South Dakota's 2010 Legislative Session, the final days - KOTA Territory News

South Dakota's 2010 Legislative Session, the final days

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Meredith Garofalo


For some lawmakers, the final days of the 2010 Legislative Session are expected to be long.

Representative Mark Kirkeby (R) of Rapid City said, "I think it's great pressure to be under.  Specifically it's historic what we're attempting right now."
Legislators headed back to Pierre to hammer out a final budget after recessing for two weeks.  It was a move some lawmakers decided was crucial in hopes of receiving extra federal money.
"With our budget we actually are in fact going to live within our means.  And whether it's a 30 or a 40 or even more than that million dollar reduction, I think it's high time that the state of South Dakota actually lives within it's means," Kirkeby said.
For Governor Mike Rounds, balancing the budget means using reserves.  That's something Kirkeby said isn't smart.
"With the state of our economy.  I personally don't know a single soul that has not been hurt or impacted by this economy.  State government needs to flat cinch up the belt right now," Kirkeby said.
Other options include cuts, which Senator Stanford Adelstein (R) of Rapid City said is "intolerable".   "To eliminate the Drug Court in Sturgis, that would end up putting people into prison instead of working.  [It] would cost $211,000 and supposedly we're going to save $300,000.  It's a pretty foolish thing to do."
But no matter what lawmakers decide, Kirkeby said they must be cautious in there final decisions this week.
"We actually do have to have some vision and look toward next year when all indications is that we're going to be $100-million on the wrong side of the ledge here.  Next year, [is the] appropriate time to look at all taxes.

It is also a last chance for lawmakers to revisit a handful of vetoes issued by Governor Rounds.

One that has sparked much debate is Senate Bill 102.  It would modify and continue the lease agreement on the Black Hills Playhouse.  House Bill 1241 would allow fireworks to be used during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.  Another vetoed bill, House Bill 1060, is to provide certain tax refunds for new or expanded wind energy facilities.  And there's also House Bill 1240 to create the South Dakota need-based grant fund.   They need a two-thirds vote to override the governor.

Lawmakers head back into session on Passover.  Three Jewish members will leave at sundown, return to Rapid City for the Seder, and then fly back to Pierre later Monday evening.

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