Looking back over the past couple of months, there are a number of successes we can identify for SDAC members. We supported legislation to improve protections for agricultural operations against frivolous nuisance lawsuits and to clarify the vote required by county zoning boards to approve conditional use permits. We supported two bills dealing with pesticides: one to make sure that those who sell pesticides are registered as a pesticide dealer, and one modifying the expiration date for pesticide applicator and dealer licenses, and giving DANR ability to suspend, revoke, deny, or modify the pesticide applicator license of bad actors from other states.
Other things that deserve an “atta boy!” are lowering the unemployment insurance tax rates, approving funding for housing infrastructure, and prohibiting local governments from restricting use, production, or transportation of natural gas, propane, or any other fuel gas.
We applaud legislators for approving these (as well as other) special appropriations requests:
- $6.25 million to improve the railroad from Milbank to Sisseton
- $3 million for the bioproducts facility in Brookings
- $5 million for grants to school districts for career and technical education equipment
- $5.8 million in expenditure authority to fix ag buildings at SDSU damaged last year in the derecho
- $9 million for the DEX building at the State Fairgrounds
At the same time, we applaud legislators for saying no to these (as well as other) ideas:
- imposing additional reporting requirements on grain buyers
- enacting a state “right-to-repair” law, which sounds good but is an issue that is sorting itself without legislative involvement, thanks to industry working out MOUs with equipment manufacturers
- requiring landowners to allow unfettered access to abandoned cemeteries
- revising distribution of the petroleum release compensation and tank inspection fees, and sweeping $850,000 from the ethanol fund into the water fund
- doubling the fee that utilities would have to pay for crossing a railroad right-of-way
- mandating who can use the title “veterinary technician”