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SD Legislative Research Council

House State Affairs has voted against allowing tribes to seek reimbursement for expenses associated with pipeline protests.

Last year's legislature established the PEACE fund to collect money for state or political subdivisions whose budgets might be stressed if the Keystone XL pipeline is built and protests rise up.

The committee voted 9 to 4 against including tribes in that group.

Listen to audio for the rest of the story.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Statehouse: Feb 19

Feb 19, 2020
SDPB

The Statehouse podcast is SDPB Radio's legislative podcast that features a compilation of the top stories coming from Pierre. Today you'll hear about how in a last-minute amendment, a House bill shifts from adding an assault charge for pregnant women with a controlled substance addiction to offering them a defense option.  

  Politics and public policy reporting is supported by The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University

Stephen Volker

Opponents to the Keystone XL pipeline have again asked a Montana federal judge to impose a preliminary injunction on the project.

Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance say President Donald Trump acted illegally when he unilaterally gave the project a permit in 2019.

Listen to audio for the rest of the story.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

SD Legislative Research Council

South Dakota's 2020 "riot boosting" law has been approved by the state House and is on its way to the Senate. The controversial bill is a rewrite of last year's law, found largely unconstitutional by a federal judge. Advocates say this version ensures safe and peaceful protests, but opponents say it still deters free speech and assembly and pits government against tribes. For more of this story, click on the audio arrow.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report, with rotunda audio contributed by Lee Strubinger.

Statehouse: Feb 13-14, 2020

Feb 18, 2020
SDPB

The Statehouse podcast is SDPB Radio's legislative podcast that features a compilation of the top stories coming from Pierre. 

 

Politics and public policy reporting is supported by The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University

  

U.S. Attorney

Fentanyl analogs are lethal drugs, but they have not been permanently scheduled by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, and therefore have not been deemed illegal. The U.S. Attorney for South Dakota says emergency restrictions are in place, but Congress needs to take action.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

News: Feb 8 - 14

Feb 14, 2020
SDPB

In this week's news podcast, SDPB's Seth Tupper joins us for a discussion about the South Dakota economy, the Dakota Political Junkies talk SD's top political headlines, SDPB's Victoria Wicks brings us a special report, and Kevin Woster talks the future of local newspapers in South Dakota.

Lee Strubinger SDPB

South Dakota's refurbished riot legislation has been passed by House State Affairs. The bill rewrites last year's "riot boosting" law designed to squelch pipeline protests. The committee heard testimony on Wednesday, Feb. 12, and although there was strong opposition by the Speaker of the House, the bill passed on a 10-3 vote.

Most proponents say the law keeps protests peaceful. But opponents say the bill still steps on rights of free speech and assembly.

In January 2017, two agents from the Division of Criminal Investigation went onto the Pine Ridge Reservation to investigate a crime committed off reservation. They were accompanied by a BIA agent.

One of the DCI agents spoke with a suspect. A Sixth Circuit judge later threw out the statements, saying DCI lacked authority in Indian Country.

Now the South Dakota Supreme Court will decide the issue before the case continues in the Sixth Circuit.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

SD Department of Corrections

Roger Jackson was convicted of third-degree rape for having sex with a woman who suffers from a rare form of dementia. In late 2018, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison with five years suspended.

Jackson, now 72 years old, appeals, saying the sex was consensual. He also holds that the investigation was inadequate, because detectives did not interview the woman.

The state says the woman was not legally capable of giving consent, and she was also not able to answer questions reliably.

Victoria Wicks

Stanley Patrick Weber will serve the rest of his life in federal prison.

The former Indian Health Services pediatrician was convicted earlier this year of raping and sexually assaulting boys who were his patients at Pine Ridge IHS.

Weber was sentenced in Rapid City federal court on Monday, Feb. 11.

In crafting the sentence, Federal Judge Jeffrey Viken considered the lifelong damage done to each victim.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Statehouse: Feb 7, 2020

Feb 7, 2020
SDPB

The Statehouse podcast is SDPB Radio's legislative podcast that features a compilation of the top stories coming from Pierre. 

You'll hear about a bill to allow sports gambling in South Dakota has started its journey through the Legislature, and how House Republicans are rejecting an amendment that would add tribal IDs as a valid identification to register to vote. All this and more in today's Statehouse Podcast.

 

Politics and public policy reporting is supported by The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University

 

Montana Federal Court

A Montana federal judge has set a hearing date for renewed arguments on the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance have again asked for a preliminary injunction against permitting the pipeline.

TransCanada and the Trump administration have asked for summary judgment.

Judge Brian Morris will hear arguments on those requests and more in Great Falls on March 25.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Department of Corrections

A lifer in the state penitentiary has lost a bid for a new trial. Chance Harruff is serving a mandatory life sentence for strangling his former girlfriend.

He appealed, saying five witnesses' testimony overlapped, and that cumulative evidence prejudiced the jury.

The South Dakota Supreme Court has unanimously upheld his conviction

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

The South Dakota Supreme Court will hold its next term on Feb. 10-11, with oral arguments in three cases on the second day.

Victoria Wicks file photo

News: Jan 25 - 31

Jan 31, 2020
SDPB

In this week's news coverage, you'll hear about a proposed ban on banning plastic straws and bags, a roll-back on gun restrictions, an experts take on House Bill 1057, and much more.

Have a story idea? Send an e-mail to InTheMoment@SDPB.org.

You can now subscribe to In the Moment on YouTube and watch your favorite full-length interviews.

Statehouse: Jan 30, 2020

Jan 30, 2020
SDPB

The Statehouse podcast is SDPB Radio's legislative podcast that features a compilation of the top stories coming from Pierre. 

Governor Kristi Noem delivered the end of the week press conference... this and more in today's Statehouse Podcast.

 

Politics and public policy reporting is supported by The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University

Victoria Wicks file photo

Last year Governor Kristi Noem introduced legislation designed to squelch pipeline protests and collect money from protest supporters.

The governor brought the bills late, and the legislature rushed them through to passage. But a federal lawsuit put a quick stop to one of them on constitutional grounds.

Now the governor has again introduced the legislation, but this time early in the session with major fixes.

Statehouse: Jan 29, 2020

Jan 29, 2020
SDPB

The Statehouse podcast is SDPB Radio's legislative podcast that features a compilation of the top stories coming from Pierre. 

In today's edition, you will hear how Republicans in the House Judiciary committee are pushing forward a bill that criminalizes brokering commercial surrogacy, and an effort to continue rolling back gun restrictions in South Dakota stumbled out of the gate this week in the Legislature, but it’s just the first of several gun debates that will happen this winter in Pierre... All this and more in today's Statehouse Podcast.

 

 

Statehouse: Jan 28, 2020

Jan 28, 2020
SDPB

The Statehouse podcast is SDPB Radio's legislative podcast that features a compilation of the top stories coming from Pierre. 

In today's edition, you will hear about a bill that look to place a ban on the banning of plastic straws and bags. All this and more in today's Statehouse podcast.

 

Politics and public policy reporting is supported by The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University

TransCanada and the Trump administration have renewed their request to dismiss Montana lawsuits against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Parties filed briefs late in the day on Friday, Jan. 24.

Both proponents and opponents of the pipeline restated positions already on record in December, when Montana Federal Judge Brian Morris denied dismissal of the lawsuits and asked for further briefing.

Morris asked parties to clarify several issues, including whether the president has authority to issue a permit.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

News: Jan 18 - 24

Jan 24, 2020
SDPB

In this week's news, a panel of SDPB reporters discuss what they have been covering during the legislative session. The South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation President joins us to talk about trade, USMCA, and how South Dakota looks to benefit. And the Dakota Political Junkies joined Lori for a look at South Dakota's top political headlines.

Have a story idea? Send an e-mail to InTheMoment@SDPB.org.

A full panel of judges in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will decide if the Indian Child Welfare Act is based on race or politics.

The court heard oral arguments on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in New Orleans.

In 2018 a Texas lower court found the act known as ICWA to be unconstitutionally race-based. A three-judge panel overturned that finding, but not unanimously.

Now all of the appeals judges in the Fifth Circuit will consider the issue.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

To hear audio of oral arguments in their entirety, click on this link:

Victoria Wicks file photo

The South Dakota Water Management Board has approved permits for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. After a dozen days of hearings held over the past nine months, the board unanimously voted on Tuesday, Jan. 21, to allow TransCanada, or TC Energy, to draw water from three South Dakota rivers.

The board also permitted Wink Cattle Company near Howes and landowners Dean and Lori Wilson near Buffalo to use water for the worker camps TC intends to build on their property.

Victoria Wicks

The U.S. Forest Service is not allowed to say no to mining, but it can insist on protections for surface resources. That fact emerged during an open house held at the Mystic District station in the Black Hills last week.

A Minneapolis prospecting company, F3 Gold, wants to drill exploratory holes near Pactola Reservoir in the Silver City area, and residents showed up to ask questions and express concerns.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks

A gold prospecting company wants to drill exploratory holes in the Silver City area, near Pactola Reservoir in the Black Hills.

The Mystic District of the U.S. Forest Service held an open house last week to offer information and explain how people can make written comments.

Area residents expressed concerns, not only about mining, but also about the hearing process.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

NARF staff photo

TC Energy has reported to a Montana federal court that it intends to start construction on the Keystone XL pipeline next month.

Trenching won't begin until April. But in February and March, the company plans to move heavy equipment to sites for worker camps, pump stations, pipe yards, and the first crossing at the U.S.-Canada border.

An attorney for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe says TC is jumping the gun.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks file photo

Supporters and opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline summarized eleven days of testimony before the South Dakota Water Management Board on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Attorneys for the South Dakota Water Rights Program and for TC Energy hold that state law limits the board's consideration specifically to the use of water during pipeline construction.

But opponents say the board has an obligation to consider potential water contamination and health consequences after the pipeline is finished.

Faith Spotted Eagle file photo

An elder from the Yankton Sioux Tribe testified Monday, Jan. 13, on the potential impacts on women if the Keystone XL pipeline is built. Faith Spotted Eagle says the past, present, and future of indigenous women are threatened by construction and pollution. She made comments to the South Dakota Water Management Board in its hearing to determine whether to allow water use for the pipeline. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Victoria Wicks file photo

The South Dakota Water Management Board is hoping to wrap up hearings on Keystone XL pipeline permits in the next two days.

The board heard five days of testimony in October and five more days last month.

TC Energy and two landowners want to use water from Western South Dakota sources to build the pipeline and run worker camps.

Opponents include West River tribes and landowners.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

To read the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and make a comment, click on the link below. The review ends on Jan. 21.

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