We appreciate your attention to a crucial part of conducting business in the Black Hills: following public policy to understand what precedes major change (and obstacles) that impact you and your employees.
The bills have arrived
As of Sunday evening, the weekend after the first “unlimited” introduction deadline, here is what’s been dropped in the queue by the legislators:

House Bills: 204
Senate Bills: 172
Includes resolutions

Since last week’s update, there has been a 50% increase in the number of bills to review.

After last Thursday, the legislators have one more week to drop a bill – though they are now limited to 3 bills total. The rest of the Session will be focused on the work done in committee meetings that yield debate and amendments – not so much monitoring what is coming through.
Legislation Watch
Elevate will use this newsletter platform throughout Session to highlight bills of importance as well as the others that are simply interesting.

You can follow any specific legislation of interest through the LRC site at www.sdlegislature.gov.
Bills we’re supporting:

Status: Passed the House of Representatives 60-10 as amended. Most of the Rapid City Area House members voted in support of this bill.

HB 1046 limits lawsuits against businesses brought by people looking to recover damages from exposure to COVID-19.
The bill now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee for its hearing on Thursday, Feb 4.

Status: Passed unanimously through the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. The next step is for the Appropriations Committee to consider adding this to the G-Bill.
HB 1040 will appropriate $5M of one-time funding $5,000,000 in one-time funding to support a meat processing grant program to assist South Dakota meat processors in responding to market and workforce disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here for more information on the program.

Status: First hearing is today (2/1) in the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
HB 1019 will appropriate $3.2M of one-time funding to the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority for the Liberty Wellness Center that will support our military community at Ellsworth Air Force Base (EAFB) and in Box Elder. This is an important project to our region’s preparedness for the B-21.
Appropriations for the Black Hills:
This is an unprecedented year for the amount of funding that is uniquely available for statewide projects. We don’t know what the official number of one-time dollars that is, but we have our sights set on projects that directly benefit the Black Hills.

Remember: the reason for this excess in funding is the influx of federal dollars in 2020. South Dakota received nearly $4 billion in federal transfers and $1.25 billion in COVID-19 relief funds. These transfers equaled 7% of the entire value of South Dakota’s economy.   
The projects below are a mix of either COVID Relief/related support or new opportunities that optimize the new growth and attention the Black Hills is currently experiencing and anticipates over the coming years:

SB 162, Airport Route Restoration, Business Development, and Air Service Marketing
SB 144, Regional Crisis Stabilization Unit (Pennington County)
SB 157, Rapid City Regional Airport Infrastructure
SB 158, (Old) Ascent Innovation Center Purchase
SB 156, Mineral Industries Building (South Dakota Mines)
Bills we’re watching: 
Requires that birth certificates reflect biological sex. This is a challenge to transgender individuals who may request their birth certificate be changed to affirm their identity. HB 1076 was defeated in committee on a vote of 6-7.  It was “smoked out” of committee, hence the committee was ordered to deliver the bill to the floor. HB 1076 was put on the calendar for the same day and was approved by the full House on a vote of 39-31. See the vote count here.

Establishes an annual $50 fee for electric motor vehicles.

Revise certain provisions regarding the municipal zoning and appeals process to make it less burdensome.

Redefine the criteria for classifying land as agricultural for tax purposes.

Modify requirements and restrictions related to certain alcoholic beverages. This would legalize homebrewing in the state of SD.

Reduce fees for annual state park licenses for South Dakota residents. Reduces fee for state park annual passes by 25% for resident of SD.

Create the medical reinsurance program and to make an appropriation therefor.

Prohibit employment contracts restricting competitive health care practices.

Provide for the confidentiality of personal information of persons affiliated with nonprofit corporations and to provide a penalty therefor.

Ease regulations related to mobile food service establishments.

Authorize, regulate, and tax wagering on sporting events within the city limits of Deadwood.

Revise and reorganize certain provisions regarding the assessment of property for the purposes of taxation.

Provide for the confidentiality of personal information of persons affiliated with nonprofit corporations and to provide a penalty therefor.
 Marijuana-related Legislation Update
As of last week, there are some additional bills dealing with the topic of marijuana and its implementation in SD. The majority of the bills below are “placeholder” or “vehicle” bills to be given substance later in Session – when there’s a consensus for the implementation plan.

Prohibit smoking marijuana and its derivatives in a motor vehicle and create a penalty therefor.

Establish criteria regarding marijuana.

Establish criteria regarding marijuana.

Establish criteria regarding marijuana.

Revise the definition of bona fide practitioner-patient relationship in relation to medical cannabis.

Prohibit driving a motor vehicle while exceeding the legal limit of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

Make an appropriation to implement provisions concerning the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana, and to declare an emergency.

Provide for the automatic removal of certain marijuana convictions from a background check record.

What issues or questions do you have about the legalization of marijuana? What should legislators know from the Black Hills business community about the changes and impact you anticipate? Please email me your comments!
2021 Crackerbarrels
The first Crackerbarrel of 2021 was a success! Thanks to all who participated online and submitted questions for the legislators. 

Mark your calenders for the following dates and check out our page for future question submission and live streaming.

  • February 20 from 9-11AM
  • February 27 from 9-11AM
  • March 6 from 9-11AM
Business Day at the Legislature
The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce will host a 2021 Virtual Business Day at the Legislature this year on February 17. Click here for more information and registration. 

Thanks for your support of Elevate Rapid City. Until next week!
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