An eager reader alerts me to SB 115, which passed the House yesterday and now heads for the Governor's desk. The bill, whose prime sponsors are Senator Gary Hanson (D-1/Sisseton) and Representative Kristi Noem (R-6/Castlewood), amends rules on county comprehensive plans to require a petition for changes to said plans to have signatures from 30% of landowners registered to vote within the affected jurisdiction.
My casual read suggests that this change would give local residents a little more clout to battle zoning changes that would allow mega-feedlots and other noxious corporate developments. Seems fair: focus the decision-making power on the folks who have to live with the externalities of such operations every day rather than on the outside corporate buyers whose only connection with the consequences is the balance sheet. Perhaps the folks in Grant County, who've already staved off one such ag-industrial invasion, will welcome this additional legal protection of their local interests.
Permit me to note one other loose metric of whether a bill has merit: I see our Senator Olson voted against SB 115, while our Representatives Fargen and Lange voted for it. With a record like that, this bill must be good! ;-)
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