PIERRE — South Dakota business people who collect sales tax for state government could lose at least $1 million and possibly five times that much under a proposal that suddenly appeared Monday in the Legislature. State law currently allows retailers to keep 1.5 percent of the state sales taxes they collect. The allowance is worth nearly $6 million annually, according to Shawn Lyons, executive director for the South Dakota Retailers Association.
PIERRE — South Dakota's primary elections for governor are 15 months away but the tug of war for the Republican nomination is clearly underway between U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem and state Attorney General Marty Jackley. Jackley scored several times in recent days. He went to Washington, D.C., and met with the new U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Then he met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on the day after the president's speech to Congress.
PIERRE — For nearly four hours last week the state Railroad Board heard and discussed millions of dollars of proposals for improving tracks throughout South Dakota. The board is gathering information from rail companies, developers and agriculture interests for its next round of financial assistance through lower-interest loans and grants if possible.
PIERRE — While the land exchange that was necessary for a Spearfish Canyon state park now is dead, state officials continue to proceed on stewardship and management planning for the highly used and much treasured piece of the Black Hills. The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission received a report Friday from state parks director Katie Ceroll about what happens next, after the governor pulled his funding request to the Legislature that would have paid for the 1,480-acre exchange.
PIERRE — The draft version of South Dakota's new management plan for deer will be out soon for public review, a state Game, Fish and Parks Department official said Friday. Tom Kirschenmann, the department's chief for terrestrial resources, said it would be released shortly. He said there would be a public comment period as part of the state Game, Fish & Parks Commission's next meeting April 6-7 in Watertown. The deadline for other public comments would be April 17.
PIERRE — The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission received information Friday about two new pieces of land to be purchased for public hunting. They are proposed as game production areas and will come before the commission in April for approval. One is 320 acres in Beadle County that outdoorsman and former state legislator Bob Roe of Brookings developed about 18 miles southeast of Huron. "The amount of hunting opportunity will be tremendous," Paul Coughlin said, adding that the habitat is "in great condition." The acquisition cost is $1.1 million.
PIERRE— Another attempt to further toughen South Dakota's vehicular homicide law fell short Thursday in the state Senate. The vote was 15 yes and 17 no on whether to allow vehicular homicide to be charged as first degree manslaughter punishable by up to life in prison and a $50,000 fine. Vehicular homicide is a Class 3 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. The House of Representatives had approved the change 49-18 a week ago. The push for the change came in the wake of a 2013 tragedy at Pickstown.
PIERRE — The Daugaard administration is one step away from receiving the Legislature's green light to sell juvenile corrections facilities at Plankinton and Custer. The Senate Appropriations Committee authorized the potential sales 8-0 Thursday. The full Senate would take up the matters next. The House of Representatives has approved the authorizing legislation. The sales would commit South Dakota for the foreseeable future to a policy of placing all troubled youths with private providers.
PIERRE — South Dakota businesses that sell licenses for the state Department of Game, Fish & Parks could raise their handling fees under a proposal that is alive again in the Legislature. A House committee killed the plan last week but resurrected it Tuesday, amended it again Thursday and then endorsed it. Under the Tuesday version, businesses could have kept the handling fee at $2 or charge as much as $4 for the handling fee for a standard license. Under that version, the increase wouldn't have applied to licenses that GF&P sells over the Internet.
PIERRE — State senators rejected legislation Wednesday that would have helped cure flaws in the process for ballot measures. The bill received seven ayes and 28 nays.