PIERRE — South Dakota voters should get an estimate of the potential cost if a constitutional amendment, initiated law or referred law passes, the state House of Representatives decided Tuesday. The vote was 47-21. The legislation, SB 77, now goes to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his decision whether to sign it into law. The Senate had approved it 27-5. Its prime sponsor is Sen. Ernie Otten, R-Tea. "More information equals better decision-making," Rep. Don Haggar, R-Sioux Falls, said. The Legislative Research Council would prepare the estimate.
PIERRE — South Dakota businesses that sell licenses for the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks could raise their handling fees under a proposal that is alive again in the Legislature. A House committee killed the plan last week but resurrected it Tuesday. Under the latest version, businesses could keep the handling fee at $2 or charge as much as $4 for the handling fee for a standard license. Under the latest version of the legislation, the increase wouldn't apply to licenses that GFP sells over the internet.
PIERRE — One year after the governor used his veto to block a similar concept, the Legislature gave final approval Monday to the governor's broader plan for property tax incentives on agricultural land along lakes, rivers and streams that support fish life. The goal is to reduce agricultural runoff reaching waterways. The state House of Representatives voted 62-5 for the riparian buffer-strip measure. Minutes later Gov. Dennis Daugaard issued a thank-you on the Internet via Twitter, calling it "a bipartisan step forward."
PIERRE – The Legislature is considering tax rebates for telecommunications companies to expand high-speed Internet service to under-served rural areas of South Dakota. The state House of Representatives could take final action as early as Tuesday. A House committee gave its unanimous endorsement Monday. State senators have already voted 34-0 for the proposal, SB 71, from Sen. Ernie Otten, R-Tea.
PIERRE — Ballot measures that amend the state constitution, initiate new state laws or refer new laws to statewide votes in South Dakota should take effect on July 1 in the future, state legislators decided Monday. The House of Representatives voted 53-14 for final approval. The change now goes to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his decision whether to sign it into law.
PIERRE — State legislators gave final approval Monday to tougher requirements for pharmacies and medical providers regarding drug prescriptions. The House voted 64-3 for the measure. SB 1 now goes to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his decision whether to sign it into law. It would require drug prescriptions to be recorded in a statewide system within 24 hours. The current standard is one week. It would affect anyone with a license to prescribe or dispense controlled drugs and substances in South Dakota, other than veterinarians.
PIERRE — State Auditor General Marty Guindon presented on Monday the initial results from a 2016 law that requires audits on non-profit organizations that receive federal grants that pass through state government. Guindon said he's reviewed 25 of the audits performed so far by certified public accountants. He showed the findings from three of the audits to the state Board of Internal Control that was created by the same new set of laws last year. "None of them are too serious," he said.
PIERRE — As the protest camp emptied Wednesday morning of most of the people battling the Dakota Access pipeline crossing of the Missouri River in North Dakota, legislators in South Dakota began considering a potential state law aimed at punishing protests over another oil pipeline. Gov. Dennis Daugaard wants temporary powers to stop people from assembling in South Dakota, in places that would be designated as public safety zones by the governor.
PIERRE—Rarely has a South Dakota legislator received praise in the way that Rep. Karen Soli did last week. And rarely does a legislator work to get so many viewpoints and so much bipartisan support as Soli, D-Sioux Falls, did for a new state government accountability board. She brought together Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature, received support from the governor and state attorney general and came up with a unique approach to have four retired judges or justices be the board's members.
PIERRE — The decision by a state legislator to defend South Dakota's congresswoman against advertising by a national group gets to the heart of the fight underway about money spent by out-of-state organizations to influence South Dakota voters. The ad alleges the border-adjustment tax under consideration in Congress would raise prices by $1,700 for groceries, gas, clothes and medicine. The ad says U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, a Republican, hasn't taken a position on it.