PIERRE — South Dakota needs a general policy for managing cash in state government, a panel of the Legislature agreed Tuesday. The issue emerged as lawmakers reviewed audit findings. Rep. Hugh Bartels, R-Watertown, said financial institutions usually have policies and sometimes written procedures for handling cash. The idea wasn't resisted. "We can definitely put something together that would be guidance for agencies," Mark Quasney told members of the Government Operations and Audit Committee.
Citizens will have more time to comment on the draft environmental assessment for Crocker Wind Farm proposed in Clark County, according to an announcement Monday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The two-week extension means comments will be accepted until May 8. The wind farm is a wholly owned subsidiary of Geronimo Energy. The proposal would place 14 turbines, associated infrastructure, and 14 transmission poles on USFWS grassland easements in the area. The federal agency opened a 30-day comment period when the draft environmental assessment was released.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Broadcasters Association is willing to host debates on some statewide ballot measures this year, lobbyist Steve Willard of Pierre said Monday. Willard proposed the idea to the Legislature's Executive Board. The lawmakers had a variety of reactions but didn't act. No one disagreed when Rep. Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls, suggested letting the concept gel for a while. The board meets again May 21. "More information is better and I think you're coming with the right spirit about this," Haugaard said.
PIERRE — The Legislature's Executive Board set the work plan for the 2018 off-season Monday.
PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard has made key appointments to state boards that oversee economic development and gambling. Matt Judson of Pierre and Joseph Pat Costello of Sioux Falls accepted seats on the Board of Economic Development. Judson, a banker, succeeds Tony Klein of Pierre. Klein was an original member of the board established in 1987 that makes low-interest loans to expanding or new businesses.
PIERRE — For the last time, Gov. Dennis Daugaard thanked top students from South Dakota's high schools for their academic performances Monday. The Associated School Boards of South Dakota sponsored the 28th annual event honoring the top 1 percent from each school. Several state constitutional officers and representatives of the state Board of Regents and the South Dakota Education Association attended. "Today we're here to recognize the best and the brightest," Daugaard said.
PIERRE — A new South Dakota law takes effect July 1. A drug dealer faces the possibility of spending life behind bars if the drug buyer dies using the drug. State Attorney General Marty Jackley pushed the Legislature to pass it. He and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem are competing June 5 for the Republican nomination to be South Dakota's next governor. The winner faces state Senate Democratic leader Billie Sutton. The state law passed this year could be a step forward in South Dakota's battle against drugs.
SIOUX FALLS — A U.S. senator from South Dakota saw a promising future if federal officials extended Interstate 29 to Canada rather than end it at Interstate 90 in Sioux Falls, a historian from Aberdeen said Friday. U.S. Sen. Francis Case also was responsible for the I-229 bypass at Sioux Falls, Assistant Professor Brad Tennant told an audience at the Center for Western Studies annual conference at Augustana University. "The original plan did not include I-29 going up the eastern border of South Dakota," Tennant said.
SIOUX FALLS — This year marks the centennial of South Dakota men changing the state constitution and giving women the right to vote. Ruth Page Jones told the story Friday during the Center for Western Studies annual conference at Augustana University. She grew up at Plankinton and lives at Waukesha, Wisconsin. She retired in December from a non-profit organization and previously trained telecommunications employees in technology. She also writes a monthly column for the South Dakota Mail weekly newspaper that serves the Plankinton area.
PIERRE — House Speaker G. Mark Mickelson said Tuesday he doesn't have any plans to campaign again for elected office. Voters from the Sioux Falls area elected the Republican to the South Dakota Legislature in 2012 and returned him in 2014 and 2016. He is a son of the late Gov. George S. Mickelson, who was killed with seven other men in a state airplane crash, and a grandson of George T. Mickelson, who also had been governor. All three have been speakers presiding over the state House of Representatives.