- Associated Press - Monday, January 25, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The state Senate has approved a measure that would distribute a share of alcohol tax revenue from the state to the counties.

Senate lawmakers approved the bill Monday. It now heads to the House.

Counties are looking to lawmakers to help keep pace with rising costs, frequently for courts and jails.

Republican Sen. Bob Ewing says counties need the funds that they would receive under his proposal.

Advocates say counties frequently deal with alcohol-related criminal costs, so they should get a quarter of the alcohol revenue. It raised about $14.4 million last fiscal year.

Opponents say the proposal would shift funding from state priorities such as education. A spokeswoman for Gov. Dennis Daugaard has said he opposes the plan.

A House committee voted down a sales tax for counties last week.

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