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Legislature Considers Bills On Veto Day

Jenifer Jones

Tuesday state legislators consider overriding five vetoes issued by Governor Dennis Daugaard.

Senate Bill 100 is an act to enhance South Dakota economic development through broadband infrastructure improvements. Governor Dennis Daugaard says it unnecessarily allows a segment of broadband projects receiving federal grant funds to automatically qualify for the Reinvestment Payment Program. He says it also creates inconsistencies in the law that make it confusing for the board of Economic Development to administer, and for prospective applicants to understand.

The Governor Also vetoed Senate Bill 96, which revises expense reimbursements for members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Daugaard says it limits the ability of the Department of Corrections to handle unexpected lodging costs. In certain circumstances, Board members receive less overall compensation from the state than under the current system.

Lawmakers are also considering the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 136. It allows agricultural soils within 50 feet of a lake, river, or stream to be categorized as noncropland if the land is seeded to perennial vegetation. This reduces taxes on that portion of land. Proponents like Mark Lee with the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce say the measure helps cleanup South Dakota waterways.

“We thought it was a good incentive,” Lee says. “We thought it was a small step, but maybe one that we should try to see if it would help some new behaviors along these waterways, and thus help cleanup, help, not solve the problem but help to start some opportunities to cleanup both Sunk Creek and the Big Sioux that flows right through the heart of downtown, and along which millions and millions of dollars in development has taken place.”

But Governor Daugaard says it shifts a burden from one group of taxpayers to another. He says the bill is potentially unconstitutional and goes against the principle of taxing property based on its highest and best use. Daugaard says some of the language is ambiguous, and the measure creates uncertainty and requires more resources to determine the appropriate tax.  

It takes a 2/3rds majority vote to override the vetoes. You can listen to the state legislature consider overrides of these vetoes here.