U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., is close to having her first stand-alone piece of federal legislation signed into law.
A Senate version of Noem's U.S. House bill transferring ownership of nine historic Black Hills cemeteries is close to a vote on the U.S. Senate floor. Noem's House bill already has passed. If the Senate follows with its approval, as expected, the bill will go to President Barack Obama. He is expected to sign it.
The Senate vote is expected this week.
Noem, who is in her second term in the House, has said the cemeteries will be better off under ownership of local communities that have been caring for them for years. The transfer will remove some federal regulations on managing the cemeteries and free the U.S. Forest Service of its obligations for oversight and permitting.
Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., introduced the transfer legislation and pushed it in the Senate.