PIERRE—South Dakota has seen solid growth this year in sales of fishing licenses and in visitors to state parks and recreation areas. That's according to state Game, Fish and Parks Department reports through July. Visitation overall reached 4,170,802, an increase of about 200,000 or 5 percent, from the similar point one year ago. That includes a 13 percent jump at Custer State Park, which reached 1,183,275. All other spots combined for an increase as well, with some up and some down.
PIERRE—The Daugaard administration is trying to overturn the federal decision to strip South Dakota state government of its status as an EB-5 immigrant investor center. A law firm representing Gov. Dennis Daugaard filed the state's response Monday to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The thrust of the state's response is it shouldn't be penalized for the previous management. The EB-5 program began a decade ago under South Dakota's previous governor, now-U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds.
PIERRE—Physicians in South Dakota who prescribe controlled substances such as opioids for treatment of chronic, non-cancer pain would face detailed reporting guidelines for patients' medical records, under rules proposed by the state's licensing board. The goal is creating standards for medical record documentation when prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Among the practices would be obtaining patient consent to allow information to be shared with other treatment providers.
PIERRE—Members of the South Dakota Lottery Commission want their staff to step back from a security study for video lottery establishments. The objections raised Thursday by chairman Chuck Turbiville, of Deadwood, and member Bob Hartford, of Pierre, focused most on the possible financial impacts on businesses that have just a few machines. The South Dakota Lottery's executive director, Norm Lingle, suggested that his staff take the coming weeks and return with a revised recommendation at the commission's next meeting Sept. 15.
PIERRE — Soon we will have one more path to financial and family ruin, with the legalization of fantasy sports betting now upon us. The New York Times headline during the past week told the story: "Win for DraftKings and FanDuel Opens Door for Sports Betting in New York." The state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed into law the legislation placing fantasy sports betting under the state government's regulation. It seems inevitable such legislation shall follow in South Dakota during the 2017 session come January.
PIERRE — South Dakota saw more video lottery terminals in operation during July and the amount of money that players lost went up as well. That was one piece of the summary delivered Thursday to the South Dakota Lottery Commission. The other parts showed sales of instant-win tickets lagging while lotto sales were up. Clark Hepper, the deputy administrator for the South Dakota Lottery, told commissioners the expectation is lotto sales eventually will drop behind the pace of a year ago.
PIERRE — The new land acquisition policy approved Thursday by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission will apply to the Parks and Recreation Division as well as the Wildlife Division and calls for earlier word to the commission about possible purchases. An example of that change in approach was on display at the commission's meeting. In addition to one pending purchase that eventually would need the commission's approval, there are 10 potential acquisitions in the works.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Lottery wants to offer mobile digital applications for people's hand-held telephone devices no later than next summer, executive director Norm Lingle said Thursday. "Really I see this as a necessary next step for the South Dakota Lottery," Lingle told members of the state Lottery Commission. Linge said he and staff members are working with the Lawrence and Schiller marketing firm that handles the lottery's advertising.
PIERRE — For three hours Wednesday, members of the South Dakota Board of Regents and state university presidents discussed whether to set a goal that 65 percent of people ages 25-34 should have some type of higher-education degree by 2025. According to the most recent estimate, using 2014 data, 45 percent of South Dakotans in that age group have some type of post-high school degree.
PIERRE — State regulators agreed Tuesday to dismiss the dispute between two utilities competing to deliver electricity to a proposed grain elevator and railroad center in northern Yankton County. Instead NorthWestern Energy and Bon Homme Yankton Electric Association will serve the portions of the site that are within their official service territories. Dakota Plains Ag Center wanted NorthWestern, an investor-owned company, to be its sole provider. Bon Homme Yankton Electric, which contested the NorthWestern deal, is a member-owned rural cooperative.