PIERRE — A major change could be coming to South Dakota elections. Businesses, farms, ranches, labor unions and other organizations might be allowed to contribute directly to candidates seeking state offices and seats in the Legislature under a proposal discussed Tuesday. There seemed to be solid support among members of a special bipartisan panel assembled by Secretary of State Shantel Krebs to review South Dakota's campaign-finance laws. Her office oversees state-level elections.
HURON — Twenty years ago or so, South Dakota stood at the edge of losing our State Fair. Through the determination of a lot of people, the fair continues today. The 2016 fair opened a five-day run Thursday. Many of the people reading this won't go. No matter how good your car or truck is, a long drive to Huron is a long drive to Huron. And I happen to like Huron. Like so many places in South Dakota, if you nose around a little there are good things to enjoy. For the people who do go this weekend, the State Fair is an important event.
PIERRE — Trust companies headquartered in South Dakota surpassed $226 billion in assets during 2015, according to the state Division of Banking. Director Bret Afdahl described the five-fold increase in five years as "sustained and dramatic growth" during a meeting Thursday with the state Banking Commission. There were 223 employees of trust companies in South Dakota last year. They included 120 people working for 51 public trust companies, 93 people working in the trust departments of banks and 10 people working for 33 private trusts.
PIERRE — More than 18 months after the Legislature voted for its creation, the new state collections office is almost ready for full operation. The state Bureau of Administration holds a rules hearing Sept. 21 in Pierre about how third-party collections agencies will perform their roles. The main contractor is CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. based in Fairfax, Virginia. State government offices will refer outstanding debts to the new office, known as the obligation recovery center, after exhausting their attempts to collect the money owed.
SIOUX FALLS — Nearly all of the 52 state-chartered banks in South Dakota are in the top two tiers of ratings for financial strength, the state Banking Commission learned Thursday That is a major improvement from their post-recession conditions six years ago. There were 19 that rated in the bottom three tiers then. Currently there aren't any in the lowest tier or the next weakest tier. Three are in the middle of the five-tier rating system.
PIERRE—Gov. Dennis Daugaard won't make any statement about filling the legislative vacancy created by the death of a Pennington County lawmaker until after the funeral Friday, the governor's spokesman said Wednesday. Daugaard has asked that flags fly at half-staff on Friday until sunset in honor of Rep. Dan Dryden, R-Rapid City. Dryden, 72, died Tuesday from cancer.
PIERRE – One week after a community meeting drew 300 people to the Avon gym and revealed how deeply they were split, the backers of the Prevailing Winds project asked...
PIERRE — To summarize the truths of Sean Burke, America's political parties are bad, the TV news networks are profiteers, the federal debt gets worse by the year and the people who represent us in Congress are spineless. Burke is crisscrossing the nation in a bus wrapped in his Reset Our Gov logo. He grew up at Pierre, a member of a locally significant family, and last lived in South Dakota during high school. He left for the University of San Diego and now lives near Seattle. He's urging people to vote and disrupt. He wants voters to throw out Congress.
PIERRE—State government officials showed on Thursday some of the tools they now are using to better assess risks when awarding public money for grants and contracts. One checklist helps detect conflicts of interest. Another helps determine whether a person is a contractor or a grant sub-recipient. That distinction is important in deciding the responsibilities that accompany the money. They are part of a new emphasis by Gov. Dennis Daugaard's administration and the Legislature on internal controls within the state government.
PIERRE — The successor to Executive Director Wayne Carney should be picked by March 1, the board of directors for the South Dakota High School Activities Association agreed Thursday. The application period opens on or about Sept. 15 and will run through October. Brian Maher, the superintendent for the Sioux Falls School District and an SDHSAA director, will coordinate the search.