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.
Crossover Day
Legislators have until Thursday of this week to either pass or kill bills that remain in the chamber of origination — a cut-off you’ll hear referenced as “crossover day.” The exceptions are bills dealing with special appropriations and property taxes for which the deadline is March 3 for the first chamber to approve or kill.

This is a busy time of the legislative session as committees work hard to host hearings with packed agendas. There will be long afternoons and additional evening meetings if necessary to address all the bills that yet require a hearing before Thursday.
Bills we’re supporting:

Status: awaiting passage on the House Floor.

In 2020, Governor Noem suspended restrictions on telehealth so people could see a doctor without having to go into the doctor’s office. These tech services were utilized more than 70,000 times in South Dakota’s Medicaid program alone.
Elevate Rapid City supports a balance between strengthening our healthcare industry and ensuring that world-class care is accessible and affordable for residents and businesses. Improving access to telehealth helps achieve these goals.

Allowing patients to choose telehealth is an important option that can have meaningful benefits for those with limited access to nearby medical providers or those patients with limited transportation options. Telemedicine services can provide South Dakota residents with more access to medical professionals while maintaining quality of care.

Status: awaiting passage on the Senate Floor.

HB 1053 would establish an annual $50 fee for certain electric motor vehicles. North Dakota charges a $120/annual fee for electric vehicles. At least 28 other states in the U.S. have an annual fee for electric vehicle owners.

There are currently 162 registered electric vehicles in South Dakota. These electric vehicle users are not purchasing gas, therefore they do not participate in the financial burden of maintaining the roads they use.

We support this as the most fair and widely implemented structure to ensure that there is a proportionate burden on all highway users in the state of South Dakota.


HB 1046 limits lawsuits against businesses brought by people looking to recover damages from exposure to COVID-19.
Status: Awaiting hearing in House Appropriations.
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: Awaiting action in House Appropriations.
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.
Priority Appropriations for the Black Hills:
We are still working hard to secure funding for critical projects that will advance economic development and quality of life in the Black Hills.

All of these projects are still in play. If you would like to voice your support, contact your district legislators today!

SB 162, Airport Route Restoration, Business Development, and Air Service Marketing
Second hearing in Joint Appropriations on Thursday, Feb. 25.
This appropriation will support better air service options in the Black Hills out of Rapid City Regional Airport. Great for business and leisure travel!

SB 155, Workforce Housing Trust Fund
First hearing: Wednesday, February 24
We have a huge workforce housing shortage in the Black Hills. This is an appropriation that will direct funds into our locally-managed trust fund that can begin addressing this shortage right away. This is critical for the future growth of our region and supporting our workers in the Black Hills and across the state.

SB 151, Ellsworth Infrastructure Support
First hearing: Monday, February 22
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.

SB 158, Ascent Innovation Center Purchase
Second hearing in Joint Appropriations on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
The plan was always to sell the original Ascent building to the School of Mines as we move into our new Ascent Innovation Campus. We are excited to begin the next phase – a second building – but we need for the School of Mines to acquire the building before we get started.

SB 144, Regional Crisis Stabilization Unit (Pennington County)
Awaiting action in Joint Appropriations. This is a critical mental health partnership that will serve needs across 11 West River counties.

SB 157, Rapid City Regional Airport Infrastructure
Awaiting action in Joint Appropriations.

SB 156, Mineral Industries Building (South Dakota Mines)
Second hearing in Joint Appropriations on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

HB 1253, An appropriation for developing the Mickelson Trail
(connection to Mt. Rushmore)
Second hearing in Joint Appropriations on Monday, Feb. 22.

SB 93, Rehabilitation of the RCP&E Railroad from Ft. Pierre through Midland.
Second hearing in Joint Appropriations on Monday, Feb. 22.
Would trigger a phased project that will support rail improvements all the way through Rapid City.
Notable bills that were deferred to the 41st day
Prohibited interference with the right to bodily integrity in contagious disease control. The proposed bill wanted to make sure “no person, as a result of refusing to accept any vaccination, be subjected to discrimination or retaliation with respect to association, education, employment, housing, property rights, public accommodations, or public services.”

Imposed a tax on the gross receipts of ambulatory surgery centers and surgical specialty hospitals. This bill carved out a particular sector of private business and levied a 6% tax. In this instance, likely the patient would ultimately absorb this cost.

Provided for philosophical exceptions to required vaccinations, which would expand eligibility for exemptions from school immunization requirements. Right now, post-secondary students and parents of preschool and K-12 children can profess their adherence to a religious doctrine whose teachings are opposed to immunizations.

Eased regulations related to mobile food service establishments. Stripped local control from municipalities, which is not something we love seeing happen at the State.
2021 Crackerbarrels
We have two crackerbarrels left this session. This weekend’s was a full house! Don’t forget you can submit your questions and watch online. Check out our page for future question submission and live streaming.

  • February 27, 9-11 AM
  • March 6, 9-11 AM
Know someone who is interested in pro-business advocacy?