2015 Session

Members of the committee that examines the state’s budget are about halfway through hearing from state departments. Tuesday legislators looking at next year’s state budget hear from the departments of Human Services and Health.

The Joint Appropriations Committee is scrutinizing the budgets of different departments statewide. State senators and representatives on appropriations spend the entire legislative session determining which programs and personnel get taxpayer dollars.

SDPB

During a joint session of the House and Senate on Wednesday, South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson delivered his State of the Judiciary address. He said past proposals such as a program to attract attorneys to rural areas and an overhaul of the state's criminal justice system approved by lawmakers in 2013 are making a difference in South Dakota. Gilbertson said those changes have kept offenders out of prison and saved the state money.

SDPB

Governor Dennis Daugaard kicked off the 2015 legisaltive session with his state of the state address to lawmakers on Tuesday. He proposed $50 million in new funding to help fund road and bridge projects. He said the state’s entire economy and well-being depends on road infrastructure and right now roads are underfunded.

Governor Dennis Daugaard proposed raising taxes by some $50 million dollars to fund road and bridge projects and backed juvenile justice reform measure in Tuesday's State of the State address. Although he talked about a plan to help high school students earn discounted college credits, Daugaard didn’t mention teacher shortages or concerns over low teacher pay.

In Tuesday's State of the State address, Governor Daugaard proposed raising taxes and fees by about $50 million dollars to fund road and bridge projects. A legislative proposal would raise twice that.

Republican Mike Vehle is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and was chairman of the legislature’s interim Highway Needs and Financing Committee. That committee’s funding proposal, Senate Bill 1, would raise more than $100 million to pay for transportation infrastructure.

SD Secretary of State

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs has what she calls an “aggressive agenda” for the 2015 state legislature. It includes some proposed changes to South Dakota’s election laws, such as moving candidate petition dates back one month and allowing her office to review a random sample of petition signatures for statewide candidates. Krebs served in the state legislature for a decade before being elected to secretary of state in November. She says she wants her office to excel at customer service.

Marty Jackley

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley joined Dakota Midday on the opening day of the 2015 session and discussed his legislative proposals for lawmakers.