PIERRE — Her professional experience as an auditor and an accountant weighed strongly in favor of Laura McNally receiving a seat on the South Dakota Investment Council. McNally, a certified public accountant who lives and works in Belle Fourche, starts July 1 on the panel. "I like new things so I'm excited," she said. The council oversees the state Investment Office that manages billions of dollars for the South Dakota Retirement System, state trusts and other government funds. The Legislature's Executive Board selects a new council member each summer.
PIERRE—For South Dakota, the great recession of 2008 and 2009 continues to hang around. Enrollees in Medicaid and children's health insurance programs, which are funded by the federal and state governments, were at nearly 119,000 through April. That is the largest number in modern times. Our non-farm employment growth kept pace with the nation for the first few years coming out of the recession. But South Dakota fell off the pace in 2012 and 2013. We continue to lag. South Dakota's unemployment rate remains lower than the nation—3.6 percent vs.
PIERRE — Sexually transmitted diseases continued their fast spread in South Dakota during the first five months of this year, according to a report released Friday by the state Health Department. Through May, gonorrhea cases reached 404, a pace that would exceed last year's total of 891. The gonorrhea numbers increased every year of late. The disease was nearly half as prevalent in 2010 at 468. Chlamydia remained a widespread threat, with 1,598 cases through May. There were 4,170 in 2014.
PIERRE — More angles than in a pinball game seemed to be in play Wednesday on potential concepts for the state-owned railroad line between Napa Junction and Platte. Right now the track is stuck on tilt, however.
PIERRE—The South Dakota Railroad Board decided Wednesday to hold off final action on the latest bids for rehabilitating the state-owned line from Chamberlain to Presho. The board instead plans a special meeting at 1 p.m. June 25 in the DOT commission room in Pierre, when the members will discuss how to proceed. The board decided on two previous occasions to rebid the project.
PIERRE—A certified professional accountant will be the newest member of the South Dakota Investment Council that oversees how billions of dollars in pension savings and government accounts are managed. The Legislature's Executive Board recently chose Laura McNally, of Belle Fourche, for the next open slot on the council.
PIERRE — The prospect of regular railroad service starting again west of Chamberlain is stirring businesses to consider locating along that stretch of state-owned line. The state Railroad Board received requests in the past two months to lease land for construction of a new siding at Reliance and to sell land for construction of a new siding at Presho. The Warren Ranch seeks to build a pea-loading facility at Reliance. The switches on the main line at Reliance need to be replaced as part of the rehabilitation work that will be done this year and next year between Chamberlain and Presh
PIERRE—Our state government wants more people to gamble more. And when people spend more on state-sponsored gambling, our state government can spend more, without taxing more the people who aren't gamblers. This is free will at its finest and its worst. I've known gambling addicts. For some their curse was to like much too much gambling on video lottery. They didn't look like addicts. One was a state judge. I watched him on an occasional Saturday morning.
PIERRE—State government employees will be allowed to directly derive benefits from state contracts, but they must have official waivers in writing and the documents will be open to public inspection, under a new law that takes effect July 1 in South Dakota. The waiver also will be required on contracts issued to former state employees within one year of leaving state government jobs. Contracts that aren't reported or aren't accompanied by a waiver can be investigated. The law defines a knowing violation as a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2
PIERRE — A potential amendment to the South Dakota constitution would allow voters to refer any law approved by the Legislature including spending measures and emergency acts that currently are off limits. Those spending and emergency acts however would still take effect and remain law until voters decided their fate in the next general election.