- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Senate has agreed to authorize $1.95 million to suppress pine beetle infestation.

Senators voted 30-4 in support of the measure that the state House previously approved.

The bill will go next to Gov. Dennis Daugaard. If approved, the funding will be immediately available for use by state agencies.

The original draft came from the governor and called for $350,000 to address the problem in the Black Hills of western South Dakota. It was adjusted to include more funds to address the infestation across the state.

One opponent objects to the expanded scope of the bill. Supporters say it’s important to keep pressure on the beetles.

A recent survey shows the 18-year battle to eradicate the mountain pine beetle from the Black Hills is slowing the pest’s progress.

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