PIERRE — How does Dennis Daugaard feel about his eighth, and final, State of the State address he'll deliver Tuesday afternoon as the governor of South Dakota? "It is something a person thinks about in this job," he said. The speech will be a mix, according to Daugaard. He wants to look back at what's happened in the seven years he's been governor. And review current conditions. And outline what he still hopes South Dakota can accomplish before next January when this second, and final, term as governor ends for him and his wife, Linda.
PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard plans to talk most about workforce development in his last State of the State speech opening the Legislature's annual session next week. In a telephone interview Thursday, the Republican governor said he wants to show lawmakers in his remarks Tuesday what's happened to the South Dakota students in the high school class of 2010. The statistics start in 2006 when they were in ninth grade. Twenty-three percent didn't receive high school diplomas, according to Daugaard.
PIERRE — The state attorney general said Tuesday requiring longer prison times for distributing methamphetamine in South Dakota could lead to fewer men and women in state prisons. Marty Jackley said that's one reason he intends to ask the Legislature for tougher sentences for meth distribution. He predicted word would spread within the illegal-drug culture that distributing meth in South Dakota would mean longer stays behind bars for those convicted.
PIERRE — Ten years after he was elected statewide leader for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Rev. David Zellmer returns to his former church and South Dakota's Capital next week for Interfaith Day at the Legislature. The event in Pierre is Jan. 10, the second day of the 2018 legislative session. Zellmer, who now lives in Sioux Falls, previously was senior pastor at Lutheran Memorial Church in Pierre. He was chosen as bishop in 2007.
PIERRE — Seldom does this happen. But, earlier this month, it did. The credit committee for the South Dakota Board of Economic Development recommended a loan be made to a company. Eight days later, the full board refused it. The money would have come from state government's Revolving Economic Development Initiative Fund. South Dakotans paid an extra penny of sales tax, temporarily, to create the REDI loan program in 1987. Gov. George S. Mickelson proposed it during his first legislative session as South Dakota's chief executive.
PIERRE — Investor-owned companies selling electricity or natural gas to customers in South Dakota should share the savings from federal tax reductions coming in 2018 so that consumers benefit, state Public Utilities Commission members decided Friday. The three commissioners voted unanimously for a Feb. 1 deadline when companies must provide general information about estimated effects of Congress cutting the federal corporate-income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
PIERRE — State courts can suspend execution of sentences on the condition that defendants practice good behavior longer than the maximum times they would have been behind bars, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled in a decision released Thursday. "We conclude that sentencing courts have such power because it has been delegated to them by the (South Dakota) Constitution and the Legislature has not restricted it," Justice Steven Zinter wrote.
PIERRE — The circuit judge acted within his authority when he imposed consecutive sentences of 110 years and 100 years for the double killings committed at Faith in 2016, the South Dakota Supreme Court said in a decision released Thursday. Attorney Paul Eisenbraun, of Rapid City, had argued Circuit Judge Jerome Eckrich didn't adequately consider whether Berton Toavs was capable of rehabilitation before sentencing him to a total of 210 years.
PIERRE — A Rapid City woman can sue her ex-husband for allegedly forcing her to work as a prostitute before and during their marriage, and for allegedly abusing her emotionally, physically and sexually, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled in a decision released Thursday. The justices in the process also overruled a 1989 decision in Pickering v. Pickering. There a previous set of justices barred former spouses from suing each other for intentionally inflicting emotional distress, if the conduct was the basis for the divorce.
Bringing back the parade of livestock champions is among the ideas a South Dakota State Fair task force is exploring for the annual event in Huron. Fair manager Peggy Besch said finding a time that could work for all 4-H, FFA and open-class winners is "a little challenging." The parade could be a way the fair marks the centennial of its grandstand built in 1918, she said in a telephone interview Wednesday. Members of the State Fair Commission met Dec. 19 at Nordby Exhibit Hall on the fairgrounds and by teleconference.