PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota House of Representatives this week gets to consider the governor’s once-dead legislation seeking a new scholarship program to help foster children’s families with education costs at non-public schools.
The Senate Education Committee set aside SB-100 on a 4-2 vote a month ago. But on Thursday, the House Local Government Committee amended the language into SB-82. It’s the first bill scheduled for House debate on Monday.
Governor Kristi Noem originally wanted $15 million with the program to end July 1, 2026. The House version calls for $1, with the bill’s backers hoping to find more for it during this final week of the 2023 session.
Topping the Senate’s debate calendar for Monday is HB-1137, which would reduce the state sales-tax rate to 4.2% from the current 4.5% rate. The House passed it 66-3 last month, but it’s likely to be defeated in the Senate, at least for now, as the two chambers maneuver on the best approach to cutting taxes.
Senators on Thursday voted 31-2 for their preference: A $425 property-tax credit for owner-occupied homes.
Later this week the Senate also must decide whether it wants to expand South Dakota’s primary elections to include more contests. Senators voted 18-16 last month for SB-40 that called for switching nomination contests for six statewide elected offices from political-party conventions to statewide primaries.
The House on Friday however removed nearly all of that language, through an amendment by Republican Rep. Jessica Bahmuller that passed on a voice vote, and then voted 48-21 to return a greatly-reduced version to the Senate.
The House kept only those parts of the bill that would let governor nominees choose their running mates for lieutenant governor.