Democrats Claim EB-5 Program as a Priority
Democratic lawmakers say Medicaid and the EB-5 program are their top priorities this year. Senate Minority Leader Jason Frerichs says the issue came to light with the Northern Beef Packers plant in Aberdeen this fall. Governor Daugaard has ordered three audits of the EB-5 program. But some lawmakers say the audits need to look at other programs because it uses the state’s reputation to raise money from investors. Frerichs says he’s waiting for the audit information before moving forward.
"We’ve been informed, it sounds like all three of those will be completed by the end of this month, which fortunately is still just enough time to be before any bill filing deadlines. We definitely have encouraged our leaders on the other side of the isle to ensure we have the proper convening to disseminate the information that will be provided, not only to the legislature but obviously to the general public; to find out what has happened," Frerichs says.
Frerichs says it’s important to know all the facts so it can be ensured something similar doesn’t happen with the EB-5 program in the future. Governor Dennis Daugaard gave his thoughts earlier this week saying he believes no major problems would be revealed by the audits.