PIERRE -- State senators unanimously supported a change in South Dakota property-tax policy on Tuesday intended to promote cleaner water in creeks, rivers and lakes. It would allow cropland planted...
PIERRE -- A state legislator from Fall River County testified Tuesday morning that a combination of video lottery revenue and budget cuts could make the governor’s proposed sales-tax increase unnecessary...
PIERRE — A year after the Legislature passed a package of tax and fee increases to pay for highway and bridge improvements at the state, county and city levels, legislators continue to spar in the 2016 session about some of the details for distributing the money. One proposal calls for requiring counties to each conduct one random checkpoint of vehicle weights each year, starting in 2017, in order to qualify for a bridge improvement grant.
PIERRE — The Legislature has 80 Republicans and 25 Democrats. Who chooses to put their names on the line by the candidate-filing deadline of 5 p.m. on March 29 will determine what happens in the Capitol during the next two years and beyond. How those candidates fare in the June 7 primary elections and the Nov. 8 general elections, in turn, will largely determine how Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard fares in the final two years of his second and final term.
PIERRE — The state Public Utilities Commission gave its blessing Friday to an agreement for NorthWestern Energy to provide electricity to the pump station planned in rural Spink County for the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline. The pump station is near Crandon, east of U.S. 281 and southeast of Redfield within the designated rural territory of Bath-based Northern Electric Cooperative. It will be on land sold to the pipeline company by Donald Gene and Rita Mary Massat.
PIERRE — The governor's proposal to increase the state sales and use tax to 4.5 percent carries both a clear truth and an unspoken admission. South Dakotans don't want to raise their property taxes much beyond the bare minimums, if at all. Rather than use the local opt-out that's been in place for 20 years, they widely believe state government should send more help to their public schools. That's the obvious truth. Here's the unspoken admission.
Here's are snapshots of five proposals to generate revenue or redirect existing funding to pay more to public K-12 schools in South Dakota to raise teacher salaries from last place nationally at just over $40,000 average last year. Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard: Wants to raise state sales and use tax rate to 4.5 percent from 4 percent. The estimated revenue is $107 million first year. Status: Currently up for debate in House of Representatives.
PIERRE—Sen. Troy Heinert didn't get what he sought Thursday. Heinert, D-Mission, wanted the Legislature to repeal a sweeping penalty that was put into state law last year. People who owe money to state government but won't pay can lose their driver licenses, vehicle registrations, hunting and fishing licenses, camping permits and park licenses. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-3 to kill his legislation, SB 123. The loss came when one of his co-sponsors, Sen. Jeff Monroe, R-Pierre, turned into an opponent. But Heinert did get something of a promise.
PIERRE—South Dakota legislators and agricultural groups are splitting into sides again over county permits for concentrated animal feeding operations, also known as CAFOs. The House Local Government Committee endorsed changes Thursday that supporters said would streamline permits and appeals. The panel's 11-2 vote sends the measure to the full House of Representatives for a vote possibly as early as Tuesday. Rep. G. Mark Mickelson, R-Sioux Falls, is prime sponsor for the legislation. He also sponsored legislation last year that changed laws regarding CAFOs.
PIERRE—State government's Internet and technology network suffered a full outage last weekend. The system went down for about 20 hours. The first trouble came about 9 a.m. Saturday with reports of intermittent problems such as slowness and unavailability. Within the hour, people using the Internet to visit state government websites arrived at blank page views. Businesses couldn't record motor vehicle sales for the state Revenue Department.