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

No EB-5 Discussion At Exec. Board Mtg

Members of one legislative committee are not discussing the administration of the EB-5 program in South Dakota. Executive Board members are meeting/met in Pierre Tuesday, and one lawmaker wanted to put an EB-5 discussion on the agenda. State Representative Kathy Tyler made the motion, and State Senator Larry Lucas seconded it. Both are Democrats.

Tuesday State Representative and Democrat Kathy Tyler wanted members of South Dakota's E-board to have a discussion about circumstances surrounding the state's administration of an immigrant investor visa program. She said documents she revealed to the public a day before show fraud, and that warrants the committee's attention.

"I think that we as a board, as a legislative research council, need to look at what's been happening with GOAC since and if we need to instruct or to suggest that more investigation or more things be done with that committee," Tyler says.

The Government Operations and Audit Committee is tasked with reviewing goings-on with the Governor's office of economic development and EB-5. Republican State Senator Corey Brown says allegations of wrongdoing should go through prosecutors, not lawmakers who set public policy.

"As the Representative indicated, though, she believes that the documents she has indicate criminal behavior, and the appropriate response would be for that member to turn those documents over to the Attorney General and the US Attorney," Brown says. "Any discussion that this board would have could potentially jeopardize an ongoing investigation, and I think that would be inappropriate for us to try to jeopardize any such investigation."

Board chair Republican State Senator Ryan Maher agreed that talks could hurt any sort of an investigation, and he ruled the motion out of order. Committee members did not vote on whether to put the EB-5 discussion on Tuesday's agenda.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).
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