South Dakota Legislature roundup, for Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Capitol News Bureau

NEW K-12 SCHOOLS: The Senate Education Committee advanced legislation Tuesday morning that would allow four Oceti Sakowin-based community schools.

The 6-1 vote sets up a Senate debate on SB 68 as early as this afternoon.

The schools would use indigenous languages and would be operated under contracts lasting up to five years with existing school districts.

Senate Democrat leader Troy Heinert of Mission, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, is leading the effort again this year on behalf of the Legislature’s State-Tribal Relations Committee.

Heinert worked with then-Education Secretary Ben Jones last year on a similar measure that won unanimous approval from the Senate but died in the House Education Committee.

One of those House committee members who opposed the bill last year was Representative Tony Randolph, a Rapid City Republican. Now Randolph is among the co-sponsors. More than half of the House panel members this year are new.

SINKING FEELING: The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee turned down legislation Tuesday that the sponsor said could have closed portions of some meandered waters.

Senator Lee Schoenbeck, a Watertown Republican, brought the measure because of a situation at Waubay Lake where he said nighttime boaters were bothering a livestock farm. It died 4-3.

PASS THE WATER: House Speaker Spencer Gosch has legislation titled “establish criteria regarding marijuana.”

An empty pail might be a better description. The Glenham Republican’s bill has a single sentence: “This Act establishes criteria regarding marijuana.”

HI HO SILVER: Senator Julie Frye-Mueller wants horses and breeding of horses added to the list of uses that classify property as agricultural use.

The Rapid City Republican has another bill that would allow non-commercial garages qualify as owner-occupied residential property.

WHAT PRICE LIBERTY: Representative Tom Pischke has a measure that would limit the actions a municipality could take for the promotion of health or suppression of a disease.

Within the proposed list of unlawful acts, the Dell Rapids Republican has nestled the phrase “prohibit or interfere with activities within any person’s residence or privately held business.”

It would appear to ban not only face-covering orders but also dining regulations, limitations on crowd sizes and hours of operation.

GOVERNOR BILL: The legislative proposals coming from the governor’s office include a request to to do for municipalities a version of what was done last year for county governments.

It would adopt the same lower threshold of a majority — members present and voting — for granting a conditional use permit.

It also calls for creating what might be a new definition: A special permitted use. The bill also inserts time periods for board decisions, appeals and court rulings.

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