image for week seven updates

Only 8 more days to go! 

Week 7 of the 98th legislative session is one I’ll never forget. I got my first bill signed into law, experienced my first “crossover day”, and helped pass the largest tax cut in state history!
Last Wednesday we had “crossover day”, which means that we either had to kill or pass all the House bills by the end of the day. We have a tradition in the legislature of wearing all black on this day to honor all the bills that die. While this may seem grim, there was a lot of good legislation that made it through the House this week.
First and foremost, I want to give a status update on some of my legislation:

  • HB1101: My bill to ensure the proper labeling of Indian arts and crafts has now been signed by the Governor and will become law in the coming months. It was an honor to see this protection of Native artists make it over the finish line.
  • HB1124: I highlighted this bill earlier, which ensures that tabulating equipment used in elections is being tested and secured properly. While our elections are safe in South Dakota, this is an important clarification that will ensure all parties are properly informed of any errors that might take place in the calibration of these machines. This bill has been through the House, and will face a final vote on the floor of the Senate soon.
  • SB76: This bill is a huge win for the workforce in South Dakota. It provides a more streamlined and efficient process for licensure recognition for all occupations. This means people who are already skilled within a field will have an easier time getting a license to practice their craft in South Dakota upon moving here. After passing both chambers, it will be signed by the Governor soon. I enjoyed working on this bill in partnership with Sen. Jim Stalzer (R-District 11) and Governor Noem. To learn more about the bill, click here.

While these were all great bills, it certainly wasn’t the biggest news of the week. I’m proud to report that the House has passed an overall sales tax cut, which if the Senate concurs, will be the biggest tax cut in the history of South Dakota! It’s a rare position to be in, where we are able to do this cut, and still take care of our budget priorities including funding education, helping our community service providers, and more. It’s a testament to the conservative values and sound business-sense of our state’s leadership over the years, and I applaud everyone who had a hand in making it happen.
On Wednesday, the topic of elections remained front of mind. We heard HB1217, which would have limited the amount of time in which someone would be able to vote via absentee ballot. This has been a big point of contention this year, but I believe that we should not be searching for a solution to a nonexistent problem. We have safe, free, and fair elections in South Dakota. This bill did not make it off the floor of the House.

 My mother Rep. Tamara St. John (R-District 1)

We’re close to finishing things up in Pierre, but there is still much to do. These last two weeks will see us wrapping up our remaining bills in our committees and will conclude with a final balanced budget for our 134th consecutive year. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at Have a great weekend!
-Rep. Tordsen 

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