The Rural Lobbyist: Clean-up bills sweeping through the legislature.

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Rural Lobbyist WEB Banner FINAL A number of clean up bills had their time in the sun this week, with 6 bills passing out of their respective houses. Those bills include: HB 1012- revise certain provisions related to wind and solar easements. This bill simply places solar easements under the same rules and regulations dealing with wind easements. The bill passed unanimously 67-0. SB 7- revise the criteria for determining if property is classified as agricultural land for property tax purposes. This bill was proposed at the requestof the Ag Land Assessment Taskforce. The title of the bill essentially tells the story here as the language simply clears up some changes that were made in 2016 regarding the inclusion of timber as ag land for taxing purposes. The bill passed out of the Senate 30-5. SB 14- make an appropriation from the coordinated natural resources conservation fund to the State Conservation Commission and to declare an emergency. All SB 14 does is appropriate $1,000,000 from the coordinated natural resources fund to the State Conservation Commission. It passed unanimously 35-0 SB 15- make an appropriation for costs related to suppression of wildfires in the state and to declare an emergency. This bill simply backfills the funds necessary to fund our wildfire suppression efforts for the previous year. With the unpredictable nature of wildfires, projecting what funds would be necessary in advance is near impossible. Therefore it is common practice to backfill the funds in the following year. SB 15 passed unanimously 35-0. SB 17- to authorize the Board of Regents to contract for the construction of a natural resources research and support facility at South Dakota State University, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency. Not necessarily a clean-up bill, SB 17 authorizes the Board of Regents to contract for said construction and appropriates $350,000 for such a purpose. The bill passed out of the Joint Appropriations committee and received a unanimous vote of 34-0 on the Senate floor. SB 64- define the term of a vacancy appointment for water development district directors. This bill simply defines the vacancy term for appointed directors. The person appointed will fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term. The bill passed out of committee, was placed on the consent calendar, and was approved by the Senate by a vote of 35-0. Each of these bills currently await action in the opposite house of their origin. There are still clean-up bills yet to pass their house of origin and we will let you know when that happens.

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