PIERRE — State senators agreed to create a new minimum wage of $7.50 per hour for people younger than age 18. Sen. David Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, said he doesn't think it subverts the decision made in the Nov.
PIERRE — Who should oversee South Dakota's public technical institutes, might be a question on the 2016 election ballot for voters to decide. Or, more precisely, who shouldn't be in charge of the tech schools. A proposal moving through the Legislature calls for asking voters to prohibit the South Dakota Board of Regents from governing the state's tech schools. The state constitution gives the regents responsibility and control over the state universities. Legislators are considering whether to offer a constitutional amendment that would keep the regents separate from the tech schools
PIERRE — Two measures intended to help address drainage and flooding issues in South Dakota cleared their first tests Tuesday in the Legislature. A proposal to establish a voluntary mediation service for drainage disputes received unanimous endorsement from the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. But the panel voted 6-3 in favor of the second measure that would establish nine governing districts for watershed basins throughout South Dakota. The basin plan also would provide for a pilot project in the Vermillion basin. Both measures now head to the full Senate for cons
PIERRE — Rep. Mike Verchio, R-Hill City, called the federal conviction of dinosaur hunter Peter Larson for overseas money violations in the 1990s an "injustice" Tuesday. The state House of Representatives approved a resolution 67-2 asking President Barack Obama to issue a presidential pardon. HJR 1002 now goes to the state Senate. The two nays came from Rep. Mark Mickelson, R-Sioux Falls, and Rep. Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown. Neither spoke. Rep. Peggy Gibson, D-Huron, described Larson as "an exemplary citizen." Added Rep.
PIERRE — Learner permits for new drivers would become valid for five years in South Dakota under a proposal speeding through the Legislature. Officially known as an instructor permit, a first-time driver must have one for at least 180 days. The 180 days can be reduced to 90 days if the person successfully completes a driver education course. The driver has 30 days after the 180-day period to apply for the next step of an operator's permit or a restricted minor's permit. If the driver doesn't advance to the next level of permit within the 210-day window, the instructor permit currentl
PIERRE — After a delay from last week over a procedural maneuver, the state House of Representatives gave final legislative approval Tuesday to allowing mothers to publicly breastfeed their children in South Dakota. The measure, Senate Bill 77, had been on the House consent calendar for automatic approval until Rep. Lana Greenfield, R-Doland, asked that it be transferred to the debate calendar last week. House members voted 61-8 for it Tuesday. The Senate previously approved it 33-0. Rep.
PIERRE — In the past few weeks, Gov. Dennis Daugaard twice appointed former state legislators to important state boards. He didn't wait one year after they had left office, as the South Dakota Constitution can be read to require. Instead, an alternative reading guided the timing of these picks. The latest is former Sen. Tom Jones, a Democrat from Viborg. He didn't seek re-election in 2014. Jones fills a vacant seat on the state Board of Economic Development. The board makes decisions on the state's low-interest loans to new and expanding businesses.
PIERRE -- The state Public Utilities Commission decided Friday to allow the company to file additional written testimony later about the permit sought for the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline to be built through South Dakota. "We're already working on testimony," Brett Koenecke, a lawyer representing the company, said. Koenecke said the company wanted to tailor its comments to the interveners seeking to participate in the case. Friday was the final day for parties to apply to the commission to intervene.
PIERRE — A state Senate panel took testimony Thursday about a proposal to divide South Dakota into nine river-basin units for dealing with water-level problems. The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee didn't take action. Its chairman, Sen. Gary Cammack, R-Union Center, deferred the matter until Tuesday. Cammack suggested the bill's prime sponsor, Sen.
PIERRE — State senators voted Wednesday for a smorgasbord of increases in fuel taxes, registration fees and property taxes to provide more funding for state, county and township roads and bridges. The vote was 26-8 to send the legislation, Senate Bill 1, to the House of Representatives. The House hasn't taken a vote yet on its version, House Bill 1131, which was introduced for the governor. The key similarity in the two bills at this point is acceptance of the concept of annual 2-cent tax increases per gallon for gasoline and alcohol. The Senate version caps those after eight years.