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Legislative Alert: Week of March 1

February 28, 2010

Priority Bills:

In House State Affairs Committee, Monday, March 1 at 7:45 am CST:

SB 58: Provides for a real property tax exemption for renewable energy projects. Committee representatives to contact in support of SB 58: Faehn, Noem, Boomgarden, Engels, Feinstein, Gosch, B. Hunhoff, Lucas, Lust, Rausch, Rave, Steele, Turbiville.

Legislators who support a bill always appreciate talking points to use in committee/floor debates!

Contact your local state legislators!

(Use your ZIP to find your legislators at VoteSmart.org)

Current SD Legislators

Full list of bills before 2010 SD Legislature

SB = Senate Bill; HB = House Bill

Also coming to House State Affairs, date not yet set:

SB 195: Will exempt pipelines, such as TransCanada’s crude oil ones, from tax refunds. It’s a significant amount in TransCanada’s case. To make a long story short, this passed the Senate moments after an equivalent bill, HB 1246, failed in the House in a very close vote, 33-30. So it will get another chance on the House side. See list of committee members, above.

Representatives who voted Yea should be thanked, and asked to extend that vote to SB 195 when it comes before them. Nay votes need to be persuaded to change to Yea on SB195; our state budget needs the money far more than TransCanada does.

People going to crackerbarrels this weekend should invite legislators to discuss their votes on these two bills—but make sure to specifically include those who voted yes!

Another bill of interest to our members is HB 1136, dealing with asbestos liability. This would limit the transfer of liability for asbestos damages from one company to a successor company, e.g. through merger or acquisition. Passed House with close vote, 37-31. In Senate Judiciary Comm. March 2 at 7:45 am CST.

Bills Passed:

SB 184: Reins in taxation authority for water development districts, apparently in response to excesses of the James River WDD. Passed Senate 31-3.

HB 1263: Defines terms of wind power easements to allow for large wind farms with new interstate transmission lines. Passed 70-0. In Senate State Affairs March 1.

HB 1222: Frees up farmers’ markets from onerous state regulations. Passed House 69-0.

Bills Killed:

SB 161: Provided for a small tax on crude oil pipelines to set up clean-up fund. It needed two-thirds majority, failed by one vote, 23-11-1.

HB 1202: Provided for native prairie and Conservation Reserve Program lands to be taxed as grassland, not cropland. Tabled by its Senate sponsor, Jim Peterson, in taxation committee.

HB 1113: Added prairie dogs, skunks, raccoons and beavers to the list of “injurious” animals that GF&P is to control. Vote was 21-48-1.

Really Silly Bills:

HCR 1009: This resolution originally called for “balanced” teaching of climate change in SD schools, based on many outrageous premises. It barely passed the House and was an embarrassment to the Senate, where it was watered down to say essentially, “Climate change is complicated and controversial; teach it carefully.” Passed 18-17.

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