Bob Mercer reports from the South Dakota Capitol in Pierre for The Daily Republic and other newspapers around the state.
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PIERRE — State senators agreed Monday that a South Dakota law should be clarified regarding landowner compensation from mineral developers. Under the proposed changes, landowners could be paid for lost...
PIERRE — Target shooters would be banned from using exploding targets in the Black Hills forest fire protection district, including on private property, under a proposal passed Monday in the...
PIERRE — Wineries that hold federal permits would be allowed to ship their products directly to South Dakota consumers under legislation approved Monday by the state Senate. The sponsor, Sen...
Exact amount still in play as lawmakers work to finish work on entire state budget.
PIERRE -- Insurance providers should cover autism spectrum disorder in South Dakota, the state House of Representatives decided Monday. House members voted 57-12 to send HB 1257 to the Senate for consideration. "For seven dollars a year? That's nothing. That's peanuts. We blow that out of our gas tank driving around town every day," said Rep. Charlie Hoffman, R-Eureka. The bill's sponsor is Rep. Scott Munsterman, R-Brookings. He said a Wellmark witness testified the coverage would cost $2 to $7 per person annually.
PIERRE —- Four members of the Legislature are seeking statewide office this year. With three weeks left in the 2014 legislative session, a good question has come up: Are any of them using it as a soapbox? We can look at the statistics first. Two of the five candidates for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate serve in the Legislature. Two of the five candidates for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate serve in the Legislature. They are Rep. Stace Nelson of Fulton and Sen. Larry Rhoden of Union Center.
PIERRE -- State senators agreed Friday that South Dakota should ban texting while driving a motor vehicle. Both sides of the Legislature now have approved their versions of texting bans. Work remains, however, because the two don't match. Senators voted 26-7 for its version from Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell. Vehle softened his legislation to generally correspond to the House version from Rep. Brian Gosch, R-Rapid City.
PIERRE -- The plan to rebuild the old rail line between Oacoma and Presho received a big boost from legislators Friday. The Senate Appropriations Committee endorsed Sen. Mike Vehle's legislation that would provide $6 million in state funding for the project. The 9-0 vote came despite objections from an aide to Gov. Dennis Daugaard and an analyst for the governor's budget office. Next stop for SB 137 is the full Senate on Tuesday.
PIERRE -- The Legislature will spend time in the final three weeks of the 2014 session, and in the months afterward, looking at state government's activities in economic development. That includes the EB-5 immigrant investor program that has been the subject of state and federal investigations. The joint Government Operations and Audit Committee will convene in the next 10 days or so to begin hearings that were ordered by the full Legislature.