Tech-school money plan approvedBill gives SD Legislature more authority over bond issues.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE — If the governor agrees, the Legislature soon will assert more control over bond issues by South Dakota’s four public technical institutes.
The House of Representatives voted 67-1 Wednesday for the new plan. Approval from the Legislature would be required for each future bond issue, other than for refinancing or refunding of existing bonds.
The state Board of Education also would be required to perform financial forecasting and analysis regarding repayment ability. Next stop for HB 1098 is the desk of Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his decision.
Rep. Dan Dryden, R-Rapid City, was the prime sponsor of the original bill. It called simply for increasing the bonding authority limit to $140 million from the present $105 million for the four public technical institutes at Rapid City, Mitchell, Watertown and Sioux Falls.
The House approved that original version 69-1. But the Senate significantly rewrote the legislation to better define the duties and lines of authority and then passed its version 32-0.
The legislation was changed so it specifically authorizes up to $18.5 million for the latest round of expansion and renovations at Western Dakota Technical Institute at Rapid City and up to $20 million for a transportation technology center to be built at Southeast Technical Institute at Sioux Falls.
“This now would be more specific per school,” Dryden told House members Wednesday. “They have to bring each individual one back to the Legislature, so we still maintain our authority over the bonding for the tech schools.”