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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Senate Fails To Override Governor's Veto

The South Dakota Senate failed to override a governor’s veto of a bill to provide more money to agriculture research. Senate Bill 115 proposed raising fertilizer inspection fees by 15 cents a ton to create a Nutrient Research Education Council and study South Dakota-specific conditions. Opponents agree with Governor Dennis Daugaard that the increase is essentially a tax.

State Senator Shantelle Krebs says without further research, South Dakota might have to follow national standards for fertilizer application and safety. And she says those national standards set by the Natural Resources Conservation Service don’t necessarily apply to this state.

“Our soils are different, the way it soaks into the soil, our fertilizers, and then the runoffs are downstream, so we need to know what our standards are in specific,” she says. “We have not updated our standards, specifically to fertilizer, since 2005.”

Krebs says fertilizer distributors currently pay the inspection fee, designed to assure safe application and accuracy of ingredients.

But opponents say fertilizer distributors will pass the increase in fees along to producers. Senator Corey Brown says the bill doesn’t just deal with inspections; it also creates a new research council.

“That may be a very worthwhile thing to do. My problem is with how we’re doing it and how we’re funding it, because we’re using this purported ‘fee’ to fund something that didn’t even exist before and has nothing to do with the safety of those fertilizer operations,” Brown says.

If the proposal had passed, it would have raised $300,000. Instead, it garnered just 22 “yea” votes, with 13 nays, falling short of the two-thirds majority vote needed to override the veto.