FORT PIERRE -- Open spearfishing for game species definitely won't be allowed statewide, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission decided Thursday. But dogs might be allowed for hunting mountain lions outside the Black Hills. Both proposals began as citizen petitions to the commission. The special process, rarely used, allows a citizen to ask the commission for a specific rule. The public hearing took 70 minutes on the spearfishing expansion.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Lottery Commission voted unanimously Thursday against proceeding with a study of financial and social effects from legal gambling. The three consulting proposals ranged in price from $518,500 to $600,000. No other gambling organization offered to help pay. "I had doubts about the study from the start," commissioner Bob Hartford, of Pierre, said. Because of the expense and the lack of support, Hartford suggested the study be scrapped. Commissioner Jim Putnam, of Armour, agreed.
PIERRE — South Dakota is the prospective site for as many as five agricultural processing projects that would total $1 billion in value and employ 3,000 people, according to a state official. Odds are "very good" four of them eventually will open in South Dakota, according to Pat Costello, commissioner for the Governor's Office of Economic Development. "They take years to develop because they are large projects," Costello said. He declined to name the types of products or provide other information that might lead to speculation about the businesses. However he confirmed none of the p
PIERRE — Trustees, administrators and consultants for the South Dakota Retirement System are considering contingency plans in case of another plunge in the investment markets. They began talks at their quarterly meeting last week about what might be done if the system's portfolio drops below 100 percent of fair value. They are looking at possible responses in different scenarios, such as another crash where the value keeps dropping to the 80 percent range or worse. In 2010, the trustees and the Legislature needed to take $1.8 billion worth of corrective actions. Since then, the State
South Dakota's state universities face nearly $970,000 more in payroll costs as result of the higher minimum wage approved by voters last month, according to an estimate compiled for the state Board of Regents. The ballot measure increased the minimum wage for most workers to $8.50 per hour effective Jan. 1, 2015.
PIERRE -- Further details emerged Thursday about the governor's plan to shift nearly half of the costs of three state education programs to property owners. The plan would cost property owners in the neighborhood of $5 million per year once the changes took full effect. Reporters originally were told the changes would shift $2.6 million of the costs. That technically is true for the first year.
PIERRE — People receiving benefits from the South Dakota Retirement System will get a 3.1 percent cost of living adjustment next year, the board of trustees decided Thursday. State law permits the annual adjustment to range from a minimum of 2.1 percent to a maximum of 3.1 percent, depending on the system's funding status. SDRS administrator Rob Wylie said the 3.1 percent was permitted because the system finished fiscal 2014 with at least 100 percent funding of its long-term liabilities. The funding was 107 percent as of the June 30 end of the fiscal year. Wylie said the adjustment w
PIERRE — The South Dakota Retirement System has seen little gain on its investments during the first five months of the current fiscal year, the system's trustees learned Thursday. "Around a half of a percent," state investment officer Matt Clark told them. That is a concern. The system is built on the assumption of an average 7.25 percent return annually.
RAPID CITY — South Dakota's public universities attract twice as many high school graduates from other states than leave South Dakota for other states, the top official for the state university system said Wednesday. "That's a trend that reversed itself from the mid-1990s," executive director Jack Warner told members of the Board of Regents during their meeting at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He said non-resident tuition is relatively low and works as a recruiting tool. A look at state university graduates one year after receiving their diplomas has found 73 percen
PIERRE — New water-temperature rules would apply to specific sites in the new Black Hills trout management area under regulations approved Wednesday by the state Board of Water Management. Many Black Hills streams exceed the current maximum temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the trout management area, according to Patrick Snyder, a staff member for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The new daily maximum would be 75.2 degrees, and the weekly average maximum would be 66.2 degrees. The proposal was shared with the state Game, Fish and Parks Department.