PIERRE — Republicans head into South Dakota's general election with a record number of registered voters while Democrats likely will be at its smallest in at least 40 years. The gap between the two major political parties now is approximately 80,000 voters in South Dakota. Forty years ago, the difference typically was a few thousands. The 2016 registration numbers compiled at the secretary of state's office through mid-Thursday showed Republicans at 250,190; Democrats at 170,006; and independents and registered voters with no-party affiliation at 118,836.
PIERRE — Starting in 2018, South Dakota employers could see small reductions in unemployment insurance rates if the Legislature agrees to a proposal from the state Department of Labor and Regulation. The plan calls for contribution rates to be cut when the balance in the unemployment trust fund is at least 1.6 times what was spent on benefits in the last three recessions or the past 20 years.
PIERRE — The state Board of Finance delayed debt write-offs Tuesday for Northern State University and the Secretary of State Office. The reason: The debts hadn't been processed yet through state government's obligation recovery center that recently began operating. The board's action came just hours after some legislators questioned a state Board of Regents official regarding the need for state universities to participate. Gov. Dennis Daugaard won the Legislature's approval in 2015 to establish the center and hire a company to run it for state government.
PIERRE — South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said Tuesday he sent a letter to legislators outlining changes he wants in state government's conflict of interest laws. Jackley also refuted previous reports that he didn't attempt to influence the legislation during the 2015 session when it passed. Jackley's comments came during an appearance Tuesday before the Legislature's Government Operations and Audit Committee.
PIERRE – The governor will ask the Legislature next year to grant tax breaks to landowners who maintain grassy buffer strips along waterways to reduce agricultural runoff, a state government...
PIERRE — Until someone shows otherwise, we'll take the word of aides. What happened Oct. 8 was a coincidence, they said, not a coup d'etat. Somehow, within five minutes of one another on a Saturday morning, Gov. Dennis Daugaard and then U.S. Sen. John Thune called publicly for Donald Trump to step aside. They did it on Twitter. Twitter is one of the most instantaneous and therefore one of the most dangerous of forums in the world of digital social media.
PIERRE — The advisory group working on possible changes to campaign finance reporting in South Dakota appears likely to recommend that candidates for state-level offices file separate reports for each office they plan to seek. Currently officeholders and candidates can continue using their existing campaign finance committees while receiving and spending money to campaign for another office.
PIERRE — The Legislature might need a special session in 2017 if voters approve constitutional amendments on Nov. 8 to change how legislative districts are drawn and to convert South Dakota to non-partisan elections, some state officials said Friday. Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, whose office oversees elections, said Constitutional Amendment T calls for a new nine-member commission to re-draw legislative districts in 2017, again in 2021 and then every 10 years after.
PIERRE — The mess that Secretary of State Shantel Krebs inherited when she took office in January 2015 is proving troublesome during a federal audit now under way. The audit is looking at how South Dakota had used hundreds of thousands of dollars received through the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) program established after the 2000 presidential election. Documents from the past needed for the audit aren't available in some instances and some past spending is under question whether it was allowable, according to Krebs.
PIERRE – The state Water Management Board dismissed petitions Thursday from George Ferebee of Hill City that challenged county and city authority to regulate pit privies and cesspools constructed prior...