- Associated Press - Friday, March 10, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The Latest on the South Dakota Legislature (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

The South Dakota Legislature has approved a roughly $4.55 billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The House voted 63-4 to pass the budget Friday as the main part of this year’s legislative session came to an end. The Senate earlier voted 33-2 for the measure.

The Legislature has been dealing with lower-than-anticipated state tax collections. Lawmakers last month settled on state revenue targets significantly lower than those Gov. Dennis Daugaard included in his December budget address.

The budget for the next fiscal year includes roughly $1.59 billion in general state spending, nearly $30 million below the governor’s December budget plan.

Republican Sen. Larry Tidemann says the budget will serve the state’s citizens for the coming year and positions South Dakota for future growth.


1:20 p.m.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed a raft of bills into law meant to replace provisions of a voter-imposed ethics initiative that Republican lawmakers repealed this legislative session.

Daugaard, a Republican, said Friday that state officials advanced “workable legislation” to replace the ethics initiative. Supporters of the ethics overhaul say that the Legislature’s replacements fall short of what the voters passed.

A new State Government Accountability Board will be able to investigate statewide officeholders and executive branch employees on allegations including bribery and theft of public funds.

Daugaard signed a bill imposing an annual limit on gifts that legislators and other public officials can accept from lobbyists. The governor also approved stricter lobbying regulations that bar many officials from private lobbying for two years after leaving state government.


12:25 p.m.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s public safety bill addressing potential oil pipeline protests in South Dakota is headed to his desk.

The state Senate voted 25-10 Friday to approve the bill, which the House passed Thursday after a negotiating committee put an emergency provision back into it.

Republican Sen. Al Novstrup, a supporter, says it’s an important tool in officials’ toolbox. Critics argue that the measure could target Native Americans.

The bill would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor for someone to stand in the highway to stop traffic or to trespass in a posted emergency area, among other provisions. The emergency clause would make it take effect immediately.

Daugaard is inviting South Dakota tribal leaders to discuss with public safety officials and others how best to manage possible protests collaboratively.


9:35 a.m.

South Dakota lawmakers are set to tackle the state budget, and then they’re headed home.

The main part of the 2017 legislative session ends Friday. A key piece of business left for lawmakers is to approve state spending for fiscal year 2018, which starts July 1.

Lawmakers are also set to take up bills including campaign finance and public safety measures.

The Legislature will return to Pierre on March 27 for the session’s final day to consider bills vetoed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard.



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