South Dakota Legislature is split on who gets to regulate bags, boxes and straws

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota House of Representatives faces at least one more vote Tuesday afternoon on keeping local governments from regulating containers and straws.

Those items aren’t locally restricted now by any South Dakota community. But the time could come, and that’s a day the South Dakota Retailers Association doesn’t want to see.

It’s why the business group is trying to get the Legislature’s final approval for SB 54. The legislation would keep local governments from adopting ordinances more restrictive than state government’s regulation-free approach.

The South Dakota Municipal League that represents city governments is on the opposite side. The league is trying to keep open the option for communities to set their standards locally.

SB 54 was sailing on a smooth course toward final passage: A 6-0 recommendation from a Senate committee, followed by the full Senate’s approval 22-12 and an 11-2 recommendation from a House committee.

But the legislation smashed against the political rocks Thursday in the 70-seat House. Needing a majority of at least 36, it failed on a 30-33 vote.

Representative Doug Post, a Volga Republican, immediately gave notice of his intent to reconsider.

That means, at this point in the session, the bill comes up again the next day the House is back working — in this instance, Tuesday.

A recorded vote will be taken that afternoon on whether the House wants to further consider the issue.

If a majority says yes, the debate will reopen — but perhaps not that same day — followed by a second vote to again decide the issue.

Here’s how Nathan Sanderson, the retailers’ executive director, explained to Keloland News on Friday why preempting local governments is a good idea on this issue.

“Many states around the country, including North Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota, have enacted statewide preemptions, because their citizens prefer to determine for themselves how best to carry and consume food and other products,” Sanderson said.

He continued, “South Dakota already has laws preempting cities from banning beverage containers, garbage bags and packaging materials.”

Yvonne Taylor, the municipal league’s executive director, told Keloland News she sees a different side.

“We value and respect our local retailers, because what we all want is vibrant and healthy cities and towns. But we think it works best to create that vibrancy with the local people, including our partners in the business community, deciding locally how they want their city to look and operate,” Taylor said.

Sanderson came back to this perspective.

“SB 54 ensures that South Dakota doesn’t become a patchwork of different laws for products that South Dakotans use every day,” he said. “Businesses certainly support recycling and other efforts to protect the environment. Most also believe that bans on specific products do little to address littering while negatively impacting citizens and small businesses.

Taylor wants local decisions rather than state government deciding for all.

“This issue shows how well that has worked — no city in South Dakota has enacted any ban on plastic containers or ‘auxiliary containers,” she said, using the term that appears in the legislation. “The one city that did explore the option rejected the idea. Local control works.  This bill is unnecessary.”

The House has 59 Republicans and 11 Democrats. Thirty Republicans voted for SB 54. Twenty-three Republicans and 10 Democrats voted against.

There could be competition by each side to pick up votes among the six Republicans and one Democrat who weren’t at the vote.

The Legislature has 35 districts, each with one senator and two representatives. The nine districts in Sioux Falls and neighboring areas saw their House members split seven-seven on the preemption bill, with four excused.

The seven districts in the Rapid City and Black Hills area were tilted more against, with four House members voting yes and eight voting no, and two excused.

Here’s a breakdown.

Voting yes:

Arch Beal, R-Sioux Falls.

Tom Brunner, R-Nisland.

Mike Diedrich, R-Rapid City.

Mary Duvall, R-Pierre.

Caleb Finck, R-Tripp.

Tim Goodwin, R-Rapid City.

Spencer Gosch, R-Glenham.

Lana Greenfield, R-Doland.

Randy Gross, R-Elkton.

Dayle Hammock, R-Spearfish.

Kevin Jensen, R-Canton.

Chris Johnson, R-Rapid City.

Chris Karr, R-Sioux Falls.

Lance Koth, R-Mitchell.

Isaac Latterell, R-Tea.

Sam Marty, R-Prairie City.

Rhonda Milstead, R-Hartford.

Paul Miskimins, R-Mitchell.

Marty Overweg, R-New Holland.

Carl Perry, R-Aberdeen.

Kent Peterson, R-Salem.

Tom Pischke, R-Dell Rapids.

Doug Post, R-Volga.

Lee Qualm, R-Platte.

Rebecca Reimer, R-Chamberlain.

Tim Rounds, R-Pierre.

Manny Steele, R-Sioux Falls.

James Wangsness, R-Miller.

Kaleb Weis, R-Aberdeen.

Marli Wiese, R-Madison.

Voting no were:

David Anderson, R-Hudson.

Hugh Bartels, R-Watertown.

Doug Barthel, R-Sioux Falls.

Shawn Bordeaux, D-Mission.

Scyller Borglum, R-Rapid City.

Kirk Chaffee, R-Whitewood.

Roger Chase, R-Huron.

Ryan Cwach, D-Yankton.

Drew Dennert, R-Aberdeen.

Linda Duba, D-Sioux Falls.

Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls.

Erin Healy, D-Sioux Falls.

Taffy Howard, R-Rapid City.

Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton.

Timothy Johns, R-Lead.

David Johnson, R-Rapid City.

Oren Lesmeister, D-Parade.

Steve Livermont, R-Martin.

Steven McCleerey, D-Sisseton.

John Mills, R-Volga.

Tina Mulally, R-Rapid City.

Herman Otten, R-Lennox.

Peri Pourier, D-Pine Ridge.

Tony Randolph, R-Rapid City.

Nancy Rasmussen, R-Hurley.

Tim Reed, R-Brookings.

Ray Ring, D-Vermillion.

Michael Saba, D-Hartford.

Tamara St. John, R-Sisseton.

Kelly Sullivan, D-Sioux Falls.

Nancy York, R-Watertown.

Larry Zikmund, R-Sioux Falls.

Excused were Democrat Jamie Smith of Sioux Falls and Republicans Fred Deutsch of Florence, Julie Frye-Mueller of Rapid City, Jon Hansen of Dell Rapids, Jess Olson of Rapid City, Sue Peterson of Sioux Falls and Mark Willadsen of Sioux Falls.

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