PIERRE — Wyoming's state government hopes to trim $2 million from its Medicaid expenses and share some of the savings with two tribes there, a Wyoming official told the members of the South Dakota health care solutions coalition Wednesday. Amy Guimond, the tribal waiver manager for Wyoming's Division of Healthcare Financing, said during the teleconference that her state spends about $40 million annually for Native Americans as its share of federal Medicaid services.
PIERRE — The state Transportation Commission wants a public hearing May 25 to consider changing speed limits for highways in three western South Dakota counties. The proposals would affect several maintenance routes, a service road and a construction-zone crossover on Interstate 90 in Pennington and Meade counties. The commission plans to also consider a proposed speed-zone change for a segment of State Trunk Highway 79 in Meade County.
PIERRE — South Dakota's task force on opioids should focus on medical doctors who prescribe too many of the potentially addictive painkillers, several members said Monday. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines say the initial prescription should cover just three to seven days, according to Jon Schuchardt.
PIERRE — I am a newspaperman. My reputation precedes me. And what that reputation is, depends, greatly, on you. To some, I am to be avoided. Among others, I am welcomed. For many, I matter less and less. For those who don't care, I am nothing. This week, my range of reality expanded. We — my wife, Ellen, and I — received good news from my brain doctors at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The MRI on Monday showed space between my skull and my brain. The black gap wasn't there on my previous MRI, taken March 16.
PIERRE — Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy received regulatory approval Thursday for their 2016 economic development reports and 2017 economic development plans. The state Public Utilities Commission accepted the two sets of summaries from the investor-owned companies on separate 3-0 votes. The economic development spending reflects individual agreements reached between each of the companies and the commission.
PIERRE — The state Board of Regents met by teleconference Thursday and gave the go-ahead for $13 million of bonds to help pay for an expansion of the performing arts center at South Dakota State University in Brookings. The December cost estimate for the project was $48 million. That amount reflects $29 million from gifts and $6 million from the city of Brookings. University officials also have agreed to pay interest on the project through at least 2021 or 2022, according to Monte Kramer, the regents vice president for finance and administration.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission designated a six-mile radius Thursday as the affected area for Otter Tail Power Company's proposed electricity plant in Deuel County. But the affected area would stop at the state border, rather than extend into Minnesota's Lincoln County, the commission decided. The project, called Astoria Station, would burn natural gas and generate approximately 250 megawatts during periods of high electricity use.
PIERRE — The Legislature's task force on non-meandered waters worked at an aggressive pace during the first meeting Thursday, taking testimony from a line-up of key players and choosing May 9-10 in Aberdeen for the next meeting. A South Dakota Supreme Court decision last month found neither landowners nor sportsmen have recreation rights that rank higher than the other on non-meandered waters.
PIERRE — The state Board of Internal Control made a little more progress Wednesday on creating standard financial forms for state government departments and offices to use. The Legislature established the board one year ago, at the suggestion of Gov. Dennis Daugaard, in response to state Department of Legislative Audit findings. The six members who attended the hour-long meeting Wednesday at the Capitol focused much of their time on exemptions for two agencies: the Department of Health and the Department of Social Services.
PIERRE — The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued the latest version of its general water pollution control permit for concentrated animal feeding operations throughout South Dakota last week. DENR Secretary Steve Pirner approved the revised permit March 10. That set a 30-day clock running for interveners to challenge the revised permit's conditions in state circuit court. However, no one appealed during the window of time.