In their own words: Debate over allowing access to cemeteries on private land
This segment originally aired on In the Moment on SDPB Radio.
Property rights were a major issue at the 2023 South Dakota legislative session, as lawmakers considered many bills pitting landowners against major projects like carbon pipelines.
One bill addressed the issue at a much narrower scope from a very different angle.
Senate Bill 144 sought to allow people to access cemeteries in situations where those cemeteries are located on private land. Advocates say it was needed because many abandoned cemeteries are on private land and no longer accessible to the public, making it difficult or impossible for families to visit the graves of their relatives. Opponents likened it to eminent domain.
While the bill passed a Senate committee, it ultimately failed on the floor of the chamber.
In their own words, listen to lawmakers debate SB 144.