PIERRE — Unable again this year to get approval from the Legislature on expanding video lottery, the South Dakota Lottery Commission decided by consensus Friday to focus on finding innovations for its other products. The commissioners want more emphasis on instant tickets and lotto jackpot games and they want to focus more on marketing lottery games and services through mobile phones, Internet devices and other technology.
PIERRE—The longest-serving trustee for the South Dakota Retirement System and a brand-new member have won election without opposition, while another trustee was re-elected by one vote. Eric Stroeder, of Mobridge, received 552 votes; and Rachel Hearn, of Pierre, received 551 votes. Their election was for a trustee seat representing state government employees. Stroeder, an engineering supervisor for the state Department of Transportation, has served 12 years as a trustee. Hearn, a certified public accountant, is audit director for the state Revenue Department.
PIERRE—The South Dakota Lottery Commission agreed Thursday to offer a new hybrid game offering an instant-winner ticket as an add-on to jackpot lotto games. The plan calls for EZ Match to be an option available through Dakota Cash lotto purchases. EZ Match will cost $1 per play. A person must purchase a Dakota Cash ticket in order to be able to buy an EZ Match play. An EZ Match play will have five numbers. If one or more EZ Match numbers matches any numbers on the Dakota Cash ticket, the EZ Match ticket is an instant winner.
PIERRE — The labor organization for teachers and the business organization that represents many South Dakota retail merchants and restaurants, contributed large amounts to many of the same legislative candidates who are seeking nominations in South Dakota's June 7 primary elections. The political action committee for the South Dakota Education Association reported contributions to candidates totaling $13,500 and the political action committee for the South Dakota Retailers Association reported donations to candidates of $14,500.
PIERRE — CenturyLink faces a $2,000 penalty for an incident in Fort Pierre last winter, when the telecommunications company failed to respond to an emergency locate request. South Dakota requires a response within four hours. CenturyLink's contractor USIC didn't respond within that time. The request came at 4:55 p.m. A city crew began digging at 9 p.m. to deal with a water valve broken in the closed position at the intersection of Casey Tibbs Street and E. Cedar Avenue.
PIERRE — Many from our group in high school joined "the service" upon our graduations in 1976. Our nation was out of Vietnam. The draft was over. The economy was sliding. I considered enlisting but wound up in college. There aren't many days when I don't think again about that decision. Often I think too about the decisions by John and Tim and Jeff and Jane and Anita. They went off to basic. Then they went off to stranger places. They made admirable decisions. More than a few men I know are in the South Dakota National Guard.
PIERRE — A new law requiring disclosure of financial conflicts could have a direct effect on lawyers serving on one of the 22 state boards, commissions or authorities, the South Dakota Transportation Commission was told at its Thursday meeting in Pierre. During the conflicts law discussion, commission member Tim Dougherty, of Sioux Falls, a lawyer and lobbyist, said a lawyer serving on one of the 22 panels covered by the new law could have a client who has a contract with the agency covered by the state panel.
PIERRE — The state Department of Transportation used a flawed calculation to rank applications for the first round of South Dakota's bridge improvement grants. Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said there was a conversion error that affected all of the scores. Grants approved by the state Transportation Commission last month won't be affected, he said. While the rankings order changed in some cases, none dropped from the approved group, according to Bergquist.
PIERRE — Members of the South Dakota Transportation Commission should see private lawyers before the state's new law takes effect July 1 requiring disclosure of financial conflicts, the panel's state legal counsel said Thursday. Karla Engle told them one option is to resign from the commission before July 1 if they believe the disclosure requirements would create too many problems. People often are appointed to state boards and commissions because they are active in their communities but that can mean they have business ties that pose potential conflicts, she said.
PIERRE — Two major events converge in the coming week in South Dakota. The statewide sales tax increases on June 1 to 4.5 percent from 4 percent, after a knockdown fight within the Legislature last winter over Gov. Dennis Daugaard's plan to improve pay for last-place schoolteachers, and provide property-tax relief to business owners for the first time, after homeowners and agriculture producers received reductions 20 years ago.