South Dakota lawmakers opt to let energy bill veto stand

Solar Panels, Photo Date: 03/01/2017 / Photo: PxHere / (MGN)

PIERRE, S.D. (AP/KEVN) - South Dakota lawmakers opted to let Gov. Kristi Noem’s veto of a solar energy bill stand, despite the Senate and House overwhelmingly approving the measure.

Friday afternoon, the state Senate upheld the governor’s rejection of Senate Bill 14, an act to define solar energy facilities and to establish certain provisions regarding solar energy permits.

The Associated Press reports that the chamber voted 30-1 Friday to sustain the veto.

In her veto message, Noem said that a legal review shows "poor drafting" of the bill would have given the panel authority to mandate the locations of solar energy projects.

GOP Sen. Jim Stalzer says he has been in contact with the bill's authors at the commission and they agreed with the governor that there was a "fatal flaw" in the bill.

That flaw didn’t stop the Senate from originally voting 31-1 in favor of the bill; and the House following their lead with a 66-4 approval.