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Amended version of controversial SB 201 passes out of House committee

(South Dakota Broadcasters Association) An amendment to a highly-followed, controversial bill that would lay the groundwork to advance the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline allowed it to gain passage through a House Committee Monday.

That amendment, brought by the bill’s sponsor Rep. Will Mortenson, alters the way that counties would preempted if the bill were to become law. It passed the committee 7-6.

Currently, the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) decides whether a pipeline should be permitted, and then separately, decides whether or not that pipeline should supercede local regulations. If the bill is passed as written now, then the PUC would only have to sign off on the permit in order to preempt local governments.

Had that amendment (called Amendment J) not passed, lawmakers on the committee speculated they wouldn’t have voted for the bill under its previous form.

“The amendment gives a voice back to local government,” said Rep. Will Shorma. “It doesn’t sound like it under the original SB 201, but I believe Amendment J does that.” (in DropBox)

Though ethanol plants and Summit Carbon testified in favor of the bill, they expressed concerns about the new form it came in. However, they correctly alluded to the fact that if the bill manages to pass the House, it will be required to go to a conference committee between both chambers, since it passed out of the Senate as a different bill. That means that it is possible the bill could get changed closer back to its original form.

Because of the amendment made, SB 201 cannot be heard until Wednesday afternoon on the House floor, at the earliest.

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In Touch 4/24/24

Gene Morsching from Aberdeen Parks and Rec joins us to talk about the upcoming summer registration event…

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