank you Dr. Hanisch!
Friday was Business Day at the Capitol. Vermillion’s Chamber and Development Company had a fine showing in the House gallery. Tony Keller, economic development manager, Katherine Heine, Chamber director and Nate Welch, CEO, braved the winter weather to attend meetings. Thank you for your hard work and dedication!