PIERRE—As recently as 10 years ago, the bank-franchise tax brought in more than $30 million annually to South Dakota state government's treasury. This year, however, it's estimated to generate just over $5 million. A tax that was once a reliable source of money has turned unstable and contentious. State government prevailed against Citibank in the South Dakota Supreme Court last year.
PIERRE—Medicaid expansion and Indian Health Service improvements took up much of the time Tuesday that Gov. Dennis Daugaard didn't spend on teacher pay and school financial reforms in his State of the State speech Tuesday to the Legislature. But he covered a variety of other significant topics including the possibility for a new state park in Spearfish Canyon, a giant statue planned for a Missouri River bluff at Chamberlain in September and an internal review into state government corruption.
PIERRE—Grant funds from the Building South Dakota programs could be used for paying personnel administering them under legislation proposed by the Governor's Office of Economic Development. The change would apply to the South Dakota Housing Development Authority, as well as to GOED. The measure, Senate Bill 45, also would allow GOED to shift Building South Dakota funds between the three program categories it administers.
PIERRE — The tuition freeze proposed for South Dakota students attending the state universities and public technical institutes came under early scrutiny Monday by members of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Appropriations. The panel of 18 legislators, who oversee state government's budget, met with the governor's budget director, state Finance Commissioner Jason Dilges, to review spending recommendations for 2016 and 2017. The 2016 legislative session officially starts at noon today and runs 38 working days.
PIERRE—A top aide to Gov. Dennis Daugaard said Wednesday federal officials would visit South Dakota the week of Jan. 18 to work on state government's plan to expand Medicaid to lower-income people and improve health care for American Indian people. State Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon told members of the governor's health-care solutions panel that the key pieces are moving into place at the federal level. "They intend to issue Gov. Daugaard a letter outlining their intent with these areas. That will be followed up with their formal policy change," she said.
PIERRE — The 2016 session of the Legislature opens at noon Tuesday for a run of 38 working days. More than one dozen major topics — much more than teacher...
PIERRE—The Chief did it again the other day. David Gilbertson announced on Tuesday the women and men who comprise his new task force on community justice and mental illness early intervention. Gilbertson is the chief justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court. He is the task force's chairman. Jim Seward, legal counsel for Gov. Dennis Daugaard, is vice chairman. The names of Gilbertson and Seward together signal two things. This topic is important—and there will be results.
PIERRE – South Dakota’s non-farm economy finished 2015 with the most strength since the recession struck seven years ago. The unemployment rate for November declined to 3.0 percent, according to...
PIERRE—Dex Media, the publisher of telephone directories for CenturyLink customers in South Dakota, wants state regulators to answer whether the directories have to be printed copies using a paper format. They don't want to eliminate the pulpy directories, but they would prefer to get away from what they call "saturation delivery" to all customers. Dex Media, instead, would provide paper directories only to people that request them and instead offer Internet guides for people with computer access.
PIERRE—The governor's choice of Russ Olson means there now are three former legislators in the eight seats on the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission. Olson, of Wentworth, is chief executive officer for Heartland Consumers Power District at Madison. "It must have been my lucky day," he said. Along with the appointment to the commission, he filled his archery deer tag Tuesday evening, taking a big buck that carried five points on the right antler and four on the left.