- Birth to 3 victory! Russ joined the committee in blowing a unanimous raspberry at the governor and approving SB 203, a bill to fully fund the Birth to 3 Connections program. No quarrel there—that's a program worth paying for.
- National Guard: guns before butter? Russ joined the slim 5–4 majority of the committee who voted to kill SB 166, a measure that sought to limit the National Guard's ability to relocate and deactivate its units in South Dakota. I'm with the Republicans on this one: the bill seemed to put economic considerations above the Guard's best judgment on readiness and resource use.
- Piepline tax still too taxing: Things go downhill from here. Russ helped kill SB 171, the two-cent-per-barrell pipeline tax. So again, to be clear: Russ thinks local businessmen can survive a new 4% tax on their service, but thinks a multi-billion-dollar foreign oil corporation can't bear a 0.05% tax on its product. I'm still waiting for someone to clear that up for me.
- Stimulus: Do we even have a Plan A yet? Russ may also be viewed as the deciding vote in killing SB 197, which would have created a commission to figure what the heck to do with all that federal stimulus money. O.K., maybe we don't need another commission. But I assume somebody in Pierre is working on the stimulus money... right? Couldn't the legislature assert its proper fiscal perogative on this one instead of waiting for the governor to call a special session?
Basin’s GM points to unclear future - Basin Electric Power Cooperative, headquartered in North Dakota, is the major supplier of electricity for rural customers in South Dakota. CEO and general ...
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