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Legislature passes $200 million housing bill


A bill appropriating $200 million dollars for South Dakota housing infrastructure projects now just needs Gov. Kristi Noem’s signature to become law.

House lawmakers approved Senate Bill 41 Monday following lengthy debate on the floor of the chamber. It already passed the Senate.

Supporters say it’s an overdue measure to fight the state’s housing shortage.

A bill appropriating funds for the same purpose passed the legislature last year, but the money went unspent amid confusion over how to administer it.

Rep. Roger Chase, a Republican from Huron, was part of the legislative study tasked with addressing the problem. He said this year's bill addresses some of the concerns raised over last year's bill.

“We put together a program that we knew would be beneficial for South Dakotans for years and years to come," Chase said. "And we finally got that reality today.”

Opponents questioned oversight on the funds.

Repr. Chris Karr, a Republican from Sioux Falls, said the bill creates more problems than it solves.

“This bill does create and grows government," Karr said. "It inserts more government into your lives as well as private sector, and another layer of bureaucracy into this whole housing issue.”

The bill had an emergency clause and needed a two-thirds vote of the chamber.

Noem has previously indicated support for the bill.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.
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