PIERRE — Investor-owned companies selling electricity or natural gas to customers in South Dakota should share the savings from federal tax reductions coming in 2018 so that consumers benefit, state Public Utilities Commission members decided Friday. The three commissioners voted unanimously for a Feb. 1 deadline when companies must provide general information about estimated effects of Congress cutting the federal corporate-income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
PIERRE — State courts can suspend execution of sentences on the condition that defendants practice good behavior longer than the maximum times they would have been behind bars, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled in a decision released Thursday. "We conclude that sentencing courts have such power because it has been delegated to them by the (South Dakota) Constitution and the Legislature has not restricted it," Justice Steven Zinter wrote.
PIERRE — The circuit judge acted within his authority when he imposed consecutive sentences of 110 years and 100 years for the double killings committed at Faith in 2016, the South Dakota Supreme Court said in a decision released Thursday. Attorney Paul Eisenbraun, of Rapid City, had argued Circuit Judge Jerome Eckrich didn't adequately consider whether Berton Toavs was capable of rehabilitation before sentencing him to a total of 210 years.
PIERRE — A Rapid City woman can sue her ex-husband for allegedly forcing her to work as a prostitute before and during their marriage, and for allegedly abusing her emotionally, physically and sexually, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled in a decision released Thursday. The justices in the process also overruled a 1989 decision in Pickering v. Pickering. There a previous set of justices barred former spouses from suing each other for intentionally inflicting emotional distress, if the conduct was the basis for the divorce.
Bringing back the parade of livestock champions is among the ideas a South Dakota State Fair task force is exploring for the annual event in Huron. Fair manager Peggy Besch said finding a time that could work for all 4-H, FFA and open-class winners is "a little challenging." The parade could be a way the fair marks the centennial of its grandstand built in 1918, she said in a telephone interview Wednesday. Members of the State Fair Commission met Dec. 19 at Nordby Exhibit Hall on the fairgrounds and by teleconference.
PIERRE — Three years ago, the South Dakota Transportation Commission decided against using roundabouts at the Brookings interchanges between the business route of US 14 and Interstate 29. Among the reasons were complaints that long semi-trailers and large farm equipment might have trouble getting around the no-stop circles. Even so, state Department of Transportation officials kept on planning roundabouts at other spots. Now they plan to construct several roundabouts in 2018.
PIERRE — Just in time for Christmas, the Republicans who run our Congress and now our White House have delivered unto us what they consider a great present: The largest overhaul of federal taxes since the mid-1980s. Are those hooves of reindeer we hear, prancing on the rooftop? Here's comes Santa down the chimney, his bag full of gifts! Ho! Ho! Ho! We turn to each other in excitement as wrapping paper comes ripping off. What did you get? Is that a lump of coal — or a gift glittering in gold? Who knows — either might just be so.
PIERRE — A private railway that runs on state-owned track west from Mitchell gave a related company exclusive control last summer of a state-owned siding connected to the main line at Mitchell. However, no one told the South Dakota Railroad Board about the deal. The governor-appointed members are responsible for all state-owned rail lines in South Dakota. Dakota Southern Railway Co. signed away 1.4 miles of siding right to Brule Terminaling LLC for storing up to 100 railcars bearing liquid natural gas, also known as butane.
PIERRE — The state lawmaker from South Dakota who is president for the National Conference of State Legislatures helped arrange the special training session NCSL staff members will provide South Dakota legislators in January. "Truly the effort was collaborative," Sen. Deb Peters, R-Hartford, said in an interview conducted this week, first in person and then via Twitter's message service. "I had the connections to help put the pieces together."
PIERRE — A contractor's bid that showed up blank wasn't submitted with four valid bids for a state highway project Thursday to the South Dakota Transportation Commission. Sam Weisgram, engineering manager for the state Department of Transportation, told commissioners an error wasn't found on the department's end of the electronic system. The department didn't receive an answer from the contractor regarding an offer to check the contractor's computer, Weisgram said. Weisgram didn't name the contractor.