PIERRE — State government's new Board of Certified Professional Midwives met for the first time Friday. Susan Sporrer, an official from the state Health Department, covered some basic processes for the five members during the 35-minute teleconference. Sporrer said they could select an executive secretary at a future meeting. The possible candidate who was in consideration decided the additional workload was more than that person wanted to handle, she said.
PIERRE— State government's Board of Appraisal put dollar values Friday on the Star Academy property near Custer and the Aurora Plains Academy property at Plankinton. The two campuses will be offered for sale at separate public auctions this fall. A third parcel, consisting of hay land, at Plankinton will be offered at public auction next spring. The Legislature in the 2017 session authorized the sales. The legislation came from Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Lottery has a role to play in the 2020 improvement program that is under way in state government's Department of Revenue. Revenue Secretary Andy Gerlach wants the lottery to increase sales of scratch-off instant tickets by 5 percent each year. Norm Lingle, the lottery's executive director, explained the 10-point plan Thursday to the Lottery Commission. "Some of these are already under way. Some are yet to be started. We'll be fully engaged in the next couple months," he said.
PIERRE — State government's Transportation Commission decided against all three bids Thursday for a project in north-central South Dakota. The work called for providing scour-protection and riprap at two creek crossings on State Highway 20 and a third crossing on State Highway 37 in Faulk and Spink counties. The estimate was $100,572.85. But the lowest bid was $157,091.90 from Sharpe Enterprises Inc. of Fort Pierre. Two other companies wanted more. Steve Lehrkamp Enterprises Inc. of Custer proposed $238,947.26. Corr Construction Inc. from Hermosa asked $269,950.
PIERRE — State government's Lottery Commission adopted new rules Thursday affecting two of its lotto games. One set of changes covers Mega Millions. The price for a Mega Millions ticket would double to $2 and the jackpot would start at $40 million, rather than the present $15 million. Most of the Mega Millions prizes including the jackpot would be more difficult to win, too.
PIERRE — State government’s secretary of education said she “was not aware of any fraud, misappropriation or criminal activity” prior to taking the GEAR UP grant away from an educational cooperative in September 2015 and the audits that followed. State Education Secretary Melody Schopp provided written answers this week to questions sent by the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee.
PIERRE – An email from seven years ago shows Melody Schopp knew about financial improprieties in South Dakota’s GEAR UP program for American Indian students before she became state government’s secretary of education. LuAnn Werdel wrote the email Jan. 10, 2011. Werdel was state government’s director of Indian education.
PIERRE — Several members of state government's Aeronautics Commission said Tuesday they want more financial information on its federal and state funding balances. Commissioner Arne Hauge, of Canistota, made the original request. Hauge said he "ran a tape" of agenda items that showed state commitments on public airport projects of more than $800,000. Joel Jundt, the deputy secretary of transportation, said the commission would have the information at the next meeting. Another commissioner, Skip VanDerhule, of Yankton, supported Hauge.
PIERRE — In a case about public roads that three township boards of supervisors closed in Day County during 2014, state government's Supreme Court stopped zigzagging. South Dakota's high court set two standards in the official opinion released last week: • One: The justices' power under the state constitution covers only quasi-judicial proceedings. • Two: That power extends to judging whether administrative decisions made by public boards were arbitrary. The court said arbitrary means "not governed by any fixed rules or standard."
PIERRE — The 105 members of the Legislature and the governor might want to take a fresh look in the 2018 session at South Dakota's laws on public records. South Dakota has some of the strongest laws in the nation protecting public officials at the expense of the citizens. Here are some examples. There is an exemption for correspondence, memoranda, calendars or logs of appointments, working papers, and records of telephone calls of public officials or employees. This has multiple problems.