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 final week
The 96th Legislative Session holds four of its five final days this week. The Session will officially conclude at the end of March on Veto Day.

The majority of legislative work this week will be focused on finalizing the budget for fiscal year 2022 and supplementing the one South Dakota is currently operating under.

There are remaining funds that have not been obligated, and Black Hills legislators are working hard to ensure one-time funding is invested in worthy projects in our communities.

Here’s where some of Elevate’s priority projects stand:
Bills still in play

These bills are delicately awaiting their fate this week. The one-time dollars brought with this unprecedented year has created the opportunity to invest in transformative projects – we believe it is crucial to see some of those funds right here in the Black Hills Region. Reach out to your local legislators to voice your support!

Senate Bill 162 supports airport route restoration, business development, and air service marketing to the Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Pierre, Aberdeen, and Watertown airports. This appropriation will support better air service options in the Black Hills out of the Rapid City Regional Airport. Great for business and leisure travel! PASSED SENATE, waiting to pass HOUSE FLOOR.

Senate Bill 93 would direct funds to rehabilitate the RCP&E Railroad from Ft. Pierre through Rapid City. Providing competitive, efficient, and reliable rail connections to existing and emerging industries helps lower the cost of doing business in the State, broadens the market reach for South Dakota products, and is a critical component of business attraction and retention strategies. PASSED SENATE, waiting to pass HOUSE FLOOR.

Senate Bill 144 makes an appropriation for a Regional Crisis Stabilization Unit in Pennington County. This is a critical mental health partnership that will serve needs across 11 West River counties. PASSED SENATE, waiting to pass HOUSE FLOOR.

Senate Bill 156 authorizes the Board of Regents to contract for the construction of a Mineral Industry Building on the campus of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. PASSED SENATE, waiting to pass HOUSE FLOOR.

House Bill 1210 provides $20M in grant funding for a new bioproducts facility at the research park in Brookings. This programming will support students at the South Dakota Mines. PASSED HOUSE, waiting to pass SENATE FLOOR.
Bills no longer in play
House Bill 1019 would appropriate $3.2M 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 a critical project to our region’s preparedness for the B-21 mission. BILL DIED in House Appropriations.

Senate Bill 155 appropriates funds to support revolving funds for workforce housing for all communities in the State. There is a workforce housing shortage in the Black Hills. This will direct funds into our locally-managed trust fund that can begin addressing this shortage right away. Housing is critical for the future growth of our region and to support workers in the Black Hills and across the state. BILL DIED in Joint Appropriations.

Senate Bill 151 makes an appropriation to provide for infrastructure to support Ellsworth Air Force Base and to declare an emergency. With the anticipated growth related to the B-21 Raider, Box Elder needs critical infrastructure upgrades to prepare for future school sites and housing developments. BILL DIED in Joint Appropriations.

Senate Bill 157 would appropriate funds for infrastructure and improvements at the Rapid City Regional Airport and to declare an emergency. Bill was tabled at the request of the sponsor in Joint Appropriations.

House Bill 1040 would appropriate $5M 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. The bill died with the understanding the Governor would fund the program through remaining CARES Act funding, alleviating the need for legislation.
 
House Bill 1253 would appropriate funding to develop the Mickelson Trail and add a connection to Mt. Rushmore. BILL DIED in House Appropriations.
Senate Smoke-outs
The other topic to watch early this week is the potential calendaring of bills that were “smoked-out” on the Senate floor last week. A "smoke out" is a procedural move in which lawmakers can revive bills or resolutions that didn't make it out of committee hearings.

It takes one-third of members in either legislative chamber to pull measures back into consideration. Then, a majority vote is necessary to calendar the agenda item before a bill or resolution can be debated and voted upon by the entire body. 

These bills could potentially move to the Senate calendar TODAY for reconsideration:

House Bill 1217, titled as Fairness in Women's Sports but opponents posit that it's unnecessary legislation that unfairly discriminates against high school athletes whose gender doesn't align with their biological sex.

House Bill 1140 is a measure that would bar game wardens from moving onto private property without permission or probable cause, but opponents say it's unnecessary legislation that doesn't equitably apply Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights between law enforcement agencies.
 
House Bill 1212 is a "Stand Your Ground" bill that would overhaul existing self-defense statutes to explicitly state deadly force as a measure of self-defense that can be used outside of someone's home. Opponents say this legislation could lead to more gun deaths and racial disparities in the justice system.

House Bill 1075 is a response to recently-adopted “red-flag” laws in other states that allow courts to order the temporary removal of firearms from someone who is believed to be a danger to themselves or others.
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