Maher: Take less money from firms
PIERRE -- A state senator wants to reduce the amount of money being taken from South Dakota businesses to pay for the governor's Future Fund grants.
Sen. Ryan Maher, R-Isabel, said he is trying to offset increases that happened in recent years.
State records indicate the amount received annually increased from $11.5 million in fiscal 2010 to $14 million in fiscal 2013.
Maher said the real complaint is that employers and legislators don't have any control over how a governor disburses the grants.
The amounts paid by employers to the Future Fund have risen during recent years in part because the taxable wage base increased by $1,000 annually under state law.
The wage base is the amount to which the Future Fund fee is applied. The wage base is $14,000 this year and is scheduled to be $15,000 in 2015.
Last year, Gov. Dennis Daugaard made nearly $8.4 million of grants from the Future Fund, according to the annual report posted on a state web site. Another grant of more than $4 million was also withdrawn.
Maher offered his amendment Tuesday morning during a hearing by the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee on another piece of legislation about the state's unemployment tax rates for businesses.
The panel's chairman, Sen. Ried Holien, R-Watertown, deferred the unemployment-tax legislation, HB 1045, and Maher's pending amendment until the committee meets again Thursday.