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Compromise à la Pierre: Propose 42% Solution, Let Governor Cut Plan in Half

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.


  1. Tim 2015.02.16

    A governor that can't see and a legislature that has been neutered by the blind governor. Well, at least they will spend something on the roads, that's more than education will get.

  2. FB 2015.02.16

    Interim committee did a decent job with hearings around the state. However, lack of determining trunk infrastructure including townships and county roads should be included in the plan. I don't recall any direct meetings addressing the most important roads for townships and counties. Having good state roads is important, but if secondary roads are inferior have we made travel any safer as our number one industry moves its wares to market? Don't forget our number two industry uses the same secondary roads to harvest our state bird! Using what limited access to funding state legislators and the governor want to give counties and townships there should at least be a coordinated effort from state government to local government to service the citizens of each better. It's no secret state government does not want local government to control funds for such important matters. Big Brother knows best, right.

  3. mike from iowa 2015.02.16

    Preventing abortions is a wingnut priority. Infrastructure,not so much. Keep taxes to a minimum and hope someday you get a wingnut in the WH who will just hand over billions in Medicare/Medicaid monies to use to pay for more tax breaks for the koch bros. Rinse and repeat as often as necessary.

  4. Owen 2015.02.16

    You're right Mike. Abortion is a wingnut priority along with making sure everybody can carry a gun with no strings attached

  5. grudznick 2015.02.16

    We need 58% fewer roads and 1/3 as many counties. And half as many school districts with 5/8ths fewer fat cat administrators.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.16

    Grudz, what are you doing up at this hour?

  7. Roger Elgersma 2015.02.16

    After years of letting the minimum wage, school funding and road repair get eroded by inflation, the voters said, No, we need better pay. So now the Republican party thinks that if they improve one fourth of the roads they will be able to go on record as having done something. They will be able to work this to show that they are doing what the Dems have been talking about all along. Although they will have done what is best for their businesses, not what is best for the children by improving education.

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