Legislators reflect on 2020 legislative session

Politics

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)- Just eight weeks ago the 2020 Legislative Session opened in Pierre, and since then, we’ve brought our viewers many stories of the different bills circulating through the Capitol.

From bills potentially impacting the LGBTQ+ community to a vaccination bill to ‘riot-boosting’ legislation, a hemp bill and more, a lot of decisions have been made by South Dakota lawmakers.

But now, that’s all winding down with just five days left.

“It’s been a lot of hard work and when you put in the hours that we put in and you’re missing your family, it’s nice that it’s coming to a close,” Sen. Maggie Sutton (R) Sioux Falls said.

Both Republican senator Maggie Sutton and Democrat representative Michael Saba are on the appropriations committee, so the budget is a big focus for them going into the last week.

“We have to get that budget balanced. So we’ll be sitting down and working with the governor’s office, working with the last minute requests for more money, ectera,” Rep. Michael Saba (D) Hartford said.

As for the rest of the session, Sutton says education funding was on a lot of minds.

“The revenue came in higher than expected, which was a great plus and I think it gave all of us, including the educators, some hope that we can get close to that 1.9 percent, because by law, we need to get them at the 1.9,” Sutton said.

During both last session and this session, Saba’s concerns surrounded the economy and agriculture. He has brought international trade delegations to the state from Europe and the Middle East.

“Our state has not really promoted very much, we promote tourism tremendously, for example, which is important because I see that as also bringing in international dollars. But we are not promoting, as a state, the way we should in terms of our agriculture products and our ag technology,” Saba said.

All bills have to be heard and the budget needs to be balanced by the end of the day Thursday. On March 30, legislators will consider any vetoes from Governor Kristi Noem.

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