South Dakota lawmakers to debate tuition, beer and pipelines
By JAMES NORD
Feb. 04, 2018
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers this week plan to take up bills on public university tuition, craft brewing laws and oil pipelines.
Here's a glance at the agenda when the Legislature returns to Pierre on Monday:
Some lawmakers want to stand between university students and tuition hikes. The House Education Committee on Monday is set to debate House Bill 1122, which says the state Board of Regents would set tuition only after the Legislature has approved any rate increases.
The board last year increased tuition and fees at the state's six public universities by an average of 2.9 percent. Republican Rep. Lynne DiSanto, the bill's sponsor, has said the board needs more oversight.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard's push to overhaul craft brewing laws is headed to the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee on Tuesday. Senate Bill 169 would allow craft brewers to produce up to 30,000 barrels per year while holding other licenses and sell their beer directly to bars and stores. The limit now is 5,000 barrels.
The governor says current state law limits craft breweries' ability to grow and thrive.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS ABOUT BALLOT MEASURES
The House State Affairs Committee plans to talk a lot about ballot questions early next week.
Under House Bill 1282, voters could start seeing ballot question advertisements with a new notice: "Paid for in-part with out-of-state money." The bill would require ballot measure campaigns that accept contributions from outside South Dakota to put the disclaimer on communications such as brochures, billboards and broadcast advertisements. Republican Rep. Greg Jamison has said the measure, to be heard Tuesday, would improve transparency and inform voters.
Also scheduled for discussion Tuesday, House Bill 1302 would prohibit paying people to gather signatures for initiatives, a move that would hamstring campaigns' ability to collect the thousands of names required to qualify for the ballot. Republican Rep. Chip Campbell, the sponsor, declined to comment.
Democratic lawmakers that day will mount an unlikely push to bring a redistricting constitutional amendment back to the ballot after a similar measure failed in 2016. House Joint Resolution 1009 would ask November voters to take control of drawing political boundaries from state legislators and give it to an independent commission to be established by law.
The panel on Monday is to discuss a proposed constitutional amendment that would extend lawmakers' terms from two years to four. It would take effect in 2022.
A bill that would raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 is to go before the House Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday. Republican Sen. Alan Solano, a sponsor of House Bill 1250, has said it would help remove tobacco from South Dakota schools.
MINES & PIPELINES
A pair of bills would stop new oil pipeline construction in South Dakota and end mining in the Black Hills without the consent of each tribe in the state.
Democratic Rep. Shawn Bordeaux, the sponsor of House bills 1223 and 1224, said he's carrying the bills for Cheyenne River Sioux Chairman Harold Frazier. Bordeaux said the bills affect the environment and water, which are important to his community and should be important to South Dakota.
The House Commerce and Energy Committee is scheduled to take them up Monday.