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Lawmakers and counties design 2024 legislative session priorities

Brent Duerre

A state legislative committee focused on the financial needs of counties is considering ideas for the upcoming session.

The goal - to narrow a list of legislative priorities.

County officials from around the state told lawmakers about their county’s needs at a recent meeting.

Mellette County Commissioner Casey Krogman, who's also on the South Dakota Association Board of Directors, said even though his county is small, it shares issues with larger counties.

“There’s a lot of these things that are mandated by the state, that, it just keeps pilling up, pilling up, pilling up, and, uh, we don’t get any revenue for it and that’s the hard thing,” said Krogman.

Committee members are all behind a move encouraging the state and counties to work together when pursing debts owed by individuals. Rep. Roger Chase (R - Huron) is the chair of the committee.

“The state has a recovery center to where they can pinpoint an individual’s name that if they apply for a hunting license, a fishing license, if it shows up that they owe money back to a county before they can get that. It could be parking tickets; it could be whatever. It's money back to, you know, restitution for, expenses that people owe,” said Chase.  

Another popular idea with a lot of support, calls for a state grant program to cover county’s cyber security costs.

Some county officials say in the past they’ve had to band together to cover expenses – and they want that to change.

Committee members considered more than twenty original ideas. They’ll send a final list of eight proposals and two resolutions to the Legislature’s Executive Board.

If approved by that board, the Legislative Research Council will assemble official drafts for consideration during the 2024 legislative session.

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.