Statehouse

SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

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News
4:00 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Early Budget Estimates Show Revenues Down

It’s the last two weeks of legislative session and budget discussions are heating up at the Capitol. Lawmakers say early revenue figures are down from initial projections meaning lawmakers may have some tough budget decisions ahead. However, Jason Dilges with the state’s Bureau of Finance and Management says even though revenues are weaker than expected state expenditures are also down. He says the lower expenditures offset reduced revenues. 

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News
2:34 am
Sun March 1, 2015

All Votes Support Juvenile Justice Reform

A Pierre committee is moving forward with reforms to South Dakota’s juvenile justice system. Legislation that changes the way the state handles young offenders has now passed three of four steps to getting on the governor’s desk.

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News
9:51 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Bill Requiring Certain Distance between Bikes and Cars Passes Senate Committee

A bill requiring a certain distance be left when vehicles are passing a bicyclist is one step closer to becoming law. House Bill 1030 says drivers must leave three feet of separation when the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less, and a minimum of six feet of separation when the limit is more than 35 miles per hour. Bill Nevin is the legal counsel for the Department of Transportation. He says law currently requires a safe distance, but he says that’s hard to define. He says safe should mean absolutely no chance of a collision.

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News
5:02 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Study of Actual Use Property Valuations Dies in Senate

Democrat leaders say they are disappointed in discussions around property taxes at the legislature. A measure that would set up a study of actual use property valuation and its effect on state revenues died in the Senate last week. Currently, valuations are based on a productivity model. This means if soil on land is rated for cropland it gets taxed as cropland even though it’s being used to graze cattle. Senator Bill Sutton of Burke says an actual use model is more fair because it assesses land for what it’s currently being used.

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News
8:07 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Bill Allowing Craps, Roulette, and Keno in Deadwood Passes House

A bill allowing craps, roulette, and keno in Deadwood is one step closer to becoming law. In November voters approved an amendment giving the legislature the ability to authorize the games. Representative Brian Gosch spoke in favor of Senate Bill 57. He says the city of Deadwood was on the decline after the closing of Homestake Gold Mine, and gambling has helped revitalize the city.

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News
8:04 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Bill Allows Tech Schools to Receive Names and Addresses of Middle and High School Students

Members of the Senate Education Committee passed a bill that provides information regarding technical institutes be given to parents and guardians of students in middle and high schools. Each year, school districts give a list of names and addresses of students to the Board of Regents, used to send information about preparation for college. House Bill 1072 allows postsecondary technical institutes to receive student information as well. Proponents say it helps students know what is available, and helps keep them in state. Senator Mike Vehle is a prime sponsor of the legislation.

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News
4:52 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Senators Pass Measure Restricting Payments For Abortion Procedures

A measure dealing with abortion payments is on its way to the Governor’s desk. House Bill 1130 prohibits abortion providers from accepting payment prior to the state’s informed consent period. Proponents of the measure say making a payment prior to an abortion procedure puts financial pressure to go through with an abortion when a woman may be reconsidering her decision. Senator Angie Buhl O’Donnel spoke against the measure. She says House Bill 1130 does nothing to prevent abortions and is insulting to women.

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News
4:44 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Lawmakers Ban Female Genital Mutilation

A measure banning female genital mutilation or FGM has passed the Senate. FGM is the act of removing a part or all female genital organs. Currently, FGM is a federal crime. Proponents say making it a state crime creates another level of protection for victims and gives victims another avenue to seek justice. Senator Deb Soholt of Sioux Falls says House Bill 1089 takes a stand against a practice that is no longer tolerable.

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News
3:25 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Judiciary Committees Approve Curbing Prosecutor Control Over Expunging Arrests

A highly controversial prosecution in Aberdeen is the apparent impetus behind changing a South Dakota law. House Bill 1134 responds to the prosecution of a former Brown County deputy state’s attorney, Brandon Taliaferro (pronounced “Toliver”). If passed, the law removes a prosecutor’s power to block arrest records from being expunged without a hearing, no longer giving prosecutors the last word when it comes to removing certain arrest records from public scrutiny.

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News
2:45 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Lawmakers Hear From Environmental Stewardship Award Winners

Lyle and Garnet Perman are national winners of the Environmental Stewardship Award. The Permans are 4th generation farmer/ranchers and run the Rock Hills Ranch with their son and daughter-in-law. The Permans are the first South Dakota ranchers to receive this award at the national level. They have also received the state Leopold Conservation Award. Lyle and Garnet Perman talked with lawmakers about the importance of promoting conservation practices. 

Lyle Perman says his family takes a holistic approach to running Rock Hills Ranch which is about 80 miles west of Aberdeen.

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News
1:48 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Dakota Midday: TRIP Study on South Dakota's Roads and Bridges

Brown County road damaged by flooding in 2011
Credit SDPB

A national transportation group says South Dakota’s roads and bridges are deteriorating and a major contributing factor is lack of funding. Researchers for TRIP say numbers from local reports and studies show the state’s roads and bridges continue to break down.

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News
10:53 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Bill Revises Social Work Licensure Provisions

A bill making its way through the Legislature revises certain social work licensure provisions. Currently, a person can become a social worker with a baccalaureate degree in that field. They can also have a degree in another field plus two years of experience and completion of courses equivalent to a social work program. House Bill 1013 removes the second option. Representative Steve Hickey spoke in favor of the legislation.

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News
4:56 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Legislation Establishing Youth Minimum Wage Passes House Committee

Members of the House Commerce and Energy Committee passed a bill establishing a youth minimum wage.

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News
12:52 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

TRIP: Road Conditions Impact Economy

TRIP Researcher Rocky Moretti and Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce President Evan Nolte discuss a recent report on SD transportation infrastructure. / February 25, 2015
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A national transportation group says South Dakota’s roads and bridges are deteriorating and a major contributing factor is lack of funding. Researchers for the group called TRIP say numbers from local reports and studies show the state’s roads and bridges continue to break down. The report shows the condition of pavement is getting worse, and it could take the economy with it.

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News
9:30 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Senators Shoot Down Legis. Pay Bill

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State lawmakers on the Senate Local Government committee say they don’t want to set up automatic pay raises for the legislature. Supporters of House Bill 1150 say the measure treats state lawmakers like all other state employees. That means they would receive a pay increase at whatever rate applies to South Dakota workers – whether that’s a large increase or none at all.

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News
5:00 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Representatives Will Not Debate Common Core Measure on House Floor

House lawmakers have stopped an effort to force debate on Common Core education standards. House Bill 1123 gets rid of Common Core education standards in the state. 

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News
4:01 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Measure Funds Hydrologic Study of Lower Big Sioux River Basin

Senate lawmakers are discussing a measure which funds a hydrologic study of the lower Big Sioux River Basin in southeastern South Dakota. Tim Cowman is with the Department of Natural Resources. He says when flooding occurred in this region last year the state’s current hydrologic model predicted that flood waters would cover Interstate 29 in North Sioux City. Cowman says the Governor shut down the interstate and spent time and resources building a levy over the interest but the flood waters did not reach that far.

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News
9:33 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Lawmakers Consider Wind Farm Tax Incentives

A bill before state lawmakers the session intends to increase wind farms in the state with new tax incentives.

A bill before state lawmakers intends to increase the development of wind energy in South Dakota with tax breaks for large scale wind farms.

Those backing changes to the law argue that the tax system set up in 2008 for wind farms is limiting development in South Dakota—and surrounding states are more competitive in the wind energy sector.   

But opponents counter the proposed bill goes too far and hurts taxpayers.

You can hear more by clicking play below.

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News
3:28 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Senate Committee Kills Conceal Carry Bills

South Dakota Lawmakers killed two measures that deal with concealed weapons.  House Bills 1096 and 1116 were deferred to the 41st Legislative day by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Lawmakers objected to what might happen with the passage of the legislation

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News
3:11 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Statehouse Crossover Day Looms

Credit Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

Wednesday is crossover day. It’s the last chance for a bill started in one chamber to gain approval and be up for consideration by the other side. If that doesn’t happen, the measures die.

In the 2015 session, South Dakota lawmakers introduced 429 bills. That’s not counting resolutions. 236 measures are House Bills. 193 come from the Senate. But if any one of those is to survive the week, the bill has to gain approval from its original chamber by Wednesday. That’s crossover day.

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News
2:55 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Panel Kills House Bill For Roads/Bridges

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lawmakers in Pierre now have one piece of legislation aimed at funding repairs to South Dakota’s roads and bridges. Members of the House State Affairs committee Tuesday killed one of two bills that increase taxes to support state infrastructure. 

In January lawmakers had two different plans for raising enough money to support roads and bridges across South Dakota. Legislators quickly amended the State Senate’s version of the transportation bill to look like the one introduced in the House of Representatives.

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News
2:28 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Dakota Midday: State Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist

Highway 14 near Hayes, South Dakota
Credit Photo by Jeffrey Beall

When Governor Dennis Daugaard opened the 2015 legislative session with his State of the State address last month, he said his top priority was roads and bridges. Lawmakers are still working on the governor’s highway and bridge funding proposal.

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News
1:49 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Smokeouts Possible Tuesday In Pierre

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lawmakers in Pierre this week are on deadline if they want certain legislation to survive. That’s because Tuesday is the last day committees can approve bills from their own chamber and send the measures to the full body. Committee members hear dozens of bills they don’t support. But some lawmakers may use a particular tool to force bills out of committee and to consideration on the House or Senate floor.

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News
4:00 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Youth Minimum Wage Measure Continues Through Legislatiture

Lawmakers are continuing to discuss a measure which creates a youth minimum wage. Senate Bill 177 establishes a minimum wage of $7.50 an hour for anyone under the age of 18. This is one dollar less than what South Dakota citizens voted for during the November 2014 elections. 

Senator Craig Tieszen of Rapid City says he was reluctant to change the minimum wage law so soon after the public voted to raise it. However, after hearing proponents of the legislation he believes that the $8.50 minimum wage would reduce youth employment which he believes voters did not intend to do.

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News
4:49 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Moderate Growth Projected For South Dakota Economy

The Governor’s council of economic advisors is projecting moderate growth for the state’s economy. Lt. Governor Matt Michels says the council projected strong growth in tourism due to gas prices. However, he says this growth may be offset by a downturn in the agricultural industry. Michels says the council projects around 3 to 4% growth in in sales tax revenues for the next fiscal year. He says one challenge that South Dakota’s economy faces is a growing workforce shortage.

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News
4:38 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Guns On Campus Measure Fails

House lawmakers have rejected a measure allowing college students to carry concealed handguns on college campuses.

House bill 1206 was brought by Representative Jim Stalzer on behalf of the University of South Dakota College Republicans. The measure would allow students who are 21 years or older to carry concealed handguns on campus if they had a concealed carry permit. Stalzer says these students are adults and should have the right to defend themselves.

"I remind you of Virginia Tech where, what is it, 33 people were killed and no one was able to stop it," says Stalzer.

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News
4:18 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Lawmakers Rewrite Abortion Measure

House lawmakers have rewritten a measure dealing with abortions in the state. House Bill 1230 originally outlawed dilation and evacuation or D&E abortion procedures. 

According to Planned Parenthood D&E abortion procedures are performed on pregnant women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester and are reserved for emergency situations. A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood says D&E procedures are not done at their Sioux Falls clinic where they only perform abortions within the 1st trimester.

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