PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Lawmakers are back at the South Dakota Capitol to finalize their work for the 2022 session.
Both the House of Representatives and Senate met Monday to officially consider executive vetoes. Governor Kristi Noem signed 246 bills into law and vetoed four during the 2022 legislative session.
In less than two hours, all four of Noem’s vetoes remained upheld as the Senate did not override Senate Bill 151 and the House did not override House Bill 1281 and 1223.
Noem announced three vetoes Friday regarding spending authority (HB 1281), pregnant minors (HB 1223) and changes regarding marijuana impacts on a person’s criminal record (SB 151).
Overriding a governor’s veto requires two-thirds majorities in both chambers: At least 47 in the House and at least 24 in the Senate.
You can follow updates from Pierre as they happen in the story below.
HB 1223 failed in the House with a vote 23-47, 24 votes shy of the needed 47 to override Gov. Noem’s veto.
All four of Noem’s vetoes remained upheld and lawmakers did not override them.
SB 213 which revised Senate Bill 60 for a new Medicaid reimbursement recalculation passed the House.
The House is now in recess.
HB 1281 failed in the House with a vote of 40-30, seven votes short of the amount needed to override Gov. Noem’s veto.
HB 1281 would have required eight state agencies to seek clearance beforehand for any new programs created with federal coronavirus funds.
Rep. Erin Healy (D-Sioux Falls) is now speaking about HB 1223.
On SB 151, the Senate failed to override Noem’s veto with a 17-17 vote and one excused. Sen. Blake Curd (R-Sioux Falls) was the one excused vote.
The Senate passed SB 213 33-1 with one excused. SB 213 revised Senate Bill 60 for a new Medicaid reimbursement recalculation.
The Senate is now at ease until action finishes in the House.
The House has officially gaveled into session.
Rep. Chris Karr (R-Sioux Falls) is defending HB 1281 regarding spending authority on COVID-19 federal relief money.
The Senate has gaveled into session.
They will consider SB 151. Sen. Michael Rohl (R-Aberdeen) is reading a text message he received from a voter about the impact of a marijuana charge.
Sen. Rohl said the voter wanted to join the South Dakota National Guard but couldn’t because of a possession of marijuana charge he got after graduating high school.
“That you for fighting for people who have made a mistake but shouldn’t be defined by it,” Rohl quoted the text message.
SB 151 would provide automatic removal of some marijuana violations from a person’s criminal record after five years if they weren’t felonies and the person hadn’t been charged again.
Sen. Troy Heinert (D-Mission) said he views the bill through the lens of employment. Sen. Heinert said the people SB 151 would help aren’t drug dealers.
Sen. V.J. Smith (R-Brookings) said SB 151 was all about “forgiveness.”
Sen. Helene Duhamel (R-Rapid City) said past convictions should show up for illegal acts. She said the bill is not about forgiveness but about transparency.
“Why the special treatment for marijuana?” Duhamel asked, adding there are other avenues to clear past records. She said SB 151 would put the burden on the state and taxpayers rather than the individual person.
Sen. Arthur Rusch (R-Vermillion) said the South Dakota Supreme Court emphasizes rehabilitations with all cases.
Sen. Jim Bolin (R-Canton) asked the Senate to be cautious about setting each person’s own personal standards.
Sen. Red Dawn Foster (D-Pine Ridge) said passing the bill shows forgiveness and gives people more economic opportunities.
Sen. Rohl said 20 states have a process similar to SB 151 and he said Class 2 misdemeanors may be worse crimes than the Class 1 misdemeanor of a marijuana possession charge. He said it affects 30,000 people since 2007.
The vote ended 17-17 with one excused and failed to get the 24 votes needed.
Matthew Schweich, the campaign director for South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, said in a statement his organization was disappointed in Noem’s veto on SB 151.
“This bill was a modest step forward on record-clearing. It would have applied to minor cannabis convictions after five years and it would only have removed those convictions from public background records,” Schweich said in an emailed statement. “A cannabis conviction can affect a person’s access to employment, housing, business loans, education, and even military service. Governor Noem’s veto puts a foot on the back of thousands of South Dakotans.”
Before the House and Senate gavel into session Monday, the Legislature’s Executive Board chose topics for lawmakers’ to study during the coming months. The board voted 9-6 to have lawmakers better understand the state’s local jails, juvenile justice and state prisons.
The board chose to keep the studies of jails and prisons somewhat separate.
“The penitentiary system needs a lot of attention right now,” Senate Democrat leader Troy Heinert of Mission said. He serves on the state Corrections Commission. Local jails need attention, too, Heinert acknowledged, but they “are two completely different things. I think if we combine them we won’t get a good product for either.”
During the 2022 session, there were appropriations requests from various lawmakers to help fund construction of regional jail facilities in Deadwood, Brown County and Lincoln County, as well as from the governor for various state prison facilities.
Lawmakers will also have a study committee on property taxes.
Only one of the three — HB 1281 — cleared both chambers with enough support to potentially survive.
Lawmakers that sponsored all three bills said they plan to challenge Noem’s vetoes on Monday.
The final version of 1281 would require, for the budget year starting July 1, that any federal coronavirus-related aid that eight state government agencies receive be placed into special accounts. The governor would need approval beforehand from the joint committee to use that money on any new program.
In addition to the vetoes, KELOLAND’s Bob Mercer has reported lawmakers plan to consider at least one new piece of legislation, to provide additional funding to nursing homes. Noem also said she has signed the $200 million bill for housing infrastructure subsidies into law but also sent state legislators a letter suggesting some revisions.