PIERRE — The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission received information Friday about two new pieces of land to be purchased for public hunting. They are proposed as game production areas and will come before the commission in April for approval. One is 320 acres in Beadle County that outdoorsman and former state legislator Bob Roe of Brookings developed about 18 miles southeast of Huron. "The amount of hunting opportunity will be tremendous," Paul Coughlin said, adding that the habitat is "in great condition." The acquisition cost is $1.1 million.
PIERRE— Another attempt to further toughen South Dakota's vehicular homicide law fell short Thursday in the state Senate. The vote was 15 yes and 17 no on whether to allow vehicular homicide to be charged as first degree manslaughter punishable by up to life in prison and a $50,000 fine. Vehicular homicide is a Class 3 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. The House of Representatives had approved the change 49-18 a week ago. The push for the change came in the wake of a 2013 tragedy at Pickstown.
PIERRE — The Daugaard administration is one step away from receiving the Legislature's green light to sell juvenile corrections facilities at Plankinton and Custer. The Senate Appropriations Committee authorized the potential sales 8-0 Thursday. The full Senate would take up the matters next. The House of Representatives has approved the authorizing legislation. The sales would commit South Dakota for the foreseeable future to a policy of placing all troubled youths with private providers.
PIERRE — South Dakota businesses that sell licenses for the state Department of Game, Fish & 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, amended it again Thursday and then endorsed it. Under the Tuesday version, businesses could have kept the handling fee at $2 or charge as much as $4 for the handling fee for a standard license. Under that version, the increase wouldn't have applied to licenses that GF&P sells over the Internet.
PIERRE — State senators rejected legislation Wednesday that would have helped cure flaws in the process for ballot measures. The bill received seven ayes and 28 nays.
PIERRE — State legislators are considering a new form of technology for people on parole in South Dakota who must have alcohol tests twice daily. State Attorney General Marty Jackley has asked lawmakers to allow portable breath testers. The legislation, SB 29, is one step away from final passage. The House of Representatives is scheduled to consider it today. The House Judiciary Committee gave its unanimous endorsement Wednesday. The Senate voted 30-0 for it Jan. 20.
PIERRE — There remains a chance the Legislature will grant additional funding for intensive methamphetamine treatment in South Dakota. The Joint Committee on Appropriations endorsed SB 43 Tuesday to keep it alive. "It's becoming a scourge," Sen. John Wiik, R-Big Stone City, said. There are seven business days remaining in the 2017 session's main run. Sen. Larry Tidemann, R-Brookings, said legislators could continue to look for other sources of money. There doesn't appear to be general funds available. The bill seeks $603,470.
PIERRE — If the governor agrees, businesses could deliver alcohol orders of $150 or more to customers in their communities starting this summer in South Dakota. The state House of Representatives voted 66-2 Tuesday to allow the service. No one spoke against it. Customers would still have to make the purchases in the stores beforehand. "You pay on-site," said Rep. Herman Otten, R-Lennox.
PIERRE — The ban against lobbying the Legislature would expand to two years and cover many more officials. The vote was 51-17. The legislation now goes to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his decision whether to sign it into law. Rep. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center, called it "a big step." He said it is part of the response to Initiated Measure 22. Republicans repealed IM 22 after voters approved its restrictions in the November election.
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.