PIERRE — Jason Hancock, director for the Legislative Research Council, told lawmakers the other day he doesn't hire the Legislature's code counsel. Instead Doug Decker answers to the Legislature's Executive Board and works for the Legislature's Code Commission. Decker succeeded Tom Vickerman as code counsel in 1999, as Vickerman retired. The commission has five members. They meet noon Wednesday. One of the items scheduled for discussion is the current legal-publishing contract.
PIERRE — Their specialist for human dimensions showed the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission last week the public-assessment tool used for evaluating projects. Cindy Longmire said the tool ties into the goal, set in the strategic plan, that the public has confidence in what the agency is trying to accomplish, whether the idea comes from state Wildlife Division or the state Parks and Recreation Division. "It's not the full tool box. It's not the full planning process," Longmire said. "Public involvement is not like a one-size-fits-all process."
PIERRE— There's a different approach under way for promoting South Dakota as a destination for visitors, the head of state government's Department of Tourism told members of the Legislature last week. Secretary Jim Hagen said the new advertising would be displayed Thursday evening during the dinner and awards ceremony hosted by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. The messages will be on television, billboards and magazine pages. They're designed to catch the attention of families, outdoors enthusiasts and people Hagen described as "bucket-listers" ready for trips of a lifetime.
PIERRE — As Nathan Sanderson, director of policy and operations for Gov. Dennis Daugaard, finished his budget presentation Wednesday morning, a frank question arose. Sen. Jeff Partridge, a Republican from Rapid City, wanted to know whether governors associations were worthwhile. The query came from halfway down the long double table of 18 lawmakers. These 15 Republicans and three Democrats comprise the Legislature's appropriations committee.
PIERRE — A "white paper" prepared by the state Department of Revenue recommends steps South Dakota should take to be ready if the U.S. Supreme Court allows sports betting to be legal beyond Nevada. The nation's highest court heard New Jersey's challenge to the federal law Dec. 4. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard supported New Jersey's position, according to state Revenue Secretary Andy Gerlach. One of the agencies the revenue department oversees is the Commission on Gaming. The commission regulates betting on horse and dog races and Deadwood gambling houses.
PIERRE — The governor and some lawmakers want to rewrite many South Dakota laws on making, distributing and selling liquor, beer, wine and other alcohol and expand some, too. The best part: They want it done before the legislative session ends March 26. It's going to be a big fight that comes as Gov. Dennis Daugaard enters his final year. Daugaard set things brewing months ago not long after the 2017 session ended.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission gambled on the unknown Friday, changing the odds for how hunters are chosen for 36 sets of licenses.
PIERRE—South Dakota hunters might see one or more additional licenses for bighorn sheep this fall beyond the handful being offered for part of the Black Hills. The state Game, Fish & Parks Commission agreed Thursday on three bighorn licenses in the Elk Mountain area. One of the licenses is designated for auction by the regional chapter for the Wild Sheep Foundation. Proceeds go back to the state Wildlife Division for sheep management.
PIERRE — South Dakota's Game, Fish & Parks Commission agreed Thursday duck hunters should get to take two pintails per day rather than one and the duck season should start two weeks later than past years for six southern counties along the Missouri River. The commissioners also moved Lawrence County into unit two for the main season of goose hunting. But they kept neighboring Meade County in unit one. People who hunt in Meade County told commissioner Scott Phillips, of New Underwood, they feared cold weather could cost opportunities.
PIERRE—Muskellunge rank as one of the largest and trickiest species of game fish to catch in South Dakota. Now the state Game, Fish & Parks Commission is pondering whether to make anglers who catch muskies to put all of them back in the water. The commissioners rejected a petition Thursday from Taylor Anderson, of Groton. He asked the commission to increase the minimum to 50 inches for keeping muskies and tiger muskies. The rule currently is 40 inches. Anderson argued that length is too small to be a true trophy, at least as muskies go.