PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — State legislators and the governor have found a path forward for providing more government aid to housing development in South Dakota.

The Senate Commerce and Energy Committee on Tuesday amended and unanimously endorsed two measures on policy and $200 million of state and federal funding.

SB 53 appropriates $100 million to the South Dakota Housing Development Authority and $100 million to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Any changes will be made by the Joint Committee on Appropriations.

SB 65 tells the South Dakota Housing Development Authority how to use the money. Any further adjustments will be made by the Senate, where it goes next, or when it reaches the House of Representatives after that.

The package resulted from a legislative study on workforce housing needs last year, led by its chairman, Representative Roger Chase, R-Huron, and its vice-chair, Senator Casey Crabtree, R-Madison. The seed for the idea grew from the 2021 session, when some forces in Rapid City started offering ideas.

“I think it’s a big day,” Crabtree said Tuesday.

Both bills carry emergency clauses, meaning they take effect upon receiving the governor’s signature rather than the normal July 1. The 2022 session is scheduled to end in six weeks on Monday, March 28.

Senator Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown, said he met with Governor Kristi Noem three years ago after her first session ended. They talked about priorities that hadn’t been addressed. He said housing development was down at number six on his list because it seemed like such a reach.

Schoenbeck thanked the legislators, the governor and her staff, and people in the communities that the committee visited last year.

“I would have never expected you to accomplish what you have,” he said. “This is the kind of cooperative, collaborative issue you don’t see that often on this tough of an issue.”

Crabtree thanked the governor and her staff too. He said the help-wanted signs seen statewide reflect the workforce shortage South Dakota faces. “This,” he said about the housing bills, “is part of the solution to a much bigger problem.”

The governor announced in a Facebook Live post Monday that agreement had been reached. The program would offer grants as she proposed and loans as some legislators wanted. “We spent a lot of time listening to legislators on this that’s going to be debated and what that looks like in the future,” she said.

Who gets what? The Governor’s Office of Economic Development would receive $50 million from the state general fund and $50 million of federal authority under SB 53. The money would be distributed through the state’s Local Infrastructure Improvement Program. Half of the money would be made available to municipalities under 50,000 population and the other half would be available to all municipalities. After June 30, 2024, all remaining funding must be made available to all municipalities, regardless of their population.

How much? SB 53 says, “GOED’s share of the funding shall not exceed one-third of total project costs, with the remaining portion to be provided by an equal match from a local governmental entity and the project developer.”

What about South Dakota Housing Development Authority? The authority would receive $100 million from the state’s general fund under SB 53 “for revolving loans for costs relating to housing infrastructure.”

Can a municipality double up? Yes — and no. Sioux Falls and Rapid City, because their populations are larger than 50,000, couldn’t. All other municipalities could.