Closing in on “Summer Break”
As we head into the final week of the legislative session the energy at the capitol is reminiscent of the final weeks of school before break. People are a bit more energetic than in weeks past, little pranks are pulled in hearings – like when a lobbyist pretended to walk up in opposition testimony on a friend’s bill to make him nervous before veering off back towards his seat.
Yet just like preparing for finals and making sure all your assignments are finished we are also seeing long hearings lasting late into the evenings as committees and chambers work to get through all the bills. The House floor had a four-hour hearing on Wednesday as they sought to work through some of the more controversial bills. With one week left there is still plenty to do and plenty to keep watch on, as this will also be the last week to pull any legislative sleights-of-hand, or to make any political points through the legislative process.
HB 1322 – an act to ‘provide for the direct sale of certain home-produced or home-processed foods and food products’ (our cottage food bill) passed unanimously out of its second committee, Senate Commerce and Energy!
However, even with three unanimous votes, this bill is not out of the park yet. Due to some potential politicking, we need to ensure that Senators know how excellent this bill is and how important it is to local producers. If you can, please contact your legislator and let them know you support this bill and want to see it passed!! Below are some of the talking points on why this bill is important, and you can find your legislator’s contact information here: https://sdlegislature.gov/Legislators/Find
The bill makes a number of positive changes for food entrepreneurs, including:
- Allows a broader range of foods to be sold direct to consumers throughout the state, including fermented foods, kuchen, pesto, frozen fruits & vegetables;
- Gives producers the ability to make variations in canned acid & acidified foods based on what is in seasonal supply without having to re-certify each recipe;
- Provides an online food safety training (with renewal every five years) that allows for sale of the full range of foods under the law;
- Preserves the ability to sell shelf stable baked goods with no additional licensing requirements; AND
- Removes requirement for 3rd Party Processing Authority certification of canned foods, BUT allows producers to continue selling recipes certified under that system
- The bill passed unanimously in all both committees AND on the House floor!
Questions? Contact Rebecca at (605) 697-5204 x260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SB 175 – an act to ‘make an appropriation to the Department of Game, Fish and Parks for building a shooting range in western South Dakota and to declare an emergency’, failed in the House Appropriations Committee but was ‘smoked out’ on the House floor on Thursday. This means that a motion was made to bring it to the floor even though the committee did not recommend it. Since the bill is declared an emergency it will require a 2/3 approval to pass next week on the House floor.
This Week’s Report
- HB 1120 – include carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide capture companies in certain provisions regarding pipeline taxation.
- SB 135 – revise provisions regarding agritourism liability.
- SB50 – make an appropriation for water, wastewater and storm water projects throughout state government, and to declare an emergency.
- Lake Andes drainage and MO River water pipeline study projects rolled into this bill
- HB 1096 – revise provisions regarding livestock identification.
- HB 1255 – Clarify certain public meeting requirements
- SB 69 – provide for an electronic system to update voter registration information.
- SB 139 – provide for the creation and funding of Oceti Sakowin community-based schools.
- HB 1071 – make an appropriation for maintaining the drainage of Lake Andes and to declare an emergency.
- This was tabled at its sponsor’s request, as the ‘ask’ has been rolled into SB50 which is a larger water appropriations bill.
- HB 1325 – revise the classification of agricultural land according to soil type.
The Importance of Showing Up
Having a solid presence in Pierre from year to year is a critical component of DRA’s grassroots organizing, and DRA’s organizational knowledge related to South Dakota’s legislative history is quite astounding! As we continue organizing landowners along the proposed routes of the two carbon dioxide pipelines in the state, folks new to DRA, and those that haven’t organized on a common issue before are thrilled and relieved to find the resources that our grassroots organization provide.
When faced with a daunting $4.5 billion dollar project funded by well-connected politicians it is natural for these people to recognize the need for representation in the halls of power. So when they learn that DRA has consistently kept a presence in Pierre and has a history of showing on issues like the one they now face, the experience is like stumbling upon a spring in a desert! The long-lasting legislative efforts of our members, staff, and previous lobbyists is something to celebrate and cherish, and is a breath of fresh air to those who turn to DRA for assistance organizing.
DRA’s work at the Legislative Session is 100% funded by people like YOU!
Please consider an investment in our legislative work by visiting: https://www.dakotarural.org/leg-session/
Or, you can mail donations to us at PO Box 549 Brookings, SD 57006