2021 South Dakota Legislative session

SD Legislative Resource Council

A bill proposing to give lifers a chance at parole has passed through its first legislative committee hearing.

Senate Bill 146 applies only to inmates who were 25 years old or younger at the time of the crime.

Proponents say courts now recognize that much brain development takes place between the ages of 18 and 25.

But opponents say there are already processes for review of inmates serving life.

Victoria Wicks has this report for SDPB.

SD Legislative Resource Council

The South Dakota Legislature is considering applying the death penalty only when public safety officials are murder victims.

A State Senator and retired judge says the death penalty does not deter criminals from committing murder. And he says capital punishment serves only as revenge in a violent society.

But prosecutors testify that victims deserve justice.

Senate Bill 98 now goes to the full Senate for floor discussion and, if it passes there, moves to the House.

Victoria Wicks reports on SB 98 for SDPB.

SD Legislative Resource Council

The South Dakota Legislature is considering curtailing public input at Water Management Board hearings.

House Bill 1028 limits opposition to projects that use the state's water supplies. Under this bill, only people "uniquely injured" by the water use can initiate a contested case.

Proponents say the bill streamlines the permitting process, but opponents say it stifles citizen participation.

Victoria Wicks has more of this story for SDPB.

In The Moment … January 11th, 2021 Show 970 Hour 1

South Dakota's system of assessing property taxes is complex, particularly for agricultural land. In 2012 the system was changed from value-based to a system based on crop production per acre. The 2020 Legislature approved changes in the assessment formula and process by which landowners ask for property tax adjustments. Guests: Ag Land Assessment task force