Jenifer Jones

Six nursing homes in South Dakota closed over the last year and a half--including the Hudson Care and Rehab Center within the last month. The closures are driven by low Medicaid reimbursement rates from the state. 

The legislature approved a 10% reimbursement increase earlier this year. But testimony during last week's Government Operations and Audit Committee meeting shows the problem is far from solved. 


In The Moment ... August 9, 2017 Show 152 Hour 2

The Dakota Political Junkies are a rotating panel of some of the most insightful and experienced political journalists in the state. Today we welcome Denise Ross and Jonathan Ellis for a conversation about tax reform, the leadership of U.S. Senator John Thune, the ABC settlement with BPI and more.


In The Moment ... August 3, 2017 Show 148 Hour 1

Deb Peters is a South Dakota state senator. She serves on the Government Operations and Audit Committee. She's also president elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures. In that role, she recently traveled to Washington to testify against the No Regulation without Representation Act. We talk about the balance between federal oversight and state sovereignty, then Peters provides an update on the Government Operations and Audit Committee's summer meetings.

Rounds for Senate

On Wednesday members of the Government Audit Operations Operations met in Pierre to discuss the EB-5 program. Lawmakers reviewed written responses from former Republican Governor Mike Rounds and current Governor Dennis Daugaard to questions asked by the committee. Rounds is running for U.S. Senate and Daugaard is seeking re-election. Democrats have been making EB-5 an issue in the fall campaign and trying to link it to Rounds.

Lawmakers in Pierre are examining EB-5 and other economic development programs in South Dakota ahead of their final report and recommendation. They've also scheduled their next meeting for after the November election. 

GOAC Spars Over EB-5

Sep 24, 2014

Members of the Government Operations and Audit Committee  or GOAC differ on the details around the examination of the EB-5 program in South Dakota.
Democrats presented documents to the committee showing South Dakota owes money this year for defending a lawsuit over the management of the EB-5 program.  
But Republicans charge that this issue is overly politicized and the questions posed are outside of the committee’s authority.

A state lawmaker says South Dakota taxpayers lost out on $140 million because of the way the state handled the EB-5 investor visa program. Democratic State Representative Kathy Tyler says South Dakota leaders allowed a state employee to create a private company to take over administering EB-5. She says she has documents that prove the company charged millions in fees that could have gone into state coffers. 

Dems Push For EB-5 Inquiry

Aug 26, 2014

Democrats in the state legislature want to see a deeper investigation into the state’s EB-5 scandal.
Two Democratic lawmakers Bernie Hunhoff and Larry Lucas want committee testimony from those they consider the main players in the state’s EB-5 program.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Political hopefuls in two major races are questioning fellow candidates about their involvement with the EB-5 program. Dakota Fest in Mitchell is host to both a gubernatorial debate and a US Senate candidate forum. The Wednesday debates took questions submitted by people in the audience. Both debates included discussions about uncertainties surrounding a foreign investment program. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Democratic lawmakers are calling to subpoena state and business leaders who were involved in the EB-5 program before and during the embezzlement of government funds. State lawmakers overwhelmingly supported a resolution to hold hearings relating to the Governor's Office of Economic Development. A legislative panel is reviewing audits and asking questions, but not all lawmakers say the committee is delving deep enough.

Action Deferred on State Agency Review Bill

Feb 12, 2014

A state Senate committee is waiting to vote on a bill that creates a legislative review process for state agencies. Senate Bill 165 gives the legislature the authority to establish performance management reviews to better understand what’s working in a department and what isn't. Senator Phyllis Heineman is the prime sponsor of the legislation. She says legislators often focus only on the impact of their bills during session, rather than what other agencies are doing.