PIERRE—The governor has a new look in mind for the landscape and vegetation at Hilger's Gulch near the Capitol. State officials outlined the three-phase plan Thursday to the Capitol Complex Restoration and Beautification Commission. The golf course-like area for walking and biking was established by the Janklow administration more than 30 years ago. Gov.
PIERRE—The state Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday rejected most of the limits that TransCanada wanted on opponents for the permit hearing next week on the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Bill Taylor, a Sioux Falls lawyer representing TransCanada, asked to require opening statements in writing and to specify who could cross-examine. "Seven days of hearing, 53 witnesses, what can we do to streamline the process?" Taylor asked. The various organizations, individuals and tribal governments that are seeking to deny the permit argued against TransCanada's requests. Travis Clark, a lawyer r
PIERRE—State government's revenue from sales and use tax grew at an unusually low rate during the 2015 fiscal year that ended June 30. Today, the Legislature's Joint Committee on Appropriations meets to discuss the situation with Jason Dilges. He is commissioner of finance and management for Gov. Dennis Daugaard's administration. The fiscal 2015 growth was 1.6 percent.
PIERRE — State regulators ruled out some of the documents, photographs and video Friday that opponents wanted to use in the hearing later this month on TransCanada's plan to build its Keystone XL oil pipeline through South Dakota. Bill Taylor, a Sioux Falls lawyer representing TransCanada, wanted the state Public Utilities Commission to reject more than 1,000 sets of documents that Dakota Rural Action submitted last week as possible evidence. The commission voted 3-0 Friday to reject dozens of the documents, but allowed most of Dakota Rural Action's possible evidence to remain availabl
PIERRE — Data will be available soon at a new website showing job placements and earnings for graduates of specific programs at South Dakota's colleges, universities and technical institutes, state Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman said Thursday. Hultman told the Legislature's Planning Committee that her department is working with the state Department of Education and the state Board of Regents on the project. She said it will help parents, job-seekers, legislators and the general public know more about whether post-secondary education is meeting the needs in South Dakota's jobs markets.
PIERRE—Two projects intended to promote the production and processing of various kinds of peas in central South Dakota received assistance Wednesday from the state Railroad Board. The board approved placing switches for a siding at Reliance along the state-owned Mitchell-Rapid City line that is being redeveloped. Reliance Rail LLC, represented by Brad Karlen, wants to build a loading facility there. The board also agreed to loan $696,000 to South Dakota Pulse Processors for construction of a siding at Harrold along the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad's line. The company has w
PIERRE—Today is the deadline for county governments throughout South Dakota to decide whether to levy an additional tax on property next year for road and bridge improvements. The provision was part of the sweeping package of tax and fee increases approved by the Legislature this year for road projects. A current analysis by the state Revenue Department found that the property tax levy, if adopted by every county, would raise more than $66 million statewide. Some county commissions rejected the additional levy, while others continued to consider it this week. If a county commission d
PIERRE—South Dakota requires its state government budget to balance. Keeping debt low is one reason for being near the top in an analysis of states' financial conditions. South Dakota ranked third overall for fiscal solvency, behind Alaska and North Dakota, by researcher Eileen Norcross at George Mason University's Mercatus Center. Norcross looked at 2013 financial reports from the 50 states. She found: South Dakota held between five and eight times the cash need to cover short-term obligations, much better than the national average of two to three times.
PIERRE—Participation in South Dakota's new program for water drainage disputes is voluntary for landowners, but the mediation work won't be free. The filing fee to request mediation is proposed at $200 for the initiating landowner.
PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard is complying with a new state law by installing a small kiosk outside the Capitol where public meeting notices can be displayed. The law took effect July 1 and requires that a meeting notice with agenda be posted for a continuous 24-hour period immediately preceding the meeting. Some government bodies and offices in South Dakota had posted meeting notices on walls inside buildings that weren't open to the public at night or during weekends and holidays. The Capitol is one of those buildings.