PIERRE — All three Republican and Democratic candidates plan changes for the Governor's Office of Economic Development when one wins election Nov. 6 as South Dakota's next chief executive. Their words have the attention of Scott Stern. The commissioner brought up the topic Tuesday to state Board of Economic Development members. Stern said the office landed 26 new or expanded businesses from within South Dakota during the past year, compared to 16 from other states. Stern said he would like "a healthy conversation" about what the balance should be.
PIERRE — The state Weed and Pest Control Commission decided Thursday to hold a public hearing on whether absinthe wormwood should be added to the list of banned noxious weeds in South Dakota. Seven species are already on the list: Canada thistle, hoary cress, leafy spurge, perennial sow thistle, purple loosestrife, Russian knapweed and salt cedar. Also known as wormwood sage, it's now in 40 South Dakota counties, Brenda Sievers said. She is plant industry program manager for the state Department of Agriculture.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Transportation Commission approved bids on 11 highway projects Thursday and didn't make a decision on one. Sam Weisgram presented bids from the state Department of Transportation. Weisgram said he's waiting to hear from Presho officials on sidewalk work in Lyman County. Sharpe Enterprises Inc. of Pierre was lowest at $264,849.20. The engineer estimate was $204,040. Six companies bid. The commission approved the others.
PIERRE — A fish food maker should get sales and use tax returned for equipment bought for a new factory at Volga, the state Board of Economic Development decided Tuesday. Board members voted 7-0 to award Prairie AquaTech Manufacturing LLC of Brookings a reinvestment payment up to $748,935. The company plans 35 positions at the Volga plant, according to Aaron Scheibe. He is deputy commissioner for the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
PIERRE — Tony Klein of Pierre and Greg Heineman of Sioux Falls are retiring from the South Dakota Board of Economic Development. Gov. Dennis Daugaard will name their successors during the coming weeks, according to Scott Stern, state commissioner of economic development. Stern made the announcement Tuesday during a board meeting.
PIERRE — In sports, succeeding four times in 43 isn't considered a high achievement. "Congress has passed all its required spending bills on time only four times since the current appropriations process was created in 1974," Dusty Johnson said recently. "Clearly, the process in place doesn't work, and never really has," he said. That's a success rate below 10 percent. Johnson wants Congress to adopt a two-year budget cycle for the 12 appropriations bills it should be passing each year.
Hunting seasons for elk received approval Friday from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission. The rifle and archery seasons are for 2018 and 2019. The panel reached the decisions at Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City. Thousands of South Dakota residents applied for elk licenses in past years. The archery season runs Sept. 1 through Sept. 30. The commission approved offering 142 any-elk licenses and 80 antlerless elk. In 2017 the commission had about 5,000 applicants for 147 any-elk and 130 antlerless licenses.
South Dakota's eligibility rule stayed the same Friday for landowners seeking preference licenses for hunting elk in the Black Hills. A person still needs at least 240 acres and 500 elk-use days. The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission unanimously rejected a Hot Springs landowner's petition wanting changes. The proposal called for a minimum of 1,000 acres with 500 elk-use days or any land with 2,000 elk-use days. It also would have required the person live within 60 miles of the land.
PIERRE — The U.S. Supreme Court hears the argument April 17 over whether the state government of South Dakota has authority to collect sales tax on goods and services delivered from remote sellers that don't have a physical presence in South Dakota. At issue is a decision the justices made 25 years ago in a case known as Quill that said sales tax could be levied only on businesses within a state's physical jurisdiction. Asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Quill decision is state Attorney General Marty Jackley.
PIERRE — It's encouraging to see transparency finding the way into more public offices in South Dakota. News reporters and citizens crusaded for decades for South Dakota government to open records and open meetings. We saw progress during the 2018 session of the Legislature. South Dakota now will require public comment periods to be on the agenda of every public meeting. School districts openly opposed the change. Some former county commissioners now in the Legislature fought it too.