How They Voted: Mitchell legislators, Feb. 25-March 3

  Sen. Mike Vehle Rep. Lance Carson Rep. Noel Hamiel
BIG STONE AID (SB 172): The Senate voted 23-10 to change state law so that environmental upgrades required at the coal-fired Big Stone power plant can continue to qualify for property-tax exemptions. The measure now heads to the House. Y    
CEMENT TRUST (HJR 1004): The House supported, by a vote of 56-14, proposing a constitutional amendment for voters to decide later this year regarding how earnings are distributed from the South Dakota Cement Plant trust fund. The state constitution currently requires that the trust fund provide at least $12 million a year, regardless of how well the fund’s investments have fared. The proposed change would gradually reduce the amount during the next four years and then switch to a 4 percent payout for the 2016 budget. The measure now goes to the Senate.   Y Y
CABINET PLAN (SB 140): The Senate rejected, by a vote of 21-11, legislation from Senate Republican leader Dave Knudson of Sioux Falls to split apart the state Department of Tourism and State Development. Knudson wanted to return the tourism office, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the state-tribal relations office to stand-alone Cabinet status as they were prior to Gov. Mike Rounds’ reorganization in 2003. Y    
CORONER TRAINING (HB 1062): County coroners would be required to attend two days of training under a bill that passed the Senate on a 34-1 vote. The bill now goes to the governor. Y    
BARNETT CENTER EXPANSION (SB 26): The House voted 65-5 to support the privately-funded expansion of the Barnett Center athletic complex at Northern State University, and the Senate voted 33-1 to concur with a minor amendment made by the House. The bill now goes to the governor. N Y Y
VEHICLE DEALERS (HB 1088): The Senate gave 35-0 approval to what’s been labeled as “David and Goliath” legislation, intended to better protect motor-vehicle, motorcycle and motor-home dealers in South Dakota against forced shutdowns by manufacturers. The legislation now heads to the governor. Y    
BILLBOARD FEES (HB 1042): The Senate refused to agree with the House version of legislation that would increase billboard fees, as senators voted 27-6 to adopt their own version of the new fee schedule. The next move will be up to the House on whether to agree with the Senate version or send the bill into negotiations by a House-Senate conference committee. Y    
SPECIAL ED (SB 47): The House approved, on a 70-0 vote, legislation allowing excess special-education funding for public schools to be carried over from the 2010 budget to 2011. The measure reflects the additional federal aid received by South Dakota from Congress and now goes to the governor.   Y Y
INDIAN CHARTER SCHOOL (SB 63): Some legislators asked whether creating a state-managed charter school for American Indian students in South Dakota is re-opening the door to segregation in public education, but the concern about poor academic performance by American Indian students proved more compelling as the House approved the project on a vote of 49-20. The legislation now will be sent to Gov. Mike Rounds.   N N
STATE EMPLOYEE COUNT (HB 1052): Republican Gov. Mike Rounds and the Legislature’s Republican majorities want to change how the size of state government employment is measured so that the count no longer would include any jobs at state universities held by students enrolled at the universities. Senators approved the idea 19-14, split along party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats against. The legislation now goes to the governor. Y