PIERRE — The Daugaard administration is promoting changes in state law that would help school districts financially, when they use capital outlay taxes for equipment purchases and projects such as building additions or heating and cooling improvements. School districts already can go through the South Dakota Health and Education Facilities Authority to receive financing, but the practice dwindled during the past 15 years, according to Lt. Gov.
PIERRE -- The governor is asking the Legislature to earmark millions of dollars for a package of self-insurance programs. They would cover all of state government's buildings and a variety of special-purpose authorities that work with state government. The House of Representatives is scheduled to debate the three bills Tuesday afternoon. The plan won't necessarily save money on insurance for the buildings but it will provide broader coverage and an opportunity to get better rates on re-insurance from the private sector, according to Lt. Gov.
PIERRE -- Members of the Legislature took more conservative positions on spending in recent days amid signs that South Dakota's economy has grown much less than predicted. The appropriations committees for the Senate and the House of Representatives amended many special measures to $1, rather than approve them at the six- and seven-figure amounts recommended by Gov.
PIERRE — Friday marked working day 25 of the Legislature's 2015 session. There are 13 working days left in the main run, followed by a two-week break and then a final day 39 on March 30. The next key day is Wednesday, Feb. 25. That is working day 27 and the deadline for legislation to receive decisive action from its "house of origin" -- either the House of Representatives or the Senate -- where the bill began. For those pieces of legislation that make it through the first chamber, the second key day is March 10.
PIERRE — State courts and crime victims are owed millions of dollars in South Dakota, but no one is specifically assigned to recover it, an official told legislators Friday. The testimony from state courts administrator Greg Satizahn came in support of a proposal from the Daugaard administration. The governor wants to create a new office in state government called the obligation recovery center. The Unified Judicial System's collection rates averaged 30 to 35 percent for fines and costs, and 17 percent for restitution to victims, during the past five years, according to Satizahn. He
PIERRE — The state House of Representatives rejected this year's attempt by Rep. Tim Rounds to allow drinking in Deadwood round-the-clock. The vote Thursday was 29 yes and 39 no. Rounds, R-Pierre, described it as "a social experiment" to see whether South Dakota's only city with state-approved gambling casinos would have fewer law enforcement problems and attract more tourists. A similar piece of legislation passed in the House by one vote last year, before the Senate set it aside. Rounds argued that people already are drinking after 2 a.m. in their hotel rooms.
PIERRE — The state Senate approved a far-reaching plan Thursday establishing nine river basin councils to oversee water and drainage management throughout South Dakota. The legislation, which goes to the House of Representatives next, calls for a pilot project in the Vermillion River basin to serve as an example for other basin councils. The nine sets of council members would be elected in 2018 and would receive taxing authority to operate. Senators voted 20-12 in favor of the measure, SB 2.
PIERRE — Neither side in South Dakota's long fight over legalized abortion seemed to want to have to vote Thursday on a proposed state law that would have banned beheadings of unborn children. So Rep.
PIERRE — The Daugaard administration wants authority from the Legislature to create a state office for debt collection. So far, it's still a no-go. That's despite estimates of additional recoveries totaling $15.9 million to $34.8 million over the next five years for state government, and additional restitution for crime victims and their families totaling $7.9 million to $16.9 million over the next five years. The original proposal from state Revenue Secretary Andy Gerlach met unexpectedly strong and broad opposition from various groups. A Senate committee tabled one version of the p
PIERRE — A legislative panel rejected a proposal Wednesday to increase teacher salaries in South Dakota by taxing profits of most corporations. The proposal from Sen.