South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard discussed the “State of the State” in a presentation to the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls, Monday, January 16. Daugaard, a Republican who is beginning the third year of his final term as South Dakota’s chief executive, elaborated on his proposed state budget and his agenda for the legislature’s current session in Pierre.

Program Highlights:
  • Gov. Daugaard is the 32nd governor for the state of SD, and is beginning the 3rd year of his final term.
  • The Governor noted under his tenure, SD has been voted the best run state and the best state for business.
  • The Governor touched on:
  • Finance:  Revenues are below expectations because of the struggling farm economy and on line sales.  Amazon has agreed to collect state and local taxes for SD starting in March.  We have a AAA rating which allows us to take advantage of lower rates.
  • Education:  Teacher pay in SD was raised from $40,000 to $47,000.  The Governor is advocating for dual credit classes for high school students, where they can take college courses for a reduced rate and get high school as well as college credit for the class.  599 college freshman needed remedial courses in math or English.  Remedial courses could be offered in high school before the student enters college.  The student has to take the remedial class as a college freshman and does not get credit for it.  SD has 150 school districts and 108 did not offer the free remedial classes.
  • Criminal Justice:  SD jails have a high rate of non-violent lockups and programs are in place to lower that time.  Meth is a significant reason for jail time in SD; the effort to curb it is 3-pronged--stop it from coming into SD; educate the public; help those addicted to break the habit. Too many mentally ill people are being held in jails with no proper care.  A task force will be advocating for new legislation to alleviate the problem.
Next Week’s Program:
David Whitesock, JD, Face It Together in SD—Fighting Addiction in SD & across the Nation
January 16th, 2017 meeting attendance:
  • 101 out of 303 or 33%
  • 64 out of 101 members in attendance were Paul Harris Fellows attendance or 63%
  • 4 Visiting Rotarians; 2 Junior Rotarians; 24 Guests; 5 news media persons