PIERRE — South Dakota voters will be asked to change the state constitution in 2016 regarding governance of public technical institutes. The question will be whether to prohibit the state Board of Regents from governing the technical institutes and to put the Legislature in charge of the decision. The state Senate voted 34-0 Thursday for final approval to put the measure on the ballot at the next general election. The House of Representatives previously voted for it 68-1. The constitution currently assigns responsibility to the regents to govern the state universities.
PIERRE -- State government should have an office dedicated to collection of debts owed to state government and restitution owed to crime victims, the House of Representatives agreed Wednesday evening. The vote for HB 1228 was 58-11. The measure now goes to the Senate. The Daugaard administration wants the office, which would be known as the obligation recovery center and would be attached to the state Bureau of Administration. The center would be self-funding by adding a 20 percent surcharge to any debt collected.
PIERRE -- South Dakota should offer mediation services for landowners who are in drainage disputes, the state Senate decided Wednesday. Senators voted 32-2 for the legislation. SB 3 now goes to the House of Representatives. The mediation program would be operated with the state Department of Agriculture. The participants would pay for services. The proposal came from the Legislature's watershed task force that was chaired by Rep. Brian Gosch, R-Rapid City. Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell, served on the task force.
PIERRE -- State senators closed the door Wednesday against commissioning a study of converting to actual-use for setting tax valuations of agricultural land in South Dakota. Senators voted 16 yes and 18 no. The measure, SB 4, needed 24 yes votes to stay alive.
PIERRE — The state House of Representatives will work on the Senate version of a massive package of additional funding for highways and bridges in South Dakota rather than use the governor's plan. The money would be for state, county and township repairs and improvements. The proposal is based on a combination of plans. House members were up against deadlines Tuesday and Wednesday for legislation to be handled by committees and then the full chamber.
PIERRE — State senators voted 25-10 Tuesday to increase the per-student allocation by 2 percent for South Dakota's public schools and make the corresponding adjustments to general-education tax levies on property. South Dakota uses a combination of state funding and local property taxes to provide general education funding to K-12 schools.
PIERRE – The state House of Representatives will work on the Senate version of a massive package of additional funding for highways and bridges in South Dakota rather than use...
PIERRE — The Daugaard administration is promoting changes in state law that would help school districts financially, when they use capital outlay taxes for equipment purchases and projects such as building additions or heating and cooling improvements. School districts already can go through the South Dakota Health and Education Facilities Authority to receive financing, but the practice dwindled during the past 15 years, according to Lt. Gov.
PIERRE -- The governor is asking the Legislature to earmark millions of dollars for a package of self-insurance programs. They would cover all of state government's buildings and a variety of special-purpose authorities that work with state government. The House of Representatives is scheduled to debate the three bills Tuesday afternoon. The plan won't necessarily save money on insurance for the buildings but it will provide broader coverage and an opportunity to get better rates on re-insurance from the private sector, according to Lt. Gov.
PIERRE -- Members of the Legislature took more conservative positions on spending in recent days amid signs that South Dakota's economy has grown much less than predicted. The appropriations committees for the Senate and the House of Representatives amended many special measures to $1, rather than approve them at the six- and seven-figure amounts recommended by Gov.