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:
- Expanded and faster availability of unemployment insurance;
- Waiver of minimum contact hours for K-12 schools and permission to count online instruction toward the school year;
- Cancellation of this year’s K-12 standardized tests and fire drills;
- Automatic extension of all driver licenses until 90 days after the Governor lifts the state of emergency for coronavirus;
- $11 million for zero-interest, zero-fee loans to small businesses (max $75K per business);
- Authorization of $89.6 million in federal spending;
- Inclusion of covid-19 in diseases for which the Department of health may pursue court orders to enforce quarantines;
- Expansion of Governor’s emergency powers to allow her to suspend laws pertaining to conduct of state and local government business, as long as she doesn’t try to take guns or ammo (because no matter how many people die, Republicans want to make sure they can shoot whoever’s left);
- Allowance of postponement of spring local elections to June and postponement of the primary for public health concerns by the Board of Elections to as late as August 31 (yes, please!).
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|