Clean-up underway on Capitol’s second floor

Evidently a backlog of governor’s appointments and reappointments to state boards and commission built up in the South Dakota Secretary of State office during the final months of its previous administration.

The latest weekly LRC Register, published Wednesday, shows a burst of 36 appointments and reappointments. Twelve took effect Dec. 31. There were six Jan. 2; four Jan. 5; eight Jan. 12; one Jan. 13; and five Jan. 15.

These 36 were the first round of appointments and reappointments reported in the Register since the Nov. 10 edition.

Shantel Krebs took office as secretary of state Jan. 2 at 8 a.m. when state government reopened after the New Year holiday.

The most recent word is her staff processed approximately 1,300 pistol permits since then. Evidently a lot of public business had been left waiting for the new crew.

Krebs was elected Nov. 4 as the replacement for Jason Gant. Both are Republicans. Gant had decided against seeking a second term after Krebs filed her candidacy paperwork in late summer 2013.

 

State tourism board chooses officers

Julie Ranum of Watertown returns for another year as chair of the South Dakota state tourism advisory board. She is director of the Redlin Art Center. Ted Hustead of Wall, the vice chairman, was re-elected as well. He is from Wall Drug. They were selected Tuesday during a board meeting in Pierre as part of the annual state tourism conference.

The 11 board members are appointed by the governor. The others are Carmen Schramm of Yankton, Kristi Wagner of Whitewood, James Entenman of Sioux Falls, Frank Smith of Gettysburg, Jim Schade of Volga, John Brockelsby of Rapid City, George Kessler of Mina, Stan Anderson of Wall and Ivan Sorbel of Kyle.

Governor moving some pieces within state government

Gov. Dennis Daugaard filed an executive reorganization order Tuesday with the state House of Representatives. In a nutshell, he plans to make three moves:

1) The Office of History and the State Historical Society would be placed under the state Department of Education. They currently are under the state Department of Tourism;

2) The state’s Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre would be placed under the Department of Education. It is currently under Tourism; and

3) The state Office of Emergency Medical Services would move to the state Department of Health. it currently is in the state Department of Public Safety.

There is a fourth piece. Regulation of bottled water would move to the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources from Public Safety.

The state constitution requires the executive reorganization orders to be filed within the first five days of the legislative session. Tuesday was that fifth day.

The reorganization takes effect in 90 days unless a majority of all members of one legislative chamber show their disapproval by a resolution.

Paper form is again required from candidates

Below is the message now appearing on the South Dakota Secretary of State website regarding candidates’ campaign-finance reports. The message is from the new secretary of state, Shantel Krebs, who replaced Jason Gant this year after one term by Gant. The on-line system was started by Gant.

(Start message)

IN RESPONSE TO NUMEROUS COMMENTS, WE ARE UPGRADING THE ON-LINE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTING SYSTEM (C.A.S.H.) AT THIS TIME. AS THE RESULT OF THIS UPGRADE YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SUBMIT THE 2014 YEAR END CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT OR OTHER FORMS ON-LINE. HERE IS A LINK TO THE PAPER CAMPAIGN FINANCE DISCLOSURE REPORT FORM: CLICK HERE FOR THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE DISCLOSURE FORM (Note: If you are using Chrome as your internet browser the campaign finance form may not display correctly. We recommend you use Internet Explorer to view this form so it will display correctly for you.)

For those of you who have already started entering data for your year-end report into the on-line system, you can fill out a paper form or you can log in and complete your report. You will then need to print the report and send it to the Office of Secretary of State by email, mail or fax. You will not be able to submit your report through the C.A.S.H. system.

The last day for statewide candidates, state office holders, ballot question committees, political parties, and political action committees to file Year-End Campaign Finance Disclosure Statements for the period of January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014 is February 2, 2015.

The report must be received in the Office of Secretary of State by 5:00 pm on February 2, 2015.

You can email, fax, or mail your report form to our office:

Office of Secretary of State
500 East Capitol Ave., Ste. 204
Pierre, SD 57501
Fax: 605.773.6580
Email: Kea.warne@state.sd.us

We apologize for any inconvenience. We will have an upgraded Campaign Finance Reporting on-line system ready for the next filing deadline.

Thank you,
(Shantel Krebs’ signature)
Secretary of State

State marks 25th anniversary of King holiday

In 1990 the Legislature declared the third Monday in January to be a state holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. in South Dakota.

Before then, Republicans in the Legislature had resisted Democratic attempts to make it an official state holiday. But in a stroke of political one-upmanship, Republican lawmakers decided to designate the King holiday and also designated the second Monday in October as Native Americans’ Day as an official state holiday.

Native Americans’ Day replaced the working holiday of Ethnic Heritage Day, which had replaced Columbus Day.

When Congress approved King Day as a federal holiday in 1983, South Dakota two U.S. senators at the time, Republicans Larry Pressler and Jim Abdnor, voted against the measure. The first national King holiday was observed in 1986.

1990 marked the 100th anniversary of the Wounded Knee massacre. George S. Mickelson, the governor in 1990, declared a year of reconciliation. The idea was suggested by newspaper editor and columnist Tim Giago, then of the Lakota Times.

A must-read: Sly on education budgeting

State Rep. Jacqueline Sly penned some wise words that were published Saturday in the Rapid City Journal on the Opinion page. Sly, R-Rapid, City, is chair of the House Education Committee in the Legislature. The headline on her guest piece said it all and said it well: “Many parties responsible for schools’ budget woes”. You can read it here.

Legislature plans to honor Jim Hagen

OK, no offense to state Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen, but… The Legislature went two days — Wednesday and Thursday — without introducing any new bills beyond the 131 that were pre-filed and introduced Tuesday on the opening day of the 2015 session. On Friday, one bill was introduced (Sen. Dan Lederman, R-Dakota Dunes, is prime sponsor of Senate Bill 72 dealing with emergency excavations).

This odd pace had heads puzzling at the Capitol.

On the other hand, the only commemoration introduced so far honors Jim Hagen, and that is fitting, because all he did was be selected as state tourism director of the year in 2014 by his peers nationally.

The commemoration, HC 1001, summarizes Jim’s career in state government, including service now under three governors, with various breaks along the way. The commemoration also has a true bipartisan touch with all of the main Republican and Democratic legislative leaders on the sponsors list.

That is what Jim brings out in people. Or maybe more accurately, what he allows people to bring out in themselves.

Democrats’ complaint shows ignorance of reality

South Dakota Democratic legislators are complaining this fine Friday afternoon that not one but two of their picks for state-paid positions as caucus secretaries were rejected.

The first was Ann Tornberg, who was the Democratic candidate against Sen. Dan Lederman on Nov. 4. She lost. She was hired as caucus secretary by Senate Democratic leader Billie Sutton, but Republican legislative leaders decided she wasn’t acceptable after she won election as South Dakota Democratic Party chair.

Now former Rep. Kathy Tyler also has been shown the door, or at least refused a state paycheck, as the House Democrats’ caucus secretary. The Republican leadership had strong grounds for that decision, however, because there is a ban in the state constitution against state contracts for legislators while they are in office and for one year after.

If they wanted, both Tornberg and Tyler could work as volunteers for the two Democratic caucus offices. Or they could be paid from the South Dakota Democratic Party treasury, or by Democratic legislators.

Tornberg, had she won election to a Senate seat, could have served simultaneously as Democratic chair, just as Republican senators Bob Gray of Pierre and Tim Rave of Baltic did in the past decade. It is understandable that Republican legislative leaders wouldn’t want to pay her as a secretary, however, after she won the Democratic chair contest. Whether there is a sound legal basis is questionable.

But as I told friends who brought this to my attention this afternoon: What were the Democrats thinking? You can argue fair play on Tornberg, but you can’t argue the Republicans can’t use the power they have as super-majorities in both chambers of the Legislature.

Tyler’s hiring by the Democrats appears clearly illegal if she was to be paid with state funds.

SB 67 deferred to Wednesday

The Senate State Affairs Committee won’t be hearing Senate Bill 67 this morning. The panel’s chairman, Sen. Tim Rave. R-Baltic, said the hearing will be held Wednesday. He said Secretary of State Shantel Krebs wasn’t able to attend the committee meeting today. SB 67 is one of the reform bills Krebs and the state Board of Elections proposed.

All of SD’s 2015 hunting seasons, in one shot

One of the recent management changes made by the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission and the state Wildlife Division is to provide hunters — and the landowners who host hunters and the businesses that serve hunters — more advance time to know when the hunting seasons will fall. This isn’t a big deal when you know the third Saturday of October will be the opening day of the main pheasant hunting season, but there are so many other dates that aren’t so easy. On Thursday, the commission accepted all of the season dates as offered by the Wildlife Division for the 2015 seasons (and the months of 2016 when the seasons lap over into the next year). See page 74 of the commission’s January 2015 agenda packet for the chart. This one-page approach is handy for hunters to plan trips, request vacation time, arrange family and business schedules, make lodging reservations and buy those extra freezers and spare smokers. The commission still considers each season each year regarding bag limits and license numbers based on the availability of species, but the dates that form the framework of the season are now set early. This is a big improvement and a big convenience for thousands of people.