PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — There’s still just one way to become a real estate appraiser in South Dakota, after the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee on Tuesday refused to greenlight the final pieces the Noem administration needs for an alternative.

The panel’s six lawmakers unanimously agreed the state Department of Labor and Regulation needs to do further work on finding a compromise, after hearing from four appraisers who said the department’s latest efforts still weren’t adequate.

Most of the proposed rules received clearance on August 22, but lawmakers reverted two.

The current process calls for a person seeking to be an appraiser to find a mentor to work with and then take national tests. The department is trying to create a second way where South Dakota State University provides coursework, followed by national tests. That would start in fall 2023 under the current plan.

But lawmakers struggled Tuesday with the department’s latest proposal to have details in a memorandum of understanding with the third party who will provide the training, rather than putting those items directly in rule, and thereby shielding them from the committee’s review.

“I don’t think this has a been a good example of good government working,” Representative Ryan Cwach, D-Yankton, said.

The panel’s chair, Representative Jon Hansen, R-Dell Rapids, said he was uncomfortable with that “transfer of authority” using an MOU. Hansen supported the program from a policy standpoint. “Certainly there’s a need for more appraisers and alternatives,” he said.

The latest decision came just days after the state Government Accountability Board released documents dealing with a complaint against Governor Kristi Noem for interfering with the appraiser certification upgrade for one of her daughters two years ago.

Among the documents was a motion for dismissal by Noem’s lawyers, who argued that the board didn’t have oversight of the governor. The Legislature created the accountability board in 2017.

State government paid $200,000 to the program’s then-administrator Sherry Bren to settle an age-discrimination lawsuit. Bren claimed she was forced to retire as a result of the matter.