The Rural Lobbyist: Non-Meandered Water and Precision Agriculture Bills Move ForwardSenate bill 199, an attempt to provide a petition process for opening and closing water, was unable to garner enough votes to see a debate on the Senate floor. Expect to see the Governor's Senate bill 24 working to extend the current summer session language until 2022 move forward towards passage in the House and eventually the Governor's desk for signature. S.D. Farmers Union supports the Governor's language protecting property rights. South Dakota State University's $55 million dollar Precision Agriculture building continues to move forward with its first hearing on Wednesday Feb. 21 at 7:45 in House State Affairs. There continues to be wide spread support for the project with the main obstacle being how to adequately fund the project. If you can't make it to Pierre you can listen to the hearing on the internet here. Brand Inspection could be done outside the livestock ownership inspection area if requested, if Senate bill 156 gets 36 votes on the house floor next week. It was originally brought by the South Dakota Stock Growers and has passed the Senate and is expected to pass the House. S.D. Farmers Union supports the option of requesting brand inspections outside the livestock ownership inspection area. The Appropriations Committee continued its work this week. Revenues are up over the December projection and the committee adopted an increase of approximately $20 million with expected revenues for 2019 being $1,641,295,684.00. With the increase in revenue expect to see state employees, providers and education to get an increase that was previously not in the budget. Game Fish and Parks did a very nice presentation on the Animal Damage Control program that they operate. In the past 13 years there has been over $18 million spent on the program. In 2017 there were over 6,800 animals removed from across the state. You can see the presentation here:2018 ADC Program Overview (2) (1) (2) Plan to visit your state capitol for S. D. Farmers Union Legislative Day Feb. 27. Meet others in the agriculture industry, talk with your legislators, sit in on committees, and enjoy lunch provided by S. D. Farmers Union.