PIERRE -- South Dakota saw a spike in fiscal 2011 in charges filed in state courts alleging sex crimes involving minors, followed by a decline during the three years since then, according to Greg Sattizahn, the state court system's administrator. Sattizahn told members of the Legislature's task force on child sexual abuse that disposition of cases in the past five years appeared to be heavy on dismissals, but many cases involved multiple charges. In fiscal 2014, for example, there were 379 dismissals of charges, while 86 people pleaded guilty, 18 were convicted at trial and seven were acquit
PIERRE -- An estimated 80 percent children who have been sexually abused never tell anyone about it, the chairman of a new South Dakota task force said Tuesday at the panel's first meeting. "We absolutely don't know what to do. And because of that, the conversation has never been opened up," state Sen. Deb Soholt said. "This is not something where there are winners and losers. There are only losers." Soholt, R-Sioux Falls, was prime sponsor of the state law creating the task force during the 2014 legislative session.
PIERRE -- State government awarded $113,985,231.94 in construction tax refunds for projects in South Dakota between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 2014. More than $67 million of those refunds came since early 2009. Those were under a state program that expired at the end of 2012. Projects were allowed to continue collecting their refunds through this year. We know the names of the companies and the amounts they received but nothing more. They fit on a two-page document published by the state Department of Revenue.
PIERRE — The Legislature’s investigatory committee looking into South Dakota’s involvement in the federal EB-5 immigrant investor program has wrapped up most of its work unless a federal investigation would...
PIERRE — The state Department of Social Services decided it could increase Medicaid reimbursement rates to nursing homes by 4 percent this summer, on top of the 3 percent raise that the Legislature approved last winter. Several legislators made clear Monday they weren't pleased that the state department didn't tell them before notifying nursing homes about the extra 4 percent. The 4 percent will cost an estimated $2.5 million of state general funds and about $5.3 million from all sources of government revenue, according to state Social Services Secretary Lynne Valenti. Valenti discuss
PIERRE -- Across South Dakota, farmers have been facing large increases in the property taxes on their cropland in recent years. In many counties, they could face even larger increases come 2020. That is the year when a state restriction is scheduled to expire. The restriction, set in state law, currently limits the increases in assessed values of agricultural properties. Assessments are the county-assigned values on which property taxes are levied. State law restricts the assessment increases to 25 percent per year for agricultural land.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Department of Transportation plans next month to shut a state highway for five weeks to make emergency repairs. State Highway 34 will close Aug. 11 where it crosses between Ziebach and Meade counties, a state Department of Transportation official said Thursday. The closure will be along Howes Lake and Lake Buffalo. Currently there is one lane of traffic moving over two large humps of dirt roadbed there. Stop signs on either side of each hump regulate the flow of vehicles. The area is approximately three to five miles east of the corner where S.D.
PIERRE — When Jerry Shoener left the meeting room of the state Transportation Commission after signing a letter of resignation Thursday morning, he took his nameplate with him. The 86-year-old Shoener then made the drive home to Rapid City, where his focus now is helping his wife, Terry. They married in 1951. His decision to step down came as a surprise. He went to Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist's office beforehand to deliver the news. Together they told the rest of the commission when the meeting began. "I hate to go.
PIERRE — Members of South Dakota's watershed task force laid out several concepts Thursday that could help address some causes of rural flooding. The task force, manned primarily by current and former legislators, will meet again at a date yet to be determined for later September. The members would further discuss how to proceed toward any formal recommendations. All of the potential changes considered Thursday would need approval by the Legislature. Three subcommittees delivered reports on their work. One recommended county governments continue deciding whether they want to have dr
PIERRE -- The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission ruled unanimously Tuesday against a company that wants to make rural electric cooperatives buy its wind power. Prelude, based in Green Bay, Wis., is attempting to use a 1978 law known as PURPA to force Basin Electric and five local-level cooperatives to purchase electricity Prelude plans to produce. The five other cooperatives are Butte Electric at Newell, Grand Electric at Bison, Moreau-Grand Electric at Timber Lake, Rosebud Electric at Gregory and Rushmore Electric at Rapid City.