S.D. Legislature roundup for Friday, January 15, 2021

Capitol News Bureau

Note to readers: This daily report will run each working day of the South Dakota Legislature’s 2021 session that runs through March 29.

POWERING UP: State government is spreading money to subsidize recharging stations for electric vehicles. Now some legislators want to levy $100 a year as an additional registration fee for most electric vehicles that can use an interstate highway in South Dakota.

Representative Mark Willadsen, a Republican from Sioux Falls, is prime sponsor on the bill. One of his 22 House co-sponsors is the House Transportation Committee chair, Republican Caleb Finck of Tripp.

If the proposal makes it to the Senate side, the lead sponsor there is Republican Mary Duvall of Pierre. Now in her ninth year as a legislator, she chairs the Senate Transportation Committee.

There have been attempts in the past. All failed. One of the opponents last year was Matt McCaulley of Sioux Falls, a lawyer and former legislator who now is a lobbyist. In this instance, his client was the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.

Duvall as a House member was prime sponsor of a 2018 bill that was amended and approved by the House Transportation panel but died on the House floor one aye short of a simple majority.

HEADS UP, COMMISSIONERS: A lawmaker from Lincoln County wants voters to have a way to remove county commissioners from their elected offices.

The measure from Representative Ernie Otten, now in his ninth year as a legislator, will be assigned to a House committee possibly today.

The Tea Republican lists allowable grounds for a voter to pursue removal as “misconduct, malfeasance, nonfeasance, crimes in office, drunkenness, gross incompetency, corruption, theft, oppression, or gross partiality.”

There’s already a state law that lets voters recall municipal officials. There’s also a state law that lets a court remove municipal officials.

Republican Jessica Castleberry of Rapid City is the bill’s lead sponsor on the Senate side.

EASING IN: All of the House and Senate committees that aren’t Appropriations spent the mornings this first week receiving presentations rather than holding hearings on bills.

That will change for some panels next week when lawmakers return to action Tuesday. So far two — House Local Government, and Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources — have bills scheduled.

As of early Friday, there were 59 House bills and 73 Senate bills

Some of them have only one legislator on the sponsor lists, such as Republican Senator Jean Hunhoff of Yankton proposing revisions to listing and delisting threatened and endangered species, and Republican Representative Tim Goodwin from the Rapid City area who wants to add two legislators as non-voting members to the Ellsworth Development Authority.

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