District 23 Representative J.D. Wangsness looks back at 2023 session

MILLER, S.D.(Press Release)- As much as I enjoy representing District 23 in Pierre, it’s been nice to be back home. I’ve had plenty of time in my office (otherwise known as my pickup) to reflect on this Legislative Session, and I am proud of what we have accomplished in the Legislature this year.

As a fourth generation farmer and one of the few remaining full-time ag producers in the Legislature, I enter the Capitol each day not just as an advocate for District 23 but for landowners throughout rural South Dakota. This year, I was the prime sponsor on legislation that restricted Foreign Ownership of Ag Land. We have a good thing going here in South Dakota, and we certainly don’t want the governments of China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia or Venezuela buying our land. I was proud to work hand-in-hand with Gov. Noem to make it clear that we want to trade our corn, beans, and cattle, but we never want to trade our land.

I’m also a firm believer that creating new prosperity in District 23 shouldn’t come at the expense of our people. I am a staunch conservative and have fought hard for property rights as a legislator and county commissioner. Last year, I was a leading voice to reform eminent domain to prevent abuse to landowners. This year, I kept up the fight making sure that if the carbon pipeline comes, our farmers are protected and our counties benefit economically.  That’s why I supported the Landowner Bill of Rights. I don’t know if the Public Utilities Commission will ultimately approve the project, but if they do, we need to have it in terms that help every landowner and every county along the route.

The Landowner Bill of Rights protects landowners and provides for:

1. Millions of additional dollars to landowners and counties every year. Without raising taxes.

2. Indemnity for landowners, so if there is damage to your farm, the pipeline has to pay for it.

3. Additional transparency on the effects of a leak, so every community is prepared.

Landowners deserve to have these protections in place. I also supported legislation that would have clarified eminent domain proceedings, but unfortunately, that didn’t make it across the finish line.

I don’t make decisions lightly, and every time I cast my vote, it weighs on me. I always keep the best interest of District 23 at the forefront.

I’m a farmer who is focused on the future. I want our home to be a great place to live for years to come. I want our kids to stay and enjoy the great life we have in central South Dakota.

Thank you to each and every one of you that reached out to me during the Legislative Session. Please continue doing so. The towns and fields of District 23 are really the heart of our state, and I promise to continue working to ensure that the voices of rural South Dakota, the voices of farmers, and the voices of main street businesses are heard in Pierre.