Congress has passed a bill that gives American Indian tribes more authority to combat crime on their reservations, and the president is expected to sign it.
No one questions that violent crime on reservations is a huge problem, but there are often differences on how to solve it. Nevertheless, this bill appears to have broad support not only in Congress but in tribal councils as well.
A ban on texting while driving was enacted in Wyoming on July 1, an increasingly popular law that South Dakota should reconsider.
South Dakota is one of 20 states that don’t have a ban on texting while driving. The legislature this year considered it, but the proposal was defeated.
Studies have shown that texting while driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
In an effort to better manage a growing data base, the South Dakota Unified Judicial System enacted on June 2 a new policy requiring a date of birth to search court records. The decision to impose the new requirement was made by UJS Administrator Pat Duggan, in consultation with her staff.
The Legislature did the right thing last winter when lawmakers refused to gamble that Congress would approve additional Medicaid funding for states. The money still looks far from certain, and the 2011 fiscal year begins on July 1. Had the Legislature built the estimated $38 million into the 2011 budget, we would be facing a problematic situation.
We also like the suggestion made recently by the Rounds administration’s budget director, state Finance Commissioner Jason Dilges, to use the money for disaster relief and other one-time needs, if and when Congress takes final action. ...
From the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Obama argued that the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico underscores the need for America to transition from fossil fuels. But even as he attempted to rally Americans by invoking heroic American achievement in World War II and in space, the president didn’t talk much about what could make such a transition happen.
When President Barack Obama spoke to the nation this week about the oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, it was almost certain he would use British Petroleum as his punching bag. There’s nothing wrong with that: BP and the companies that worked with BP on the doomed Deepwater Horizon drilling platform are responsible for an unprecedented environmental and economic disaster. There is no question they — primarily BP, at this stage — should be made to pay every dime of the cost of oil cleanup and reimbursement for economic losses suffered by the people of the Gulf Coast.
The federal government announced that the nation’s local jail population has declined for the first time since it began keeping count in the early 1980s.
The number of inmates in county and city jails was about 768,000 at the end of June 2009, down roughly 18,000 inmates from a year earlier.
Even draconian measures like the one adopted in Arizona are not going to make 11 million immigrants already illegally here in this country magically disappear, let alone address this country’s dysfunctional immigration system. Neither is President Obama’s decision, announced this week, to deploy 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that appears motivated at least as much by election-year political anxiety as by genuine security concerns. After all, illegal cross-border entries are down significantly in the past two years, and so is violent crime in border states, as the administration itself has noted.
If our collective goal is to reduce racial tension in South Dakota, we’re going about it the wrong way.
Two incidents in South Dakota in the past week demonstrate once again that the more we actively demonstrate and emphasize racial differences, the more difficult it is for us to achieve equality.
It takes a politician to outwit a politician. That might be one way to look at a recent decision by the South Dakota Legislature’s executive board to impose a moratorium on out-of-state travel by state lawmakers.
It is disappointing to see Congress and the White House considering major changes or elimination altogether of No Child Left Behind. We think NCLB has given parents, students, teachers, administrators, school board members and taxpayers a valuable set of statistical data for analyzing and improving students’ learning opportunities.
Until last week, the Black Hills National Forest was one of the few national forests in the country where motorized travel was allowed anywhere, except where it was designated as closed. Now, it will be closed to motorized travel except where it is allowed.
The national forest announced its new travel management plan in regards to the approximately 6,000 miles of trails and roads that course through most of the Black Hills forest.
The census mailings are on their way, in fact, in many cases are here now. And Mankato area residents as well as all Minnesotans need to click open their pens and get to work.
Much is at stake with the 2010 census. It’s about maintaining our place in government, and making sure targeted funds are accurately disseminated. It’s about assessing our needs. It’s our comprehensive self-study in determining where our demographics fit, a barometer on where we go from here as individuals in this state, in this country.
“Maybe you eke out a victory of 50 plus 1,” presidential candidate Barack Obama said in 2007.
(But) “Then you can’t govern. … We’ve got to break out of what I call the 50-plus-1 pattern of presidential politics.”
Obama was right then. And as the past few weeks have shown, the sentiment he expressed still is right today.
In his playing days, Jim Bunning was a very good Major League Baseball pitcher. He’s a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. But as Republican Sen. Bunning of Kentucky, he’s been throwing wild pitches.
Bunning’s latest bad toss was an attempt to block legislation that renews the National Flood Insurance program. He was making a statement, his staff said, about federal spending.
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