Late last week legislative leaders unveiled the framework for an economic development package called “Building South Dakota.” The bipartisan plan calls for capturing contractors’ excise taxes from certain new projects, as well as using some of the unclaimed property revenue, “for the purpose of building and reinvesting in South Dakota’s economy and to create high quality jobs.”
Five main areas would be funded from the “Building South Dakota” fund:
- local infrastructure,
- economic development partnership efforts with local entities,
- workforce education,
- housing, and
- recapitalizing the Revolving Economic Development and Initiative (REDI) fund.
The Joint Appropriations Committee took time to hear revenue projections for the remainder of this fiscal year, and the new one beginning July 1. Two separate sources gave their projections: the Bureau of Finance and Management, and the Legislative Research Council. Although the two use different methods for forecasting state revenues, the two numbers were within one percent of each other in a $1.3 billion budget.
Last week the House passed SB84, to create a new commission to regulate boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and sparring competitions. The bill now goes to the governor’s desk.
Two of the bills suggested by the Teen Safe Driving Task force were passed out of House Transportation committee. SB106 would prohibit young drivers from using handheld electronic devices, and SB216 would establish standards for driver education courses. The other two bills, dealing with lengthening the time for a learner’s permit and restricting the number of passengers in a car, were deferred to the 41st Legislative Day by the committee. SB142, to create a statewide ban on all texting while driving, was defeated in House Judiciary committee on a vote of 8-5. It had earlier passed the Senate 24-9.
The Senate this past week approved the bill clarifying that the 72-hour abortion counseling period does not include weekends or holidays. This bill now awaits the governor’s signature. The Senate also amended and passed the School Sentinel bill (HB1087), sending it back to the House for concurrence in amendments.
Two bills dealing with watershed management are still being discussed. SB153 streamlines and clarifies the process for forming a watershed district. HB1235 continues the Regional Watershed Advisory Task Force with financial support from agricultural groups.
The Main Run of the Session ends on Friday, March 8, followed by a two-week break. Legislators will return to Pierre on Monday, March 25, for Veto Day.
Complete committee information, as well as contact information for the three District 24 legislators may be found on the Legislative Research Council website at: http://legis.state.sd.us
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