Bob Mercer reports from the South Dakota Capitol in Pierre for The Daily Republic and other newspapers around the state.
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The state Board of Education eliminated a fees cap for students at South Dakota's four technical institutes Monday. The cap limited fees for payment of lease purchase agreements to 20 percent of total tuition and fees. The board took its action during a meeting at Northern State University in Aberdeen. State Department of Education official Tiffany Sanderson said the repeal was necessary.
PIERRE — Time for a confession: As a human being, I don't understand why so many people want to repeal Obamacare. The whole point of the Affordable Care Act, I thought, was to require that almost everybody have health coverage, either through insurance or the government. If you don't like President Barack Obama, or you don't like Democrats, or you don't like features of Obamacare, I understand. But tell me this: Why don't you want to increase the number of people covered by health insurance? Obamacare should be a godsend to South Dakota insurance businesses. Our Legislature passed a
PIERRE -- The Wharf mine produced fewer ounces of gold in 2013, a company official said Thursday during a presentation to the state Board of Minerals and Environment. Wharf is South Dakota's only large-scale gold mine still operating. Environmental Manager Ron Waterland said Wharf mined 2.3 million tons of ore and generated 56,237 ounces of gold and 57,167 ounces of silver. The company paid $2.7 million in state severance taxes last year, along with $1.1 million in state sales and use taxes and $437,000 of Lawrence County taxes, he said. Wharf produced about 68,000 ounces of gold in each o
PIERRE -- Black Hills Power received authority from South Dakota regulators Tuesday to issue up to $110 million in bonds that will help pay for the next round of improvements to its electricity system. The Rapid City-based utility company plans to use part of the financing for its share of a new power plant called Cheyenne Prairie, to be built in Wyoming. Black Hills Power would own 55 megawatts and Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power would have the other 45 megawatts. The state Public Utilities Commission gave its approval 3-0 for the bonds.
PIERRE -- Crow Creek Telecom received state approval Tuesday to operate a telephone company in South Dakota. The company, Native American Telecom, can offer services only within the Fort Thompson telephone exchange on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. The state Public Utilities Commission voted 3-0 Tuesday to allow the merged company to operate only within the Fort Thompson exchange. Midstate Communications Inc.
PIERRE -- The Legislature's Executive Board renewed its travel-reimbursement policy for another year Thursday, including compensation for attending American Legislative Exchange Council events. The ALEC provision caused the board members to split 10-3 for approval. House Democrats Spencer Hawley, of Brookings, and Kathy Tyler, of Big Stone City, joined Republican Sen.
PIERRE — South Dakota Public Broadcasting will provide what might be the only statewide televised debates before the June 3 primary elections that will decide the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate and the Democratic nomination for governor. Public television also attempted to host a debate between candidates for the Republican nomination for governor. That May 22 event fell through, however. Both candidates couldn't attend, according to Stephanie Rissler, who is host for SDPB's political forums. Gov.
PIERRE — The June 3 primary elections, for Democratic and Republican nominations for governor and for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, will be in the books before South Dakotans...
SYLVAN LAKE -- In many South Dakota counties this fall, there won't be any firearms licenses available specifically for hunting only antlerless deer such as does and fawns, under proposals made Thursday by the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission. The commissioners are following the recommendations of the state Wildlife Division.
PIERRE -- Trying to rebuild South Dakota's deer populations, state wildlife biologists want fewer does taken by hunters during the 2014 rifle seasons this fall. Their plan calls for greatly reducing two-tag and three-tag licenses, especially those that can be used only for taking antlerless deer. Those reductions would be partially offset by offering more single-tag licenses that can be used for any deer including bucks. The overall effect of the Wildlife Division's plan would be tens of thousands fewer does killed by hunters this autumn, and therefore, many more does available to bear fawn