PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — What he couldn’t get done in committee, he got done on the Senate floor Wednesday.
Senator Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown, used his second chance and helped stop the state real-estate appraiser certification council from getting through the Legislature and reaching Governor Kristi Noem’s desk.
“I know I’ll sound like a broken record but, more government, more reports,” Schoenbeck said. He warned that putting the advisory council in state law would next lead to the members wanting to make administrative rules, too.
“One blip” two years ago over the governor’s daughter applying to advance her appraiser certification blew into a statewide issue, according to Schoenbeck.
“The secretary of the department came to our committee and said this won’t happen again,” Schoenbeck said. “Kill the bill and encourage the department and the industry to work together.”
The Associated Press found out about a $200,000 settlement that Governor Kristi Noem’s administration paid to the program’s former, Sherry Bren after she alleged she had been forced to retire.
Senator Kyle Schoenfish, R-Scotland, chairs the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee that looked extensively into the situation last year.
The committee unanimously voted to pursue the legislation to make the council official, after learning the council no longer was being used by Bren’s successor. The council has since started meeting again.
“This isn’t creating a new board,” Schoenfish said. He described it as “a good commonsense policy to formalize this council that is advisory in nature.”
Senator Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, said he wasn’t clear how the last section of the bill would work.
It says, “If an appraiser, real estate broker, or mortgage broker member of the council is subject to any disciplinary action that affects legal eligibility to engage in appraisal practice, real estate brokerage, or mortgage brokerage, the council shall recommend that the secretary of the Department of Labor and Regulation remove the member.”
That section was added by the House committee. Senator Reynold Nesiba, D-Sioux Falls, said he hopes that section never comes into play.
Representative Linda Duba, D-Sioux Falls, was the bill’s prime sponsor and is on GOAC. She issued a statement afterward.
“I’m disappointed for the appraisers. They tried in good faith to continue their advisory relationship with the (Department of Labor and Regulation) for nearly a year and were given the silent treatment,” Duba said.
“I will take the secretary of labor at her word that the (department) will re-establish a collaborative relationship, will ensure members are compensated for their council work, will ask the council for advice when selecting the new (executive director), and will consider expanding the council based on the recommendations provided by the members,” she continued.