- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Legislature’s budget panel has axed Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s Spearfish Canyon State Park plan after state tax revenues slumped below expectations for the upcoming cycle.

The Joint Committee on Appropriations Wednesday turned down Daugaard’s requested $2.5 million for a land swap between the state Office of School and Public Lands and the U.S. Forest Service.

His plan was to use the trade to gain more lands in Spearfish Canyon, and turn the area into a state park. The idea lacked support from people living near the canyon.

Kelsey Pritchard, communications director for the governor’s office, says the “top priority is a balanced budget” and money for the proposed land swap wasn’t something they needed to have this year.

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