PIERRE — After a delay from last week over a procedural maneuver, the state House of Representatives gave final legislative approval Tuesday to allowing mothers to publicly breastfeed their children in South Dakota. The measure, Senate Bill 77, had been on the House consent calendar for automatic approval until Rep. Lana Greenfield, R-Doland, asked that it be transferred to the debate calendar last week. House members voted 61-8 for it Tuesday. The Senate previously approved it 33-0. Rep.
PIERRE — In the past few weeks, Gov. Dennis Daugaard twice appointed former state legislators to important state boards. He didn't wait one year after they had left office, as the South Dakota Constitution can be read to require. Instead, an alternative reading guided the timing of these picks. The latest is former Sen. Tom Jones, a Democrat from Viborg. He didn't seek re-election in 2014. Jones fills a vacant seat on the state Board of Economic Development. The board makes decisions on the state's low-interest loans to new and expanding businesses.
PIERRE -- The state Public Utilities Commission decided Friday to allow the company to file additional written testimony later about the permit sought for the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline to be built through South Dakota. "We're already working on testimony," Brett Koenecke, a lawyer representing the company, said. Koenecke said the company wanted to tailor its comments to the interveners seeking to participate in the case. Friday was the final day for parties to apply to the commission to intervene.
PIERRE — A state Senate panel took testimony Thursday about a proposal to divide South Dakota into nine river-basin units for dealing with water-level problems. The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee didn't take action. Its chairman, Sen. Gary Cammack, R-Union Center, deferred the matter until Tuesday. Cammack suggested the bill's prime sponsor, Sen.
PIERRE — State senators voted Wednesday for a smorgasbord of increases in fuel taxes, registration fees and property taxes to provide more funding for state, county and township roads and bridges. The vote was 26-8 to send the legislation, Senate Bill 1, to the House of Representatives. The House hasn't taken a vote yet on its version, House Bill 1131, which was introduced for the governor. The key similarity in the two bills at this point is acceptance of the concept of annual 2-cent tax increases per gallon for gasoline and alcohol. The Senate version caps those after eight years.
PIERRE -- The South Dakota Senate gave final legislative approval Thursday to new consumer protections sought by state Attorney General Marty Jackley regarding the operation of charitable raffles, lotteries and bingo. Senators agreed with amendments made by the House of Representatives that had Jackley's support. The measure, Senate Bill 18, next goes to Gov.
PIERRE -- State senators agreed Thursday that a task force should be selected to study elderly abuse in South Dakota. Sen. David Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, said Chief Justice David Gilbertson was asked and agreed to fund the work from the state Unified Judicial System budget. The chief justice also will receive authority to make the most appointments to the task force, Novstrup said. The chief justice would receive five slots to fill, the governor three, the Senate president pro tem three and the House speaker three. "All three branches have a stake in it," Novstrup said.
PIERRE — South Dakota could soon have a freedom of breastfeeding law. The measure won final legislative approval Wednesday from the state House of Representatives. It allows a mother to breastfeed her child in any public or private location where they are allowed to be. It also prohibits municipalities from banning breastfeeding in public places. Sen. Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City, is prime sponsor of SB 77. The lead House sponsor is Rep. Lynne DiSanto, R-Rapid City.
The state House of Representatives voted 68-0 Wednesday to require school districts to provide the public with monthly information about the amounts of money held in reserve in four accounts. The legislation calls for the balances at the end of each month to be recorded for the general fund, capital outlay fund, pension fund and special education fund. The information would be presented in the annual report that already is required from each district in August each year. "I highly support this bill and it's unfortunate it's taken this long to get it," Rep. Dick Werner, R-Huron, said. Rep.
PIERRE — The state House of Representatives rejected an attempt Wednesday to repeal the 3 percent limit on the annual growth of property tax revenue for county, city and township governments. The vote on HB 1218 was 23 yes and 45 no. The measure's prime sponsor, Rep. Dennis Feickert, D-Aberdeen, said counties have been on a downward spiral since the limit was approved by the Legislature in 1995. "Maybe, just maybe, it's time to do something," Feickert said. The limit was passed as part of what became a 30 percent reduction in local property taxes from their 1994 levels. Rep.