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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rounds Vetoes Unfunded Higher Ed Grants, Christmas Firecrackers

Governor Rounds vetoed two bills yesterday, HB 1240 and HB 1241. Both vetoes sound reasonable.

HB 1240 sought to create a new need-based grant fund to help students pay for university or tech school. Governor Rounds vetoed the bill because he felt the Legislature was creating a "false promise" by not funding the grants and hoping they could find private donors to float the program. The governor took exception as well to the Legislature's creation of this new program at the same time that they are considering cutting the existing Opportunity Scholarship. I agree: let's pay for what we have first. Then if we think a new program is worth creating, let's find the funds to make it happen.

HB 1241 would have allowed South Dakotans to shoot off fireworks from December 23 to January 2. Governor Rounds said he's cool with explosives on New Year's but not on Christmas. The governor's fellow Catholic Republican Pat Powers goes out with a whimper on this veto. But Powers can sometimes be more Roman candle than Roman Catholic sometimes. then fireworks have always been a hot-button issue for Powers. The atheist in the room understands and respects the governor's decision: explosives don't seem to fit with "Silent Night, Holy Night."

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