Video: SD Senator Lance Russell at the Legislative Crackerbarrel Meeting.

South Dakota Senator Lance Russell

The latest legislative crackerbarrel meeting in Rapid City was held at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology this morning.

There were again two separate meetings today, one hosted by the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce and another hosted by the SDSMT College Republicans; the former had a format of written questions submitted to the legislators, and the latter allowed audience members to ask questions directly of the legislators.

South Dakota legislators present at the College Republicans forum were Rep. Chip Campbell, Senator Phil jensen, Rep Julie Frye-Mueller, and Senator Lance Russell.

Russell spoke first and stated that it appears the 2017 legislative session has turned into the “Initiated Measure 22 Session” as he feared. He said the legislature had passed some legislation that did several of the things IM 22 intended to do, though the spending limits set by the legislature probably wouldn’t satisfy those who brought IM 22 in the first place. Russell said the legislature had done a lot of things to get rid of what the voters wanted, and have back filled with other legislation that probably won’t accomplish what the people wanted.

Russell said there is also a problem with agriculture taxation, where the state tax rate taxes West River agricultural land at an “East River” rate where there is lots of rain, but West River doesn’t get nearly that much rain and doesn’t produce nearly as much as an equivalent amount of land east of the Missouri River.

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