PIERRE — Most if not all members of the Legislature head back to the Capitol for a special session Monday. Called by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, the one-day meeting starts at 10 a.m. CT. The single topic is a proposed law that deals with non-meandered waters that lay over private property. This often is floodwater remaining from the 1980s and '90s. The South Dakota Supreme Court on March 15 issued a unanimous opinion in Duerre v. Hepler that neither landowners nor sportsmen had superior rights to use the water or ice on several lakes in Day County.
OACOMA — A state official told the eight members of the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission on Friday that he is looking forward to the special session the Legislature will hold Monday on non-meandered waters. "I think it will be a good day for South Dakota," GF&P Secretary Kelly Hepler said, as he finished briefing the commission on the final version of the draft legislation. The previous special session came in 2011 when lawmakers drew new boundaries for legislative districts. This will be the seventh special session since 1997.
PIERRE -- Gregory County can keep its split season for hunting deer, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission decided Friday. The commission also substantially restructured its 2017-2018 plan for three-day waterfowl licenses for non-resident hunters. The Gregory County reversal resulted from work by commissioner Barry Jensen of White River. The commission voted unanimously Friday for his suggestion that keeps Gregory County exempt from the standard West River deer season.
OACOMA — The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission received complaints Thursday from landowners opposed to eliminating the split season for deer in Gregory County and from resident waterfowl hunters against more nonresident licenses. Fifteen people testified at the commission's public hearing on those two proposals. But there wasn't any testimony on a long list of other proposals, including for other deer hunting seasons and trapping regulations. Chairwoman Cathy Peterson, of Salem, said the commission's decisions would come Friday morning.
PIERRE — One of South Dakota's new laws that take effect July 1 calls for financial penalties against public service answering points that aren't in compliance for 911 calls. State government's 911 Coordination Board will enforce the law. The most-recent round of checks found six PSAPs that weren't in compliance. Board members agreed Thursday their staff should send courtesy letters prior to July 1. The six are Bon Homme County, Butte County, Marshall County, Meade County, Miner County and Roberts County.
A special legislative session will take place next week relating to the public recreational use of non-meandered waters. The session will take place 10 a.m. Monday, June 12, at the State Capitol in Pierre. Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced the special session Wednesday afternoon after consulting with legislative leaders, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
PIERRE — A provider of natural gas to customers in southeastern South Dakota received a green light Tuesday on its 2016 spending report for economic development activities and its 2017 plan. MidAmerican Energy officials said the company spent $112,343 last year in the nine counties of South Dakota it serves. MidAmerican is budgeted for $104,550 in 2017. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission voted 3-0 to approve the report and spending plan.
PIERRE — There is plenty on the plate already for the 15 members of the Legislature's task force on initiatives, referrals and constitutional amendments who convene later this month. Presentations and testimony pack two days of meetings on Tuesday, June 20, and Wednesday, June 21. Rep. David Lust of Rapid City, a former House Republican leader, sponsored the legislation creating the task force. During the first House debate on it, Lust said: "I think this is prudent policy and I hope good things come from the task force."
PIERRE — On a recent evening the South Dakota Community Foundation held its annual banquet in Pierre for the board members, spouses and staff. Guests included the past presidents, Bernie Christenson and Bob Sutton, and Linda Mickelson Graham. The Mickelson family — Linda and children Mark, Amy and David — touched many South Dakotans during the decade that George S. Mickelson campaigned and served as governor. He was one of eight men aboard state government's top airplane flying back from Cincinnati on April 19, 1993.
PIERRE — South Dakota lawmakers set the stage Friday for a special legislative session regarding public use of non-meandered waters that lay over privately owned lands. The Legislature’s task force voted 13-2 for the final version of proposed legislation that declares all non-meandered waters open to the public, unless landowners post property as closed.