PIERRE—South Dakota's formula for funding public schools would be restructured and teachers would receive an average salary of $48,500 under a plan endorsed Tuesday by the state Senate. The measure, SB 131, passed 29-6 and goes next to the House of Representatives. All three pieces of the governor's education package now have won approval from either the House or the Senate. Opponents of the legislation Tuesday asked why the average teacher salary increase of approximately $8,000 isn't tied to specific improvements in students' academic performances.
PIERRE—South Dakotans who suffer from intractable epilepsy and can't control the violent seizures through other medications without suffering severe side effects might get some help from the Legislature. The state Senate voted 20-15 to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana oil for patients. The oil couldn't contain more than 3 percent THC. "You can drink a gallon of this stuff and it's not going to get you high," Sen. Angie Buhl O'Donnell, D-Sioux Falls, said.
PIERRE—State senators voted Tuesday to toughen South Dakota's abortion restrictions by four weeks. They decided 21-14 to embrace the fetal-pain standard of 20 weeks. They would prohibit abortions in most instances if the pregnancy is in week 20 or after. Currently, abortions are generally allowed within the first 24 weeks. The prime sponsor is Sen. Jeff Monroe, R-Pierre. He said all of the stories told by senators about difficult births should be considered.
PIERRE -- State Rep. Lee Schoenbeck confirmed Tuesday morning that he plans to resign from the South Dakota Legislature effective tonight. But after his wife called him later on Tuesday,...
PIERRE—The state Senate supported adding a new felony with tougher penalties to South Dakota's criminal code for deadly vehicle crashes. The proposed crime is aggravated vehicular homicide. It could be charged if a death occurred while the driver under the influence of alcohol, drugs or substances operated a motor vehicle in a reckless manner and caused the death of another person.
PIERRE—State senators voted nearly unanimously Monday for legislation encouraging South Dakota school districts to share services, provide mentoring for new teachers and upgrade distance courses offered by Northern State University's e-learning center. The legislation, SB 133, also would ease certification for teachers moving into South Dakota from states where they already are licensed, and reinstate bonuses for teachers who receive national certification. Senators voted 33-1 in favor of the measure, which now goes to the House of Representatives.
PIERRE — Without an aye to spare, the state House of Representatives approved the governor's plan to raise the state sales tax to 4.5 percent from the current 4 percent Monday. Gov. Dennis Daugaard wants to use more than half of the $107 million of estimated revenue for improving the average salary of South Dakota teachers to $48,500. South Dakota ranked last nationally in the most-recent data at just over $40,000.
PIERRE – Amendments made by House members last week would require all additional money generated from the governor’s proposal to raise the state sales tax would forever be spent only...
PIERRE—I don't understand gender identity disorder. Psychologists and physicians evidently do. But as a parent, I understand the fear. What if a child was born with imperfect anatomy? What if a child tended toward acting as the opposite sex? And what if the child wanted to compete on a gender-specific sports team that differed from the child's anatomy? Then there's this: What if a child reported another child of the opposite sex was in the wrong school bathroom, locker room or shower room?
PIERRE—Less than 24 hours after it fell one aye short, the governor's proposal for raising South Dakota's sales tax received a second life Friday from the state House of Representatives. House members voted 44-21 in support of the reconsideration motion from Rep. Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown. He said the House would debate it Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Associated School Boards of South Dakota stepped up support by sending out the times and locations for legislative cracker-barrel meetings planned today throughout South Dakota.