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.
PIERRE—This time might be the last time for some time that South Dakota sets its hunting seasons for ducks and geese so close to the time they begin. Next year, the U.S.
PIERRE—Another set of requests is filed with the state Public Utilities Commission to increase prices for electricity and natural gas for South Dakota customers, this time from Montana-Dakota Utilities. MDU wants to collect an additional $2.6 million for electricity service and an additional $1.5 million for gas service, according to the company's applications to the state regulatory agency. Residential electricity customers would pay an average of $16.90 more per month and residential gas customers about $2.20 per month under the company's plan. MDU currently receives in South Dakota
PIERRE—Because Congress hasn't acted on a new national funding plan, state transportation officials in South Dakota and throughout the rest of the nation don't know how much federal aid their programs will get during the rest of 2015 and beyond. Nonetheless, South Dakota's proposed plan for road and bridge improvements on state highways for 2016 will receive its public vetting later this month in a series of four regional meetings and a webinar session. The $445 million package calls for more than $352 million to be spent on highways, $38 million on bridges and $55 million on safety an
PIERRE—Biologists consider the presence of freshwater mussels a sign of good water quality. In South Dakota's rivers and streams, the variety and numbers of mussels appear to be diminishing. The state Wildlife Division and South Dakota State University are cooperating on a study, now in its second of three years, looking for live mussels and shells. There were 102 eastern sites sampled during 2014. Live mussels were found at 39 percent. A total of 12 living species were found, including up to seven species at any single site.
PIERRE — The work by Cory Heidelberger, of Aberdeen, and other petition carriers during recent months means South Dakota voters get to decide whether they agree with the Legislature on two matters. One referendum will be on the $7.50 youth minimum wage for employees younger than age 18. This came from Sen.
PIERRE — There will be 1.2 million acres of private land available as walk-in areas for public hunting in South Dakota again this fall. The state Game, Fish and Parks Department leases the land for its program that allows free access to the public. The department will spend about $2 million and has contracts with about 1,300 cooperating property owners, according to Mark Norton, the program's administrator. The 2015 walk-in directory is in the printing stage, he said. Norton was part of a briefing Thursday for the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission about the roles of private land
PIERRE — Hunters will have slightly more opportunities to kill antelope in some parts of South Dakota, but fewer chances to take wild turkeys in the Black Hills this fall. The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission set the numbers of tags for the two species Wednesday. The commissioners declined, however, to close the fall turkey season in the Black Hills as some hunters had suggested. The commission, instead, agreed to offer 400 fall turkey tags for resident hunters and 32 for non-resident hunters for the Black Hills. That means 350 fewer licenses for residents and 28 fewer licenses