First Legislative Bills posted online by LRC. About a month after every other year they’ve done it.

The first legislative measures have finally been posted on-line by the legislative Research Council this evening, as they weren’t there this morning when I checked. This represents nearly thirty days longer to post the initial measures than in the recent past.

But better late then never.

House Bills

Bill Title
HB 1001 establish a wine direct shipment license and wine carrier license to enable the direct shipments of certain wine in South Dakota.
HB 1002 make an appropriation to the Department of Revenue to provide for the electronic submission of reports and taxes related to alcoholic beverages and to declare an emergency.
HB 1003 repeal the alcohol wholesaler tax and to increase the occupational tax on certain alcoholic beverages.
HB 1004 authorize the direct sale of distilled spirits from artisan distillers to retailers and wholesalers.
HB 1005 repeal the foundation program fund and references thereto.
HB 1006 allow bullheads to be used as bait.

Senate Bills

Bill Title
SB 1 finance improvements on the public highways and bridges by establishing or increasing the motor vehicle excise tax, taxes on fuel, motor vehicle registration fees, and wheel taxes, to provide for the distribution of certain revenue, and to establish certain state and local planning and reporting requirements concerning the condition of public highways and bridges.
SB 2 provide for the establishment of river basin natural resource districts and to repeal certain provisions regarding county drainage management.
SB 3 provide for mediation of certain drainage disputes.

Anything we’re not seeing yet?

Ring in the New Year! What should we expect in politics? Peace and Quiet.

As we all try to remember that it’s actually 2015 as we write a check, the year to come is brand new, and full of possibilities. At dakotawarcollege, it leaves us thinking about what to expect in the realm of politics over the course of the coming months, as we count down the new election cycle to 2016.

And actually, I think it’s going to be fairly quiet. There will be moments here and there, hints of races to come, and we can always expect the unexpected. But nothing like 2014, where a US Senate race dominated the tapestry.

So, gazing into the void, what do I think is coming?

During the legislative session: Highway improvements and the funding thereof are going to receive a large part of the discussion during session. I think we’ll see a minor divide between those who want to raise taxes, and those who have foresworn against any notion of it.  But with gas tax revenues taking a hit due to a greater supply lowering prices, it’s going to be difficult to argue that the status quo will get us through another fiscal year.

As I noted in my top 10 list, I think we’ll see a freedom-of-religion act return for debate given the same-sex marriage lawsuit pending.

With even further reduced numbers in the House of Representatives, Democrats will have even less of an impact in what happens in Pierre. Speaking of which…

HouseSeatingChartSenateSeatingChart58-12 and 27-8? Representing fewer than 20% of the legislature, Dems are not going to see much of anything in terms of their legislation moving forward.

On the US Senate Front:  John Thune is arguably the most popular politician in the state. He has $9 or $10 million in the bank. Democrats have no bench, period. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  I don’t anticipate that we will see a Democrat challenger emerge to the Senator in 2015, if we see one at all.

While there is an independent talking about running in the form of Kurt Evans, who we featured here recently for what some would consider bigoted statements about Catholics, I don’t anticipate we’ll hear anything unless he withdraws from the race in 2015 as opposed to withdrawing in 2016.  Basically, that dog isn’t going to hunt.

February will bring us some leftovers from the 2014 US Senate race as Annette Bosworth goes to court, but I don’t anticipate that’s going to be much more than getting through it, and getting the final results. The only surprise would be if she would be able to successfully avoid conviction.

I’m more curious to see if her husband will face similar charges once Annette’s are resolved one way or another.

Congressionally: I predict that Congresswoman Kristi Noem is going to run again in 2016, and Dems will largely leave her alone in the year leading up to it. They may attempt a challenger in 2016, but considering the shellacking she delivered to them in November, they’re in no hurry to deliver a lamb to the slaughter.

I know there’s more out there, and I don’t want to let this post get too long. What do you anticipate in the world of politics for 2015?  Give us your predictions under the comment section.