Listening and Following Through
by Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree
MADISON–Wednesday was a pivotal day in the debate on forging a path forward to facilitate value-added agriculture’s future in South Dakota. SB 201 gives money to farmers and counties, not out of state trial lawyers and environmental activists who line their pockets by killing value-added ag projects with misinformation and propaganda. I’m standing up on SB 201 to fight for farmers and was joined by ag groups like SD Corn, SD Soybeans, Ethanol Producers Association, the SD Chamber of Commerce and many more.
When South Dakota farmers succeed, all of South Dakota succeeds, and that cuts both ways. When South Dakota farmers have limited access to national and global markets, our whole state suffers. A rising tide lifts all boats, and that’s why I am committed to legislation like SB 201 that fosters a brighter future for all of South Dakota.
I have heard from hundreds of landowners in South Dakota about pipelines and landowner rights. Some of these folks do not want any reforms. Instead, they want to block all progress in South Dakota. The overwhelming majority of South Dakotans see the opportunity that comes with expanding ethanol markets and historic investments like Gevo in Lake Preston. I’ve listened to all sides of the debate, and I’m delivering on my promise to deliver policy reform that promotes respect, fairness, and certainty for all parties involved in infrastructure and value added agriculture.
Last week the Senate also overwhelmingly passed a change in South Dakota law to prevent foreign entities from owning South Dakota ag land. HB 1231 is now on the way to the Governor. Our ag economy and food security belong in the hands of Americans. This bill also prohibits ownership by China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia or Venezuela.
SB 187 is a funding request to help cities and counties support cybersecurity levels. This can help local governments protect citizen information, critical infrastructure and elections by avoiding potential cyber attacks and ransoms. It was good to see this bill was approved unanimously. Also up in Joint Appropriations on Friday was SB 45 to establish the Center for Quantum Information Science and Technology at Dakota State University. Appropriators also passed this request onward to the Senate floor to be heard in the upcoming week.
On Thursday, the halls of the Capitol were filled with young Bulldogs. The fourth grade “Little Legislators” from Madison Elementary made their annual trip to visit us. Thanks for representing Madison and learning about state government. The pledge of allegiance was as loud as it has ever been in the senate chamber with them joining us from the gallery. Our state’s future is bright with kids like these!