South Dakota Legislative & Regulatory


Missouri River Energy Services regularly monitors state agencies to identify issues that might affect MRES or its municipal electric utility members. You can find information about the regulatory matters we are monitoring or participating in clicking on this link to South Dakota Regulatory.



The 91st Legislative Session will convene Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016.

Getting information about the activities and legislation is easy. Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) continuously monitors bills introduced in the South Dakota Legislature that could affect electric utilities in the state of South Dakota. To find out who represents your utility interests go to the South Dakota Secretary of State website

South Dakota Legislative Guide


2016 House Bills

HB 1032
: A bill revising contracts for energy savings for public buildings.
Status: Pre-filed bill; referred to House Commerce and Energy. Set for hearing 1/20/16. Passed House Commerce & Energy (12-0) 1/20/16. Passed House (63-1) 1/21/16; referred to Senate Commerce & Energy. Set for hearing 1/28/16. Passed committee (6-0) 1/28/16.  Sent to Senate floor. Passed Senate (33-0) 2/2/16.

HB 1066: A bill requiring all public notice to be done at least two continuous days before the event/meeting; that time to be computed pursuant to SDCL 15-6-6(a) (civil procedure code).
Status: Introduced 1/20/16; referred to Local Government. Set for hearing 1/26/16. Amended to only apply to the state, state board commissions, or state department. Passed Committee (13-0) 1/26/16. Passed House (66-0) 2/2/16. Referred to Senate Local Government. Set for hearing 2/8/16.

HB 1117: A bill to repeal provisions regarding the use of other languages in public records or public meetings.
Status:  Introduced 1/27/16; referred to House Local Government. Set for hearing 2/9/16.

HB 1134:   Allowing access to property for the purpose of making eminent domain/public purpose surveys.
Status:  Introduced 1/27/16; referred to House Judiciary.

HB 1139:  A bill regarding the amount of insurance a municipality must carry for work on railroad premises.
 Introduced 1/28/16; referred to House Judiciary. 

HB 1153:  A bill to reform eminent domain. This bill is a “placeholder” for possible eminent domain language or a hoghouse amendment.  At the time of the bill’s introduction, actual statutory changes were not included. 
Status:  Introduced 1/28/16; referred to House State Affairs.

HB 1194:  A bill to authorize the local state’s attorney to take action to enforce state law or local ordinances pertaining to open meeting requirements.
Status:  Introduced 2/3/16.  

HB 1177:  A bill to revise tax incentives on wind farms and solar facilities.
Status: Introduced 2/2/16. Referred to House Taxation.

HB 1214: Prohibiting members of public bodies from deriving a direct benefit from a contract with the public body. The prohibition on benefitting from a contract with the public body continues for one year after the person has left the public body/board.
Status: Introduced 2/4/16; referred to House State Affairs.

HB 1216: Requiring IOUs, in order to establish the avoided cost rate, to account for and file determinations of the values of the energy, energy delivery, generation capacity, transmission capacity, avoided transmission line losses, and value of installation of DG at a high-value location on the distribution grid.
Status: Introduced 2/4/16; referred to House Commerce & Energy.

HB 1232: Requiring that all political subdivisions hold at least one meeting per month and after regular business hours. Each meeting shall provide an opportunity for public comment at the beginning of each meeting.
Status: Introduced 2/4/16; referred to House Local Government.

HB 1241: A bill to limit the amount of signatures on an initiated or referred measure that may come from the five most populated counties in the state.
Status: Introduced 2/4/16.



2016 Senate Bills

SB 73: A bill defining a public meeting to include any in person or digital meeting at which public policy is discussed.
Status: Introduced 1/22/16; referred to Senate State Affairs. Set for hearing 2/5/16.

SB 76:  A bill requiring wind turbine towers to be set back at least 1.1 times the height of the tower from any adjacent property line (provided the property is not subject to a wind easement). Amended to define the height of the wind turbine for purposes of measuring the set back.
Status: Introduced 1/25/16; referred to Senate Commerce & Energy. Set for hearing 1/28/16. Passed committee (6-0) 1/28/16. Amended on Senate floor; FAILED to pass as amended (12-21) 2/2/16.

SB 90:  A bill banning the state, political subdivision or any public body from preventing a person from recording a public meeting, as long as the recording is not disruptive.
Status: Introduced 1/26/16; referred to Senate Judiciary. Set for hearing 2/4/16.

SB 104:  A bill to prohibit state agencies from starting a rule-making process from October 31 to February 28.
Status: Introduced 1/27/16; referred to Senate State Affairs.

SB 118:   A bill exempting certain purchases from public bidding.
Status:  Introduced 1/28/16. Referred to Senate State Affairs. 

SB 127:   A bill to limit railroad crossing fees charged to utilities; allows railroads to require protective liability insurance with a combined single limit of $2 million for each occurrence and $4 million aggregate.
Status:  Introduced 2/2/16; referred to Senate Transportation.  

SB 145:    A bill requiring that a utility receive any necessary permits for its project before exercising eminent domain powers; prohibiting utilities from using eminent domain powers unless at least 80 percent of the landowners voluntarily allow an easement for the project.
Status:  Introduced 2/3/16.