PIERRE—The governor's office isn't ready to support the state Aeronautics Commission starting a loan program for hangars to house airplanes, a state official said Tuesday. Bruce Lindholm, an administrator in the state Department of Transportation, told commission members there are questions about who would qualify, what types of projects would be covered and how money could be recovered if a loan went bad. State law currently allows the commission to make loans for three years at 4.5 percent interest.
PIERRE—The business and housing assistance programs created three years ago as part of the Building South Dakota program saw big demand so far. But one designed specifically to offer tax breaks for smaller business projects has found few takers. There have been two grants totaling $36,480 for equipment upgrades by Yankton-area businesses Sapa Extrusions Inc. and TruXedo Inc.
PIERRE — The technology used to provide free Internet streaming of audio and video from proceedings of the Legislature is outdated and won't be supported any longer by its providers, the executive director for South Dakota Public Broadcasting said Monday. Julie Overgaard told the Legislature's Executive Board her agency has found a new provider willing to write new software and contract for a five-year lease in time for the 2016 session that opens in January. But SDPB can't afford the deal without financial help from the governor's office and the Legislature, and possibly from the stat
PIERRE — The Legislature's Executive Board plans to hold a retreat this fall at Custer State Park, reviving a practice that had been scrapped about 15 years ago. Jason Hancock, the Legislative Research Council's director, outlined the plan Monday afternoon to the board. He wants four other senior members of the LRC staff to also attend the retreat. The event would start on the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 6, at Reunion Cabin near the State Game Lodge in the park.
PIERRE—The Legislature's Government Operations and Audit Committee will hear from state Department of Education officials Tuesday regarding a cooperative that handles much of the department's Indian education programming and employs two former department top officials. The legislators want to consider the department's responses to the six pages of findings from a state audit of the department's activities in 2014. One of the findings from the state Department of Legislative Audit involves two former top officials from the state Department of Education who went to work for the cooperati
PIERRE — The state constitution prohibits a governor from serving more than two consecutive terms. That means Gov. Dennis Daugaard can't run again in 2018, and so campaigns for election to the office have already started. There isn't a Democrat running yet, but there appear to be two Republicans for certain, in state Attorney General Marty Jackley and state Rep. Mark Mickelson of Sioux Falls. Each ended 2014 with some cash remaining in their campaign accounts. Jackley reported $325,129.18 on hand.
PIERRE—Less than a decade after majorities of South Dakota voters rejected attempts to ban nearly all abortions within the state, some members of the Legislature now plan to take a resolution to the U.S. Supreme Court asking that abortion be illegal nationwide. Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon, said he and two other state lawmakers, Rep. Lynne DiSanto, R-Rapid City, and Rep. Kris Langer, R-Dell Rapids, will present the resolution on Sept. 15 to the U.S.
PIERRE—The directors for the South Dakota High School Activities Association changed their process in 2014 for selecting sites of state athletics and arts competitions. They changed the opinions of legislators, too. Members of the Legislature's interim committee looking into the SDHSAA gave a general thumbs-up to the new method Thursday. Three of the directors and five high school officials—no two from the same community—now make the choices.
PIERRE—The battle over setting people's gender in South Dakota probably will carry into the 2016 legislative session. The Legislature's interim committee dealing with the issue Thursday requested a draft of a potential state law. The proposal from Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon, would rely on official birth certificates and visual inspections for determining gender rather than people deciding their own. He said gender is determined at conception and the transgender debate is riding the gay marriage wave. "This is South Dakota. We haven't adopted the East Coast culture.
PIERRE—The federal government doesn't want Ellsworth Air Force Base to simply accept the rate hikes that Montana-Dakota Utilities proposes for natural gas in South Dakota. U.S. Department of Defense lawyers are representing the base before the state Public Utilities Commission. The commission voted Thursday to allow the intervention.