Saving the Best for Last
In the final week of the legislative session DRA enjoyed a great legislative accomplishment by successfully passing our Cottage Food bill! And not by a slim margin, either – the bill received every single vote from both committees and both chambers on its way to the Governor’s desk. The passage of this bill was not without its ups and downs, and must be seen in its historical context to appreciate the win.
Over a decade ago Dakota Rural Action was central to the development and passage of South Dakota’s first Home Processed Foods law which enabled the legal operation of cottage food businesses across the state. Last year DRA opposed a Food Freedom bill that sought to remove nearly all regulation surrounding home processed foods, which was developed without the participation or input of our vibrant local food producers and farmer’s markets. We worked with the sponsors of that bill throughout the year since, and got input from South Dakotans on what reform they wanted to see, and through this collaborative process put together what became HB 1322.
The bill was unanimously approved in both chambers and both committees – an incredible feat for any piece of legislation in a given year. After working on the bill with another South Dakota association that may have felt threatened by it, we were disappointed when they still showed up in opposition in its first hearing and sought to further reduce its impact. After finding points of compromise, the bill received its first unanimous vote.
In the second chamber there was a real threat that the bill would be hoghoused into a completely different bill due to politics within the Senate. Yet thanks to the outpouring of support for the bill from people like YOU, our legislators left the bill alone, and it passed unanimously on the Senate floor. From being involved in the creation of the bill to ensuring its passage, individuals throughout the state helped make this bill a reality.
One of the sweetest parts of the victory is how it further increased the legacy of DRA’s outgoing lobbyist, Rebecca Terk. As a DRA member, Rebecca worked on the passage of the first cottage food bill, and she has been a staunch advocate for local food production in our state for over twenty years. Her knowledge of both the legislative process and the needs of cottage food producers enabled her to lead on this bill that will have real impacts for all South Dakota local food producers and consumers. I (Chase) am personally indebted to her for mentoring me into the role of lobbyist, and am so glad that she will go out with a resounding win!
This Week’s Report
- I mis-typed this last week as killed – it passed this week.
- SB 175 – 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.
- HB 1166 – make an appropriation for road improvements leading to the former entrance into the Palisades State Park and to declare an emergency. (This bill had Meade County shooting range appropriation language added to it in conference committee, which resulted in killing the funding for both projects)
- SB 3 – provide for the use and regulated sale of marijuana.
Passed Bills: SB 36, SB 80, SB 40, HB 1075, HB 1096, SB50, SB 135, HB 1120
Killed Bills: HB 1181, HB 1081, HB 1170, HB 1150, HB 1144, HB 1140, HB 1331, SB 85, SB 123, SB 124, SB 181, SB 166, SB 149, SB 145, HJR 5002, SB 204, HB 1316, HB 1321, HB 1039, HB 1071, SB 139, SB 69, HB 1255
Another Year for the Books
As we wrap up the 2022 legislative session, a huge thank you is due to all of our members who were involved in supporting our work in Pierre. From members showing up in person and virtually to testify on important issues, to those who contributed to our legislative fund, to those who gave time each week to talk through bills and advise our lobbying efforts on the Legislative Committee – our work would not be possible without all the input and support from our members.