The South Dakota Legislature failed Monday to override Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s veto of a bill giving tax refunds to large energy projects.

The House of Representatives voted 44-23 to override the veto on House Bill 1228 — fewer than the 47 votes needed to override a veto.

HB1228 would have given tax rebates of around 50 percent to wind energy projects worth more than $50 million, as well as to a planned environmental upgrade at the Big Stone power plant in northeastern South Dakota.

Supporters said the bill would encourage economic development and help stop power rates from going up.

“It’s facilitating large projects that create jobs in our state,” said Rep. Lance Russell, R-Hot Springs.

But critics said the Legislature was picking winners and losers with taxpayer money.

“Why are we here to pick and choose who should get the tax breaks?” asked Rep. Shawn Tornow, R-Sioux Falls.

Rep. Don Kopp, R-Rapid City, said Daugaard’s argument that many of the benefits of lower power rates would be residents of Minnesota and North Dakota persuaded him to switch his vote from yes to no.

When the House last considered HB1228, it received 52 votes. The bill’s support fell to 44 votes Monday.

Because the attempt to override the veto in the House failed, the Senate didn’t take up the measure.

A bill needs a two-thirds majority in both houses to override a gubernatorial veto.

Contact David Montgomery at 394-8329 or david.montgomery@rapidcityjournal.com

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