SD Legislators look to cap off session with “Veto Day”

With the brunt of the legislative session finished, SD lawmakers look forward to Veto Day in a couple weeks.

RAPID CITY, S.D. —With only Veto Day left on its calendar, the South Dakota Legislature has all but concluded its 2022 session.

Legislators sorted through more than 550 bills, including approving the constitutionally-mandated balanced budget and having an excess of roughly $900 in federal funds going into the session.

Over the past few months, South Dakota lawmakers have been at the State Capitol in Pierre, lobbying for bills, and working to balance a $5.8 billion state budget.

In fact, some of those appropriations bills took extra work to get through both chambers.

“Many of the things that just sailed through the senate got stuck rejected by House Appropriations and then the house would have to smoke it out. Very complicated process, something I had never seen before,” said State Senator Helene Duhamel from District 32.

Among the budget-related measures passed by the legislature was House Bill 1281, which implemented a legislative panel to oversee future spending of grant money by state agencies. Governor Kristi Noem opposes the measure, but as of March 14, had yet to either sign or veto the bill.

As far as where those funds went this year, legislators say they were invested in programs that will have impacts for generations.

“We worked on a broadband more money for that workforce housing the infrastructure we’ve invested in our education both at the college level and and technical college level,” State Sen. Duhamel said. “We gave 6% raises across the board. I mean, I think we should be very, very proud of what was accomplished.”

Another top concern in the session was marijuana. Both the improvements of the medical program and the attempt to legalize recreational marijuana.

“Overhanging the whole session was what do we do with fine tuning the medical marijuana program and then Also, what do we legalize adult use marijuana, which had ultimately failed? Right? And what do we do to look forward to the future on that? So there’s the two ends? Money and marijuana.” said State Representative Mike Derby from District 34.

While the session was productive, the work isn’t finished for legislators, who regroup for Veto Day on March 28.

Categories: Cannabis Legislation, Local News, Politics & Elections, South Dakota News