PIERRE — Butte County came into compliance with South Dakota's rules for emergency telephone services, state government's 9-1-1 coordinator said Thursday. That leaves four counties — Bon Homme, Marshall, Miner and Roberts — still working on loose ends, Shawnie Rechtenbaugh told members of the South Dakota 9-1-1 Coordination Board. Under a new state law, counties faced a July 1 deadline to meet the board's standards for operations and use of public safety answering points, known as PSAPs.
PIERRE — State government's Board of Regents decided Wednesday that University Center at Sioux Falls needs a community steering board as a step to increase students. The regents, who govern South Dakota's public universities, are trying to rebuild enrollment at the center located on the northwest side of Sioux Falls. Tuition revenue dropped significantly in recent years. It was nearly $6.4 million in fiscal 2013. By fiscal 2017 it was down to $4.5 million.
PIERRE — State government's Board of Regents opened a three-day planning session Tuesday afternoon by talking about what can be done differently by and for its members as they govern South Dakota's public universities. One suggestion: Evaluations, whether they be self-analysis, or performed by other board members, or rated by senior staff and university presidents. "It's a good checklist of what you have to be thinking about," regent Kevin Schieffer, of Sioux Falls, said.
PIERRE — For state government's new Board of Certified Professional Midwives, the picks from Gov. Dennis Daugaard are in. He appointed: • Autumn Cavender-Wilson, of Granite Falls, Minnesota, to serve until Oct. 31, 2018; • Kimberlee McKay, M.D., of Sioux Falls, to serve until Oct. 31, 2020; • Debbie Pease, of Centerville, to serve until Oct. 31, 2020; • Susan Rooks, of Oral, to serve until Oct. 31, 2019; and • Pat Schwaiger, of Billings, to serve until Oct. 31, 2019.
PIERRE — State government's Board of Economic Development made a loan for construction of a new facility for manufacturing material-drying equipment and authorized a large reinvestment payment to a cheese maker. The board unanimously approved a reinvestment payment up to $7,254,497 as reimbursement for a portion of sales taxes paid by Agropur, Inc. Agropur is more than doubling the milk-handling capacity of the former Davisco plant at Lake Norden to 7 million pounds.
PIERRE — A top staffer said he is inviting a different witness than the lawmaker named last month by the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee. Tim Flannery, who works for state government’s Department of Legislative Audit, said he made the change of direction afterward from “a majority of committee members.” Defiant emails flew during the past week between Sen. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, and other members of the committee.
PIERRE — The legislator who's sponsoring two possible ballot measures asking voters to raise tobacco taxes in South Dakota said he wants the money to help fund the public technical institutes in the state. State Rep. Mark Mickelson, a Sioux Falls Republican, said Thursday he'd circulate what's labeled "version 2." It proposes adding $1 of state tax to a pack of 20 cigarettes and increasing the state tax on other tobacco products such as cigars and smokeless to 55 percent of wholesale price.
PIERRE — State government's Board of Regents wants to talk next week about putting another fee on the students attending South Dakota's public universities. The proposal calls for charging students $5.07 more per credit hour. The purpose for the South Dakota Higher Education Enhancement Fee is to gradually increase faculty salaries, according to a document distributed to the regents. They meet Tuesday through Thursday next week in Pierre for their annual planning session.
PIERRE — The Legislature's committee studying workforce housing will make recommendations at the next meeting in late September or October, its chairman said Tuesday. Rep. David Lust, R-Rapid City, told lawmakers there wouldn't be public testimony. Lust said he would catalogue items from the two days of meetings so far and circulate the list for additional comments. The study group is looking for ways to expand availability of affordable housing for workers in South Dakota.
Two years ago Gov. Dennis Daugaard commenced a review of rest stops and tourist-information centers along South Dakota's two interstate highways. A team from state government's Department of Tourism and Department of Transportation issued recommendations. The state Transportation Commission received a briefing last July but didn't formally vote whether to accept the plan. The Transportation Department proceeded with two closures last fall; Hidewood rest stop on Interstate 29 between Watertown and Brookings; and Tilford rest stop on Interstate 90 west of Rapid City.