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.
PIERRE — Friday marked working day 25 of the Legislature's 2015 session. There are 13 working days left in the main run, followed by a two-week break and then a final day 39 on March 30. The next key day is Wednesday, Feb. 25. That is working day 27 and the deadline for legislation to receive decisive action from its "house of origin" -- either the House of Representatives or the Senate -- where the bill began. For those pieces of legislation that make it through the first chamber, the second key day is March 10.
PIERRE — State courts and crime victims are owed millions of dollars in South Dakota, but no one is specifically assigned to recover it, an official told legislators Friday. The testimony from state courts administrator Greg Satizahn came in support of a proposal from the Daugaard administration. The governor wants to create a new office in state government called the obligation recovery center. The Unified Judicial System's collection rates averaged 30 to 35 percent for fines and costs, and 17 percent for restitution to victims, during the past five years, according to Satizahn. He