PIERRE — The state Senate gave final approval Thursday to the funding plan for constructing a precision agriculture building at South Dakota State University. "It's part of the funding plan for the precision ag project," Sen. Gary Cammack, R-Union Center, said. The measure passed 30-2. SB 183 appropriates $650,000 of state funds annually to repaying bonded debt that will be issued for about one-third of the $55 million project.
PIERRE — Some dying or seriously ill inmates in state prisons could become eligible for release ahead of normal schedule under legislation headed to Gov. Dennis Daugaard. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-3 March 1 to kill HB 1009 after the lobbyist for the South Dakota county prosecutors said too many inmates would be eligible. Later that day Sen. Deb Peters gave it new life. The Hartford Republican is lead Senate sponsor. Several changes narrowed the scope of the measure the governor will consider:
Senators voted 25-9 Wednesday to approve funding changes for Building South Dakota, an economic development fund established by the Legislature in 2013. Sen. Larry Tidemann, R-Brookings, said the three remaining programs could be realigned next year if needed. Funding would be $4.9 million in 2019. It had received a lump sum of $30 million in 2014 that the governor wanted to last three years. Some of the money remains. ONE YEAR ONLY: Senators decided 32-2 to create a state license for wine manufacturers.
PIERRE — The first pay raise for South Dakota lawmakers since 1999 won final approval Wednesday from the state House of Representatives. Rep. Leslie Heinemann, R-Flandreau, made brief remarks in favor. The tally was 52-15. Lawmakers would be paid an amount equal to one-fifth of the median South Dakota household income each year. Heinemann said the Senate changed the bill slightly so the U.S. Census Bureau's current population survey would be used. The latest estimate from the Legislative Research Council puts the amount at about $11,800 next year.
PIERRE — Every voter in South Dakota now has a reason to cast a ballot June 5. The state House of Representatives decided Wednesday a special election should be held that day on a proposed change to victim's rights in the state constitution. The timing coincides with primary elections setting political party tickets for county, legislative and state offices in the November general election. Other proposed amendments and initiated laws will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. South Dakota held one special election on constitutional amendments in 2001.
PIERRE — The Senate agreed Tuesday evening with the House of Representatives that members of the Legislature should receive nearly $4,500 more when lawmakers start their new terms in 2019. Now one of the chambers faces a decision whether to step forward and give final approval. The increase has the support of Gov. Dennis Daugaard. The new amount would be nearly $10,500. The pay has been $6,000 per year since the 1999 session. Senators voted 28-6 for the increase in HB 1311. Lt. Gov. Matt Michels brought down the gavel as president at 5:14 p.m. CT.
PIERRE — South Dakota children who are deaf or hard of hearing could receive more help from state government under legislation that won approval Tuesday from the state House of Representatives. House members decided 62-3 to create an advisory council of nine to 15 people who would work with the state Department of Education on resources for language development parents could use.
PIERRE — Deadwood gambling halls face some potential rule changes. The state Commission on Gaming holds a public hearing Tuesday, March 27 at 1:30 p.m. MT in Deadwood City Hall at 102 Sherman Street. Among the proposed rules: • Requiring dealers to enforce bet limits; • Clarify responsibilities for pit bosses that oversee table games; • Require signage stating the minimum age is 21 to gamble; • Clarify procedures for industry requests regarding bet limits; • Clarify that slot machines awarding $12,000 or more need video surveillance; and
PIERRE — The Legislature's Joint Legislative Procedure Committee decided Tuesday to return to a 40-day session for 2019. The vote was 8-4. Legislative Research Council executive director Jason Hancock outlined a 38-day calendar for 2019 that would mirror the 2018 session. "It would be all the same weeks and all the same days," Hancock said. He also set out a 40-day calendar that would finish on a three-day week Monday through Wednesday. Veto day would arrive 15 days later on a Friday. "So the full 15 days have elapsed," Hancock said.
PIERRE — The state House of Representatives agreed Monday financial reporting requirements must be tightened in South Dakota after the Mid-Central Educational Cooperative corruption. House members voted 64-0 for final approval of SB 100. The Senate approved it 33-2 Feb. 22. The legislation now goes to the governor for review. Sen. Deb Peters, R-Hartford, was prime sponsor. Lead House sponsor was Rep. Kyle Schoenfish, R-Scotland. Schoenfish summarized the bill's eight sections Monday They deal with government grants and contracts.