PIERRE—Rarely does a government program accumulate so much revenue that its main fee can be suspended. The South Dakota Division of Banking is in that unusual spot. As a result, the state Banking Commission will consider on Friday a one-time abatement of the bank examination fee.
PIERRE — The Legislature's executive board is taking applications through May 25 for a citizen seat opening on the state investment council that oversees billions of dollars. But the original plan, back in 1971, was the governor would appoint the five citizen members. The senator at the time who brought the legislation was Harvey Wollman of Hitchcock, a Democrat. The governor at the time who would have received the appointment power was Dick Kneip. He was a Democrat, too. He had won in 1970 by ousting the Republican incumbent, Frank Farrar. No matter what some Republican legislator
PIERRE — Two Hutterian Brethren colonies won public drawings Thursday putting them first in line if the state Water Management Board someday makes additional water for irrigation available from two aquifers in Spink and Beadle counties. The board previously found the aquifers, the Tulare: East James and the Tulare: West James Hitchcock, to be fully appropriated, meaning no additional rights should be granted to draw water from them. But a package of reforms approved by the Legislature in 2014 calls for the board to take a variety of steps regarding fully appropriated aquifers. One is
PIERRE — The state Water Management Board agreed Thursday to grant the community of Hecla the right to use water from a free-flowing well in northern Brown County. The Liberty Township board originally opposed Hecla's application, but didn't send a township representative to the hearing. Adam Mathiowetz, an engineer for the state water rights division, presented his finding there is water available. He said the community of Frederick, about 14 miles from Hecla, holds the nearest water right from the same Dakota aquifer. The state's chief engineer for water rights, Jeanne Goodman, rec
PIERRE—The methods and judgments of two engineers for the state's water rights division came under question Wednesday. Lawyers for two farm families who have neighboring operations in Spink and Beadle counties worked to undercut the engineers. Those tactics didn't sit well with the four members of the state Water Management Board present for the hearings.
PIERRE—The South Dakota Department of Legislative Audit discovered faulty record keeping by the state government on bank taxes for the third year in a row. The 2014 audit found the Department of Revenue "did not have adequate policies and procedures in place over the collection and recording" of bank taxes. Among the problems: • Five returns were delinquent but didn't appear so in the Department of Revenue's system; • One return was erroneously listed as delinquent but wasn't; • One bank taxpayer showed more than one return for the same period; • Some returns were missing informati
PIERRE — The South Dakota unemployment insurance fund is brimming with more money than expected, but state Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman said Monday more time is needed to gather data before more changes might be considered. The fund ended calendar 2014 with a balance of $84.8 million, according to final numbers. The goal had been approximately $76 million, based on a U.S.
PIERRE — A new law that takes effect July 1 across South Dakota might finally clean up the practices by some public boards and commissions for displaying meeting notices. The Legislature tried to address the problem in 2012. Lawmakers said a public meeting notice with a proposed agenda needed to be "visible, readable, and accessible for at least an entire twenty-four hours" before at the principal office of the public body. But where and how those notices were displayed weren't consistent. Sometimes they were posted in windows at entrances to buildings.
PIERRE — The county long known as Shannon received its official new name of Oglala Lakota on Friday. The county's voters used a state law that three legislators from that region of South Dakota created 23 years ago. None of them — Sen. Paul Valandra, of Rosebud; Rep. Dick Hagen; of Pine Ridge; and Rep. Larry Lucas, formerly of Mission — remains in the Legislature now. Hagen died in 2002 at age 65 while still in office. He served 20 years starting in 1983. Valandra, now 61, put in 16 years. Lucas gave 18 years over two different periods.
PIERRE — The state Public Utilities Commission set new dates Thursday for taking testimony whether TransCanada can still meet the conditions set five years ago for building the proposed Keystone XL pipeline through South Dakota. The evidentiary hearing will be July 27-31 with Aug. 3-4 if needed. The hearing had been scheduled for May 5-8 until the commission decided Monday to push it back. "As I look around the room there's a lot of — nobody's happy," Chris Nelson, the commission's chairman, said.