If unclaimed property continued flowing into the state treasury at the 2015 rate, the Legislature would have some $88 million from 2015 through 2017, to use for economic development, education and housing. The governor's plan caps that at $10 million per year.
PIERRE -- The legislative hearing set for Friday morning might be the only one that will be held regarding financial practices in the Governor's Office of Economic Development and its involvement in the federal EB-5 immigrant investor program. The Legislature's joint committee on government operations and audit -- known as GOAC -- will receive reports from two private audit firms and the state Department of Legislative Audit, followed by a briefing from Pat Costello, the governor's commissioner of economic development.
PIERRE -- A new panel might be created to recommend which South Dakota cities should host state competitions for high school students and teams. The proposal from the South Dakota High School Activities Association board of directors Tuesday is patterned on North Dakota's system. The South Dakota version would use five tournament directors and three of the association's directors. They would meet twice annually to review criteria and recommend locations for events.
PIERRE -- A third generation of the Dougherty family is at the state Capitol this winter working at the legislative session. The latest is Catie Dougherty, 17. The senior from O'Gorman High School in Sioux Falls is spending two weeks as a Senate page. "It's really fascinating to see how it works," she said. She couldn't hide the thrill when she was allowed to strike the Senate president's gavel during one of her first days.
Pregnancy help centers will now be required to submit a list of licensed counselors to the state.
PIERRE -- A requirement that South Dakota schools give students time each day to salute the U.S. flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance won final legislative approval Tuesday. Senators voted 35-0 for the measure. The House of Representatives had approved it 70-0 two weeks ago. Next stop is the desk of Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his decision whether to sign it into law. Students would be allowed to not participate but would be required to maintain "a respectful silence" during the salute.
PIERRE -- State senators killed flooded-lands legislation Tuesday that had been approved nearly unanimously by the House of Representatives just last week. No one at a Senate hearing Tuesday supported Rep. Brock Greenfield's plan. The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee rejected his bill 7-0. The House passed it 63-6 on Feb. 25. Greenfield, R-Clark, wanted restrictions that would limit use of motorized vehicles and internal combustion engines on floodwaters over private land in specific situations.
PIERRE — Deadwood hotels that have casinos will not be allowed to serve alcohol anytime. The state Senate rejected the proposed change Tuesday, voting 20-15 against it. The final four senators in the alphabetical roll call -- Bill Van Gerpen, R-Tyndall; Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell; Chuck Welke, D-Warner; and Jim White, R-Huron -- all cast nays. The legislation had won approval from the House of Representatives 36-33 last month.
PIERRE -- House Democratic leader Bernie Hunhoff said Monday he can support allowing video lottery establishments in South Dakota to have more machines. But he wants state funding to be more easily available for addiction services. The Yankton lawmaker proved to be the key swing vote Monday as a House committee endorsed the expansion on a 7-5 vote. The full House of Representatives could consider the legislation as early as this afternoon.
PIERRE -- Information collected in schools about South Dakota students must be limited, and restrictions must be placed on sharing the data, the state House of Representatives decided Monday. House members voted 70-0 for the legislation from Sen. Ernie Otten, R-Tea, and Rep. Jim Stalzer, R-Sioux Falls. SB 63 is now in its fourth version and needs to return to the Senate for further consideration. The Senate passed the measure 34-0 on Jan. 23. According to Rep. Jacqueline Sly, the bill hasn't received a single vote of opposition so far.