PIERRE — The latest numbers show $58.6 million more is needed to build the new animal disease research diagnostic laboratory at South Dakota State University. The governor's proposal calls for $46.2 million to come from the agriculture sector. He would issue bonds and repay them over 25 years. The payments would be about $3 million annually, collected through higher fees on feed, veterinary inspections, animal remedies, poultry health products and raw milk. The Senate Appropriations Committee introduced the legislation Thursday on behalf of Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
PIERRE — State senators unanimously decided Friday to require that the name and telephone number of an organization fighting to end sex trafficking be given in writing to any woman seeking an abortion in South Dakota. The state Department of Health would prepare and provide the notice. It would state: "If someone is sexually abusing you or causing you to exchange sex for something of value, and you want help, call 911, or the telephone number provided on this notice."
PIERRE — The Legislature is one round of voting away from updating state laws regarding South Dakota's victim-notification system. State Attorney General Marty Jackley told the House Judiciary Committee on Friday that SB 26 would streamline the process for victims registering to receive messages about offenders. The system is known as SAVIN. That's short for statewide automated victim information and notification.
PIERRE — Funeral homes shouldn't be allowed to be at the head of the line for payment from deceased persons who have little money or items of value, a panel in the South Dakota Legislature decided Friday. The House Judiciary Committee voted 10-1 to kill HB 1102 even though it could have saved money for taxpayers in some cases. Funeral homes can seek payment for services from the county government if the deceased person was indigent.
PIERRE — Inhibiting the repossession of a vehicle would become a criminal act of theft in South Dakota under a proposal endorsed Friday by a state House of Representatives committee. Rep. David Lust, R-Rapid City, is prime sponsor of HB 1096. It now goes to the full House for consideration. Brian Busch, manager for Anytime Auto Sales in Rapid City, testified by telephone during the hearing by the House Judiciary Committee. Busch recounted instances of people making down payments and never making another payment.
PIERRE — State senators gave final legislative approval Thursday to helping the South Dakota Retirement System stay in financial balance. The savings would save in excess of $1.5 billion during the coming decades, according to estimates that SDRS officials provided to legislators. The three measures now head to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who is expected to sign them into law. SDRS covers employees of state government and many school districts, cities and counties, as well as various special units of government throughout South Dakota.
PIERRE — Ten years after the Legislature authorized education service agencies to help local school districts throughout South Dakota, the state Department of Education is asking the Legislature to repeal those laws. The department received the Senate Education Committee's endorsement Thursday. The legislation, HB 1022, could receive final approval as early as today from the full House of Representatives. The House has already passed it 64-2.
PIERRE—The Legislature is honoring 12 men who retired from the South Dakota Highway Patrol in the past few years. The Senate gave its automatic approval to the 12 commemorations Wednesday. The House of Representatives gets them next. They cover retirements from 2015, 2016 and January 2017. The dozen are: John Koenig, a sergeant last stationed at Chamberlain who served 30 years; Matthew Petersen, a trooper last stationed at Parkston who served nearly 11 years; Mike Thomas, a trooper last stationed at Deadwood who served more than 23 years;
PIERRE — One result of the Legislature's 2007 sex scandal is that legislative pages have worn standard blue and yellow dress shirts for the past decade. It is the same reason Sen. Stace Nelson now wants a rule that bans sex between legislators and legislative employees. There is a rule that prohibits sexual harassment. But revelations in the past few weeks, about what's been labeled as consensual sex, evidently fall outside that rule. The results so far are these:
PIERRE – A majority of South Dakota senators favor more flexibility in teaching science in public schools. Senate Bill 55 received support from the Senate Wednesday by a vote of 23-13 in favor. Sen. Jeff Monroe, R-Pierre, is the prime sponsor of SB 55, which would “protect the teaching of certain scientific information.” Monroe said he’s received information that state standards are “one-directional” in favor of a theory.