2018 Legislative Accomplishments
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:
As I write this, the South Dakota State Legislature is concluding the main run of its legislative session. This has been a productive year in Pierre, and I think South Dakotans can be proud of what has been accomplished.
Most importantly, our state continued its streak, going back to statehood, of a balanced budget. Our budget is honestly balanced. We used ongoing revenue streams to fund ongoing expenses, and one-time revenues only for one-time purposes. We do not rely on accounting tricks. We maintain a budget reserve fund equal to ten percent of expenditures. It is for this reason that our state has earned and maintained a AAA bond rating, which speaks to our fiscal strength.
When I proposed a state budget in December, revenue growth was very slow. For that reason, I was not able to propose inflationary increases for education, Medicaid providers, or state employee salaries. Fortunately, our state’s economy has ticked upward in the last three months, so the state budget we passed will include increases for all of those recipients. We were also able to allocate dollars to the state employee health plan, to keep employee costs as low as possible.
The budget also includes funding to continue the dual credit program for high school students, to contribute toward a new Precision Ag facility at SDSU and a health education building at Lake Area Tech, and to construct a state veterans cemetery near Sioux Falls. The Building South Dakota economic development also received a reliable, long-term revenue source.
This year, the legislature passed numerous bills to modernize our state’s alcohol industry. The emerging micro-brewing industry will be able to expand and to sell their products to bars and consumers. Farm wineries gained greater flexibility to operate as well. For the first time in decades, the entire alcohol title was rewritten, increasing clarity and easing the regulatory burden.
We also recognized that the open waters compromise, which the legislature passed last summer in a special session, is working, and we passed legislation to make the compromise permanent. Although access to public waters will always be an issue, after twenty years we have finally brought certainty and found an answer that is working for landowners and sportsmen.
Bills were also brought to strengthen our ties to our tribes. Legislation was passed allowing tribal governments to extradite their members back from county jails, if they choose. We also passed legislation recognizing the right of tribal members to wear traditional regalia, such as an eagle feather, at high school graduations.
Significantly, every single accomplishment I have mentioned was passed on a bipartisan basis. With the partisan gridlock in Washington, South Dakotans can be proud that our legislature takes on big issues in a practical, bipartisan fashion.
I first came to Pierre for the legislative session in 1997 when I was first elected a state senator. I spent six years as a senator, eight years as lieutenant governor, and now eight years as governor. Over those twenty-two sessions, I have served with hundreds of good people – men and women, Republicans and Democrats, farmers, teachers, nurses and attorneys.
South Dakota’s legislators are not career politicians. They come to Pierre for a few weeks to serve their friends and neighbors, and then they return home to live amongst the people they serve. In the coming days, if you happen to see one of your legislators, please say thank you for a job well done.
Gov. Daugaard Signs Open Waters Compromise Sunset Repeal; Also Signs Other Bills Into Law
PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed House Bill 1081 today, repealing the sunset clause regarding the recreational use of nonmeandered water. Gov. Daugaard also signed the following bills:
SB 97 – provide a special motor vehicle license plate for certain women veterans.
SB 140 – revise provisions regarding an objection to a custody or visitation order.
SB 144 – revise certain provisions related to party affiliation on voter registration cards.
SB 148 – revise the list of organizations that may approve and accredit a nonpublic school.
SB 164 – prohibit certain instances of inserting a urinary catheter without consent of the patient.
SB 165 – revise certain provisions regarding child custody and visitation and the enforcement of those provisions.
SB 169 – revise certain provisions regarding confections that contain alcohol and to declare an emergency.
SB 212 – revise certain provisions regarding the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications assistance to schools.
HB 1007 – require any initiated measure to embrace only one subject.
HB 1054 – revise certain provisions regarding crimes that are considered violent for parole calculation purposes.
HB 1083 – revise certain provisions regarding permits to carry a concealed pistol and to declare an emergency.
HB 1104 – revise certain provisions regarding the arrest of certain victims of domestic abuse.
HB 1106 – authorize hunting preference points to be granted to persons age ten years or older.
HB 1110 – increase the penalty for certain subsequent convictions of hiring for sexual activity or promoting prostitution.
HB 1121 – revise the fees for certain on-sale and off-sale retail liquor licenses.
HB 1155 – create provisions regarding the language development of deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
HB 1162 – provide for the placement of a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot at a special election held at the same time as the next primary election, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency.
HB 1248 – revise certain provisions regarding filing and recording secured transaction records with the Office of the Secretary of State.
HB 1270 – adjust the period of time requiring the use of lighted front and rear lamps on motor vehicles.
HB 1273 – revise certain provisions regarding convention facility on-sale licenses to sell alcoholic beverages.
HB 1281 – revise certain provisions regarding persons on probation and to declare an emergency.
HB 1318 – authorize the South Dakota Health and Educational Facilities Authority to transfer or grant excess reserves to any South Dakota governmental entity.