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Cautiously, legislators OK a mining museum

PIERRE -- The Legislature has spoken: South Dakota should have an official mining museum and it should be no place but Lead.

And it should come with no expectations of receiving any state funding, ever.

The state House of Representatives gave final legislative approval to that designation Thursday for the Black Hills Mining Museum.

The 67-0 vote marked the second and final time the House considered the bill sponsored by Rep. Timothy Johns, R-Lead.

House members originally voted 68-2 on Feb. 12 for HB 1192. When it went to the other chamber Sen. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton, added an assurance that no state funds may be provided for the operation or maintenance of the museum.

Senators then approved the amended bill 35-0. It wasn't an unfounded concern. Other legislators sought funding this year for several other museum-type institutions including the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

Because of the amendment the House needed to vote Thursday on whether to agree with the change. Johns said Rep. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, had raised the same point that came up in the Senate.

"If Rep. Greenfield is happy," Johns said, "I'm happy."

The legislation now heads to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his decision whether it should become law.