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Legislature Passes Nine of Twelve Cornoavirus Emergency Bills

So what passed and what didn’t during our Legislature’s historic online Veto-Plus Day?

Nine bills passed; three bills failed. The House rightly killed the Governor’s proposal to give the Secretary of Health emergency powers to shut down public and private venues and less rightly refused to clarify that counties and municipalities have emergency powers to do the same in public health crises. (We can hope the trend of local governments going ahead and imposing such restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus shows that such clarification is unnecessary.) The Senate killed the Democratic proposal to make absentee voting a little easier… because, apparently, Republicans want voting to be not just difficult but dangerous to one’s health.

Everything else passed:

Here’s the full list of bills, titles, and votes, with links. Note that, with emergency clauses, each bill had to pass with a two-thirds vote of each chamber. All enacted bills except the budget revision have emergency clauses and thus take effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature. The budget revision, Senate Bill 193, doesn’t need to take effect until June 29, right at the end of the fiscal year, to square the books.

Bill Title Chamber 1 Chamber 2
HB 1295 revise provisions regarding contagious disease control and enforcement and to declare an emergency. House failed 44–23, passed amended 46–21, concurred 54–12 Senate passed amended 34–1
HB 1296 revise the authority of the Governor in times of a disaster, act of terrorism, or emergency and to declare an emergency. House passed 62–4 Senate passed 26–9
HB 1297 grant the secretary of health certain authority during a public health emergency and to declare an emergency. House failed 17–50
HB 1298 provide for the postponement of certain elections and to declare an emergency. House passed amended 62–4, concurred 62–0 Senate passed amended 31–3, concurred 26–5
SB 187 revise certain provisions regarding reemployment assistance benefits in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 and to declare an emergency. Senate passed 35–0 House passed 66–0
SB 188 account for educational opportunities provided to students during a state of emergency and to declare an emergency. Senate passed 35–0 House passed 66–0
SB 189 provide exemptions from certain requirements for the 2019-2020 school year and to declare an emergency. Senate passed 35–0 House passed 67–0
SB 190 revise certain driver licensing requirements to allow for an extension during a statewide emergency or disaster and to declare an emergency. Senate passed 35–0 House passed 67–0
SB 191 provide emergency authority to counties, community improvement districts, and municipalities in the event of a public health crisis and to declare an emergency. Senate amended 30–5 House failed 39–27, failed amended 37–29
SB 192 create the small business economic disaster relief subfund, to provide for the transfer of certain funds into the subfund, to authorize the Economic Development Finance Authority to make a grant to the subfund, to provide for the continuous appropriation of the subfund, and to declare an emergency. Senate passed 33–2, concurred 32–0 House passed amended 61–6
SB 193 revise Senate Bill 38, An Act to revise the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2020, as previously enacted by the Ninety-fifth Session of the South Dakota Legislature. Senate passed 33–2 House passed 66–0
SB 194 revise certain requirements for absentee ballots and to declare an emergency. Senate failed 8–27


  1. Richard Schriever 2020-03-31 08:17

    So, assuming the immediacy of effect of these bills upon signing – I should expect my UI amount to be $600 higher to today’s – next Tuesday??

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-03-31 12:14

    Well, Richard, I’m not clear on how this state bill interacts with the federal increase in payments. SB 187 relieves employers from paying pat of the UI if the unemployment happens because of the public health crisis, excuses them for not paying UI tax if they are shut down because of coronavirus, and allows the Governor to waive the requirement that unemployed workers sit out for a full week before getting their first check. SB 187 does not appear to do anything to increase the amount any worker gets in any given check.

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