On Inside KELOLand last night, Senator Scott Parsley (D-8/Madison) said that the Highway Needs and Financing Committee, of which he was a member, identified $240 million in road maintenance needs. The committee proposed tax increases to fund $101 million of those needs. Governor Dennis Daugaard said that was too much to spend on roads that he thinks are in too good of shape. He proposed a counterplan to raise taxes just over $50 million for road repairs.

The two bills are now essentially one, as the committee's Senate Bill 1 has been hoghoused to reflect the Governor's House Bill 1131. That's how compromise works in Pierre: a committee studies a problem, hears from experts, identifies urgent needs, proposes a plan to meet just 42% of those needs; then the Governor says, "No, let's do half of that," and the Legislature shrugs and says "O.K."

The Governor lacks vision, the Legislature lacks courage, and neither branch is addressing the full scope of our road-repair needs.