PIERRE -- South Dakota school districts could help fund public technical institutes by earmarking a fraction of their capital-outlay taxes they otherwise spend on their own buildings and programs, under a plan endorsed Wednesday by the state House of Representatives. Rep.
PIERRE -- South Dakota needs to expand its open meetings law to keep pace with the digital age, the state House of Representatives decided Wednesday. House members voted 47-22 to treat votes taken by public bodies using text messages, e-mails and other electronic communications as teleconference meetings. "We should catch up with what is happening out in the world," Rep. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, said. He was prime sponsor of the measure, HB 1153, which was supported by the South Dakota Newspaper Association.
PIERRE -- A possible candidate for the 2018 Republican nomination for governor took control of a Democratic-sponsored piece of legislation Tuesday and turned it into a tool for raising property taxes to fund public technical institutes. Rep. Mark Mickelson, R-Sioux Falls, did the maneuver in the House State Affairs Committee. He inserted into the Democrats' bill his amendment that would allow South Dakota school districts in some cases to use capital outlay taxes for technical institutes. The measure, HB 1218, comes to a vote in the House of Representatives today.
PIERRE -- The Legislature's strong feelings against anything connected to expanding video lottery came through again Tuesday. The Senate shot down an attempt by Sen. Dan Lederman, R-Dakota Dunes, to change the maximum number of terminals to 15 per establishment. The limit shall remain 10, the Senate decided. The vote was 21-13 against the measure, SB 139. Lederman said there wouldn't need to be an overall increase in machines. He said the goal was to allow establishments to invest in more of the new versions of the machines. Sen.
PIERRE -- A majority of state senators gave their blessing Tuesday to establishing a taxpayer-subsidized school choice program in South Dakota to assist private schools and home schools. Under the plan, 90 percent of taxes normally paid by an insurance company to the state treasury could be given instead to non-profit organizations for the new program that would start in 2017. It would split the money 50-50 to pay for scholarships for low-income students to attend private K-12 schools and to provide $250 grants for classroom teachers, including parents who home-school their children. The vo
PIERRE -- A handful of senators changed their minds from last week and voted Tuesday to approve a sales-tax exemption for VFW and American Legion baseball coaches in South Dakota. The Senate roll call was 22-13 in favor of SB 159, which now goes to the House of Representatives. The state Revenue Department opposes the legislation. The bill's prime sponsor is Sen. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark.
PIERRE -- Hunters, anglers and trappers caught trespassing across private land while on their way to other land. could lose their South Dakota sportsmen-licensing privileges for one year if convicted, under a proposal making its way to the state Senate. Lobbyists for the South Dakota Wildlife Federation and the South Dakota division of the Izaak Walton League of America testified Tuesday against the legislation, Senate Bill 129. But the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee sided with the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and endorsed the measure 8-0. Sen.
PIERRE -- South Dakota cities want the power to levy an additional sales tax to pay only for municipal projects. State senators voted 19-14 Monday to grant that authority. The legislation, Senate Bill 135, now goes to the House of Representatives. The South Dakota Municipal League is leading the charge for its passage. How the bill might fare in the House is unclear. What does seem certain is continued opposition from Gov.
PIERRE -- There seems to be momentum building on small salary increases for the Legislature. The House of Representatives approved a plan Thursday that would give legislators the same annual rate of pay increase that legislators give state government employees. "If state employees receive no increase, so would legislators," Rep. Jim Bolin, R-Canton, said. He is prime sponsor of House Bill 1150. The percentage varies year to year, depending on state government's fiscal conditions. No one else spoke.
PIERRE -- The state House of Representatives took two big votes Thursday on rules of South Dakota's roads. House members rejected legislation that would have doubled the fine to $50 for seatbelt violations. But they approved letting motorists legally exceed the speed limit at times when passing on two-lane highways. The "speed to pass" measure now heads to the Senate for consideration. It would allow motorists to drive up to 75 miles per hour when passing another vehicle traveling slower than the speed limit in a 65-mph zone. "This is a safety concern and a common-sense bill," Rep.