PIERRE — The Legislature's Joint Committee on Appropriations showed its power Monday. The panel authorized a second South Dakota cemetery specifically for armed forces veterans and their spouses. Based on decades of tradition, it is highly unlikely either the Senate or the House of Representatives would object at this late stage of the 2018 session. The victory for South Dakota veterans groups came after negotiations Monday morning. Sen. Jim Stalzer, R-Sioux Falls, is prime sponsor of SB 91 that formed a framework for the deal.
PIERRE — Senate Taxation Committee members trod different ground Monday. Members want South Dakota voters to decide if victim rights should focus on violent crimes and whether the rights should apply to a somewhat smaller group of victims. The panel recommended the Legislature put the proposed amendment to the state constitution on an election ballot later this year. Next stop is the full Senate. For now they're staying with the November general election.
PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard is one step away from final approval by the Legislature of his proposal to extend South Dakota’s new laws on uses of non-meandered waters until July 1, 2021. SB 24 received support from 14 organizations and faced zero opposition Monday morning in the House State Affairs committee. Panel members voted 11-1 to recommend the full House of Representatives approve it, possibly as early as Tuesday afternoon.
PIERRE — So what do we see in the race for governor? Lesson 1: Make your mark early. None of the Big Three was better than state Attorney General Marty Jackley. The Republican distributed his tourism plan the morning they went on-stage at the tourism conference for their first shoulder-to-shoulder show. Was it effective? Proof came last week. U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem and Jackley released plans to fix the pheasant populations less than an hour apart. That set the two Republicans apart.
PIERRE — Big dollars flew both directions Friday as South Dakota lawmakers went opposite ways on alcohol tax revenues for counties, cities and state government. The Senate decided cities and counties should get less, while state government would get more for potential costs running a veterans' cemetery sought in Minnehaha County. The House of Representatives however decided county governments should get twice their current share and the additional money should come at state government's expense.
PIERRE — State lawmakers are weighing whether to require motorists in South Dakota to have headlights on 30 minutes sooner and keep them lit 30 minutes later. Rep. Burt Tulson, R-Lake Norden, wants the Legislature to set the period as sunset to sunrise. State law now is 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise. The House of Representatives voted 44-19 for the change Feb. 13. The Senate Transportation Committee endorsed it 4-0 Friday.
PIERRE — The South Dakota House of Representatives met in private caucuses for several hours Friday afternoon and then voted in open session to begin an investigation into the possible discipline or expulsion of Rep. David Johnson, R-Rapid City. Representatives voted 45-13 to appoint the committee. Chairman will be Rep. Timothy Johns, R-Lead, a retired circuit judge. Johnson allegedly lunged at Rep.
PIERRE — Businesses making alcohol or selling it wholesale might get to reach agreements on sponsorships and advertising again with groups and public facilities in South Dakota. The state Department of Revenue cracked down in the past year. Revenue officials declared such promotions violated state law. Now the Legislature is considering a proposal that would make them legal. The Senate Local Government Committee voted 6-0 Friday to recommend passage of HB 1157.
PIERRE — The Port Yankton gambling project won't be on the November general-election statewide ballot, the South Dakota Senate decided Thursday. Senators voted 23-12 against giving voters the opportunity to decide whether they wanted more casino gambling in South Dakota. Sen. Larry Tidemann, R-Brookings, called for reconsideration. That means the measure could face a repeat vote as early as Friday afternoon. If Tidemann turns at least six nays to ayes, SJR 9 would go to the House of Representatives for further action.
PIERRE — State and local governments would be more financially transparent under legislation approved Thursday by the South Dakota Senate. SB 100 would fix "some of the holes" discovered during investigations into the GEAR UP scandal, according to Sen. Deb Peters, R-Hartford. Senators voted 33-2 to send it to the House of Representatives for further action. "So we don't have the situation like we had in 2015 with the Mid-Central disaster," Peters said.