PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning killed a bill that would have prevented South Dakota Conservation Offices from entering onto private lands.
HB 1140 was offered by the State Game, Fish and Parks department at the urging of South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Lt. Governor Larry Rhoden. A number of west river landowners testified their support as did lobbyist representing the state stock growers, cattlemen and a number of hunting guide and outfitter associations.
Opposition came from former state GF&P Secretaries John Cooper and Jeff Vonk and a host of conservation groups and associations. South Dakota Wildlife Federation President Zach Hunke called the bill, “a problem in search of a solution.”
More than 90 minutes of testimony followed before judiciary committee members began their line of questioning.
Senator Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown grilled Governor Noem General Counsel Mark Miller who attempted to engage Schoenbeck directly. That prompted Committee Chairman Arthur Rusch, a retired circuit judge, to gavel Miller ‘out of order’ – something rarely seen in any legislative procedure.
Schoenbeck then made a motion to send HB 1140 to the 41st day, effectively killing the bill. The Judiciary Committee then voted unanimously in support of the Schoenbeck motion.