By Dan Bechtold
Landowner protection bills, state flag, water and abortion were among the issues discussed at a Dist. 21 legislative crackerbarrel Saturday afternoon in Winner
Three bills now headed to House would add protections for private property owners when pipeline companies conduct surveying and add better terms for landowners in agreement with pipeline companies and add financial protections for landowners subjected to eminent domain.
One of the issues that concerned people at the meeting was that local control may be taken way.
The proposed pipeline would capture carbon dioxide emissions produced by 51 ethanol plants in five states and transport it for underground storage in North Dakota.
The bill stipulates that any person or entity looking to conduct an examination or survey on private property must have a pending or approved siting permit application with the state.
The bill mandates a a 30-day written notice to the property owner. The notice must include a detailed description of the property areas to be examined, the anticipated date and time of entry, the duration of time on the property, the types of surveys and examinations to be conducted and contact information of person or agent responsible for entry.
Lisa Stiehl, manager of Tripp County Water User District, asked the lawmakers to protect our water.
Rep.Rocky Blare said every state below South Dakota wants our water. “Water is the biggest sought after resource going forward. There are two things that are important: We keep it pure and clean,” explained Blare.
Sen. Erin Tobin said water is on the radar of the S.D. Legislature. “Water is our lifeblood,” she said.
Tobin said a bill that passed the Senate and is now in House State Affairs deals with intimidation of election officials.
Bob Tate said he felt the law was vague and he feels it is unconstitutional.
Tobin added the bill is very straight forward and there is a penalty for persons who intimidate a poll worker.
The legislature has passed a House concurrent resolution opposing an initiated measure to place the right to an abortion in the constitution of South Dakota.
Tobin said this is a horrible pro choice amendment. “It will hurt moms and babies,” she said.
The proposed amendment would severely restrict any future enactment of protections for a pregnant woman, her child and her healthcare providers.
The resolution says the amendment would fail to protect human life, would fail to protect a pregnant woman and would fail to protect the child she bears.
There was a bill that died in committee that would have changed the South Dakota flag. Persons at the meeting were against any change to the state flag.
Also speaking at the meeting was Rep. Marty Overweg.
Winner American Legion Auxiliary sponsored the crackerbarrel. Prior to coming to Winner on Saturday, the three lawmakers attended a crackerbarrel in Gregory.