New South Dakota laws usually come into effect on July 1, in obvious celebration of Canada Day and our great polite, practical, quasi-socialist role model to the north.
Some reasonable new policies are taking effect today that will do practical good for various South Dakotans:
- House Bill 1001 expands the number of low-income old or disabled property-tax-payers who qualify for a freeze on their assessments by raising and annually indexing the maximum household income threshold.
- HB 1043 gives plumbers an extra five months each year to renew their licenses (hey, plumbers are busy people).
- HB 1062 allows property owners to do their own wiring on their own non-habitable property that isn’t their own residence or farmstead, without having to get an electrician’s license.
- HB 1063 makes it easier for state employees to get moving reimbursements by shifting the approval process from the Board of Finance to the State Auditor.
- HB 1120 adds carbon dioxide pipelines to the pipelines the state of South Dakota taxes.
- HB 1174 says only scrap metal dealers with valid state sales tax licenses may purchase, trade, or advertise their willingness to deal in detached catalytic converters and requires those buyers to keep records of any catalytic converter transactions, making it harder, we hope, for those darn catalytic converter thieves to pillage our automobiles.
- HB 1214 makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to transmit a fake or misleading name or number as caller ID.
- HB 1279 revises and clarifies child support requirements (Rep. Tom Pischke voted against it, so I conclude this bill must be good for mothers and children with deadbeat dads).
There are many more bills signed by the Governor taking effect today. But of all the bills a Governor could spotlight to show government working to practically improve the lives of its citizens, Book-Tour Kristi chooses to spotlight two new laws focused on her brand-boosting culture war:
- Senate Bill 46 bans transgender females from playing school sports with other females. Noem claims this new law protects girls and Title IX, but this bill targets only a handful of young South Dakota athletes who previously had created no problems for their school districts, The real purpose of SB 46 is to allow Governor Noem to slake her base’s thirst for bullying nonconformists.
- HB 1012 purports to “protect students and employees at institutions of higher education from divisive concepts.” Governor Noem claims it bans critical race theory from our college campuses. Noem doesn’t understand her own bill any better than she understands critical race theory. Noem’s bill never banned critical race theory, not in its original form or in the final approved form. The enacted law doesn’t mention “critical race theory.” Almost no one in South Dakota’s public universities has been teaching critical race theory, but if they decide to do so (and it would be helpful if they did), HB 1012 does not prohibit them from doing so in our college classrooms.
Noem does press release an expansion of the Bright Start program to provide nursing services for pregnant women and new moms. It is worth noting that she recommended $2.5 million in additional funding for that program compared to $35 million for more tourism advertising.
South Dakota does a lot of lawmaking. But if that lawmaking doesn’t put pictures of Kristi on her high horse on Fox News, Governor Buy-My-Book doesn’t have much to say about it.