PIERRE, S.D.- The South Dakota Legislature failed to overturn Governor Kristi Noem’s vetoes of four bills on Monday. To overturn a veto, each chamber needed a two-thirds vote. Governor Noem has never had a veto overturned by the legislature. “I vetoed these bills because they put the people of South Dakota at risk,” said Governor Noem. “I am glad that the legislators agreed that the pieces of legislation are unfit for our state and have sustained all five of my vetoes.”
The House failed to overturn the Governor’s veto of HB 1193 which would have revised the Uniform Commercial Code, particularly as it concerns digital money. The vote failed 30 to 37. In favor of the bill, Rep. Mike Stevens from Yankton, said the bill had “taken an interesting turn” after the Legislature passed it. “Lot of questions have been raised since then,” Rep. Steven said. “On March 23, North Dakota’s Governor signed the same bill into law. South Dakota will be the seventh state to consider it. Those questions and issues (about digital currency) have been answered.” In opposition, Rep. Julie Auch also from Yankton, said not so fast. “We can take a year to research these (possible) amendments (concerning the definition of money,)” Rep. Auch said. We have been bombarded with emails. It would have been nice to have this information before the vote. It is not just a clean-up but 117 pages long.”
HB 1209 would have allowed hemp processors to go up to 5% THC when concentrating their raw product, but any finished products would still have to be knocked down to 0.3%. The vote failed 32 to 35. Rep. Oren Lesmeister from Parade, who favored the bill said the bill was simple. Processors could increase the percentage of THC to 5%, but any consumer products would still only have 0.3% of the psychoactive ingredient allowed by law. “The only time a product can spike to possibly 5% is during extraction of the CBD (in processing),” Rep. Lesmeister said. “If above 0.3%, the crop has to be destroyed or mitigated.” However, Rep. Mary Fitzgerald from Spearfish, said the bill was “not a good bill for South Dakota. Hemp growers can dilute their levels by adding coconut oil,” Rep. Fitzgerald said. “But they don’t want to do that.”
SB 108 was the so-called “sip and spit” bill to allow students over 18 to test their class’s brewing, distilling, and winery samples. This failed 5 to 30.
SB 129 would have enhanced assaulting a school employee from a misdemeanor to a felony. That measure failed 20 to 15. In favor of the bill, Sen. Larry Zikmund from Sioux Falls, said teachers deserve the extra protection. “The Governor says only law enforcement should have this protection,” Sen. Zikmund said. “But it already has others, like medical personnel. A teacher has a greater chance of being assaulted.” Sen. David Wheeler from Huron, in opposition, said the number of non-law enforcement personnel covered by the enhanced penalty was already too broad. “Everyone wants a felony if they are attacked,” Sen. Wheeler said. “A simple assault is almost always a misdemeanor. There’s usually no physical injury. It’s a threat.”
Before the end of the regular session on March 7, the Legislature failed to overturn the veto of HB 1109. It would have allowed local Business Improvement Districts to increase the hotel fee from $2 to $4.
The Legislature adjourned for the 2023 session mid-morning Monday.