PIERRE -- Every time someone talks about expanding legal gambling in South Dakota, part of me asks, why not? Another part of me cringes and asks, why? The answers are the same to both questions. Their losses mean free money for the state treasury. Gov. Dennis Daugaard hardly seems like a gambler. Yet South Dakota has more gambling than before he was elected four years ago. One change is at tribal casinos. Daugaard is agreeing to more slot machines as various tribal governments' gambling compacts come up for negotiation. The latest is the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
PIERRE — There was a lot of leeway in a number cited by former-Gov. Mike Rounds during the U.S.
PIERRE— Republican Rich Sattgast raised and spent more than twice as much as his opponent, Democrat Denny Pierson, in their contest to be elected South Dakota's state treasurer, according to their campaign finance reports. Sattgast is seeking his fourth consecutive term as a state constitutional officer. He was state auditor from 2003 through 2010 and ran for treasurer because he was term-limited as auditor. He started as state treasurer in 2011. Constitutional officers are elected to four-year terms. Sattgast began 2014 with $1,002.27 in his campaign account.
PIERRE — Democratic candidate Susan Wismer and her running mate, Susy Blake, started couching their comments to supporters last weekend that the 2014 election for governor might not turn out in their favor. They had already made history. Wismer is the first woman to be the nominee of a major political party for governor in South Dakota. But unless they had a miracle waiting to spring, they would make history in another way. Republicans have been in control of the governor's office since winning the 1978 election. A second term for Gov.
PIERRE — Approximately 41 of South Dakota's next group of 105 legislators have already been elected. Some of them didn't have opponents this year.
PIERRE — No Republican lost public office over the EB-5 issue in South Dakota's general elections last week. The matter isn't going away, however. The Legislature's scrutiny will intensify, now that the 2014 political campaigns are done and the 2016 campaigns haven't openly begun. Reforms will be officially recommended. Those proposals will show us how the secret schemes worked.
PIERRE -- South Dakota's public schools would see a 1.5 percent increase for inflation in their per student allocation for general education purposes during the 2015-2016 school year, a member of the Legislative Research Council staff said Monday. LRC fiscal chief Annie Mehlhaff made her remarks in a presentation to the Legislature's Executive Board. State law calls for an increase of 3 percent or inflation -- whichever is less. Mehlhaff said the 1.5 percent is contained in budget information that LRC received from the governor's Bureau of Finance and Management. Gov.
PIERRE — The Legislature's rules review committee gave final clearance Wednesday to the state Agriculture Department offering voluntary mediation services for disputes over federal land and over effects from oil and gas development. The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association supports the expansions and accepts the rules as proposed, even though the group hoped some would go farther in helping landowners, executive director Silvia Christen told the legislators. "I think it is going to be a real benefit to the producers who have access to it," Christen testified. She said there could be
PIERRE — State Attorney General Marty Jackley said he didn't speak with Joop Bollen, who oversaw South Dakota's EB-5 immigrant investor program, when Jackley's office investigated Richard Benda last year. A subpoena from a federal grand jury in March 2013 sought information on various topics from Daugaard's administration, including information about Benda's travel. That led Daugaard to request Jackley look into the matter. Bollen and Benda worked closely together for more than seven years after then-Gov.
PIERRE — The new student achievement assessments known as Smarter Balanced are more difficult than the Dakota STEP tests they replace and probably will generate weaker scores by students, at least initially, a state official said Monday. The nationally designed Smarter Balanced covers listening and writing in addition to reading and math, and therefore students' performances shouldn't be compared to the state-written Dakota STEP, Jan Martin told South Dakota Board of Education members. "That's a really critical piece to keep in mind," Martin said.