PIERRE — Legislation creating a separate state license for wine manufacturers and allowing half of their fermented products to be imported into South Dakota advanced Wednesday. The Senate Local Government Committee spent several hours weeding through arguments on SB 187. Sen. Alan Solano, R-Rapid City, sponsored the measure as a backstop for another state Department of Revenue measure, HB 1067. Essentially the objectionable sections were removed from 1067, put into 187 and then further amended.
PIERRE — Women who are veterans of U.S. armed forces might become eligible for special license plates on their motor vehicles registered in South Dakota. State senators voted 33-0 Tuesday to approve the measure. SB 97 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration. Sen. Reynold Nesiba, D-Sioux Falls, said about 6,000 women in South Dakota served in the armed forces. Nesiba is prime sponsor. "Society seems to see veterans as men," Sen. Terri Haverly, R-Rapid City, said. She noted the state Department of Revenue has 127 different plates.
PIERRE — State lawmakers refused a plan Tuesday morning to gather data throughout South Dakota on pre-school education. But a Democratic senator convinced a majority of Republicans to put it on the debate schedule anyway for Wednesday. Senate Democratic Leader Billie Sutton, of Burke, proposed the study. The Senate agreed Tuesday afternoon to debate it Wednesday, hours after the Senate Education Committee had voted 4-2 to kill it. Sen. Jim Bolin, R-Canton, said state government shouldn't be involved. He is committee chairman.
PIERRE — Bringing South Dakota laws current for cooperatives is one step from final approval by the Legislature. The Senate could consider HB 1136 Wednesday. It received unanimous endorsement Tuesday morning from the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee. The proposal originated from Mike Traxinger, legal counsel for Agtegra Cooperative based in Aberdeen. The farmer-owned co-op started operating Feb. 1 after a merger vote last year by North Central Farmers Elevator and South Dakota Wheat Growers.
PIERRE — Facing a Friday deadline to either pass or kill every bill in the chamber where it began, South Dakota lawmakers began returning Monday to the Capitol through bitter cold weather over often-icy roads. The Senate and the House of Representatives are scheduled to return to action Tuesday for working day 25 of the 38-day session. The workloads are far from even. Several committees have long agendas for Tuesday and Wednesday, while other committees don't have meetings either day.
PIERRE — Last year, Gov. Dennis Daugaard reconfigured South Dakota's trust task force. The state register listed the appointments, but his office didn't announce them. Before the Oct. 20 reorganization there were 18 members. Daugaard had nine stay and picked two more. He also ended having a legislator be chairman. Bill Janklow formed the task force in 1997 during his third term as governor. For 20 years membership was open-ended. Daugaard decided to set a term of three years.
PIERRE — Last year Gov. Dennis Daugaard reconfigured South Dakota's trust task force. The state register listed the appointments, but his office didn't announce them. Before the Oct. 20 reorganization there were 18 members. Daugaard had nine stay and picked two more. He also ended having a legislator be chairman. Bill Janklow formed the task force in 1997 during his third term as governor. For 20 years membership was open-ended. Daugaard decided to set a term of three years.
PIERRE — As feuds in the Legislature go, there might be none deeper these days than between Sen. Deb Peters and Sen. Stace Nelson over the GEAR UP scandal. Their dispute reached a strange low last Monday. Peters invoked a legislative joint rule to stop, specifically, SC 28: Nelson's commemoration recognizing investigative work of KELO television reporter Angela Kennecke. Peters, R-Hartford, cited 6H-4:
PIERRE — A fresh deal between opposing sides could mean another proposed constitutional amendment on victim's rights would be on South Dakota's election ballot. The two questions now are whether the Legislature sends a revised version of Marsy's Law back to voters for another decision and when those votes would be cast. The backers of Marsy's Law and Rep. Mark Mickelson, who had wanted to repeal it altogether, seemed to prefer the June primary elections.
PIERRE — Video lottery can't be shut down in South Dakota, a panel of state lawmakers decided Thursday. State government and hundreds of businesses depend on the roughly $200 million gamblers lose each year, witnesses testified. The Legislature emphasizes personal freedom, several members of the House Appropriations Committee said. That holds true for players and establishments, according to Rep. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton. "They make a free decision whether they want to participate in gambling," Hunhoff said.