VERMILLION — Members of the Legislature’s State Tribal Relations Committee decided Monday they want their own piece of the investigation into Mid-Central Educational Cooperative’s mismanagement of the federally funded GEAR UP program. The panel supported the request from Sen. Lance Russell for legislation to be drafted on open records, record retention, conflict of interest and enforcement, including criminal and civil penalties.
PIERRE — Earlier this fall the always-innovative Trail of Governors program added four more statues to the streets of Pierre from South Dakota's history of chief executives. One shows a man with hatchet in hand. That's Tom Berry. It's an image based on a photograph from his 1932 campaign for governor, when he got axes as gifts from folks wanting spending cuts. He took an axe to state government many times during his pair of two-year terms from January of 1933 to January of 1937.
PIERRE — Fighters would be allowed to appeal results from their mixed martial-arts bouts under a rule change the South Dakota Athletic Commission made Friday. The request would need to be filed in writing within five days of the bout for the commission to review it. The fighter would need to describe the result being challenged and the alleged error. The commission could review or investigate as deemed necessary. If an error was found, the commission could officially amend the result, including declaring a different winner or loser or a no-contest.
PIERRE — State government's Board of Dentistry began discussions Friday on establishing different license requirements for dentists in South Dakota. Executive Director Brittany Novotny outlined 21 pages of potential changes covering dentists, dental hygienists, registered dental assistants and dental assistants. Dentists would have 10 specific criteria. They could submit results from parts of examinations by different testing organizations.
PIERRE — The Yankton County government shouldn't be financially punished for improperly spending 911 funds in 2012, state government's 911 Coordination Board decided Thursday. County Commission Chairman Don Kettering and county Auditor Patty Hojem spoke by telephone with the state board members. The amount was $141,139, according to Hojem and Shawnie Rechtenbaugh, deputy secretary for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. Rechtenbaugh is state coordinator for 911 telephone emergency services.
PIERRE — A change made by the Legislature earlier this year will pay off next year for most employers that contribute to South Dakota's unemployment insurance program. All things staying equal, they would fork over about $4.8 million less in 2018 than they are forecast to pay this calendar year, state UI director Pauline Heier said Wednesday. Lawmakers decided in March to reduce the contribution rate by 0.10 percent in nearly every bracket if a specific ratio was 1.60 or higher.
PIERRE — The Wednesday meeting of state government’s Railroad Board was the last for Chairman Todd Yeaton. The manager of the Kimball grain-loading terminal said he wouldn’t seek reappointment when his current term expired Oct. 30. He served more than 14 years. Yeaton made the announcement after reading the now-standard invitation for current or past members of the board to publicly declare any conflicts of interest.
PIERRE — Nick Wendell has been hired as the executive director of the South Dakota Board of Technical Education. The board unanimously approved his hiring during a special meeting today in Pierre. Wendell is now the director of the Center for Student Engagement at South Dakota State University in Brookings. He'll start his new job Nov. 6.
PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard has selected a new member for the State Library Board and a new member for the South Dakota Veterans Commission. He chose Brooks T. Schild, a science teacher at Yankton Middle School, to succeed Michael Birnbaum of Rapid City on the veterans panel. Then-Gov. Mike Rounds originally appointed Birnbaum in 2006. Daugaard reappointed him in 2011. For the library board, Daugaard selected Tom Nelson of Spearfish to succeed Diane Olson of Mitchell.
PIERRE — Five pieces of legislation received recommendations this week from a state government panel looking at possible changes to South Dakota's campaign finance laws. The Legislature established the Government Accountability Task Force during the 2017 session. The group's recommended bills will be introduced in the 2018 session. There are four Democratic legislators, four Republican legislators and three people representing Republicans elected as governor, secretary of state and attorney general.