South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard covered many points in today's "State of the State" address at the state capitol in Pierre.
Before a joint session of the South Dakota Legislature, Daugaard discussed the past year in the state and where he would like the state to go in the next 12 months.
Daugaard told lawmakers that South Dakota works because its people work hard and know the value of work.
On the issue of the economy, Daugaard said a financial analysis shows only 15 states have recovered substantially from the recession and that South Dakota is one of them. He says per capita, South Dakotans make 3,8% more than the national average.
Governor Daugaard says the state is ready to step in and help build Highway 100, the by-pass which will connect Interstates 90 and 29,
The Governor says the state is approving $5 million in grants to establish more tech programs in state schools. Also in education, the Governor says the state is going to build a program which will allow high school students to take college classes at a rate of $40 per credit hour so they can advance their studies. The Governor says there will also be more opportunities for South Dakota students to earn scholarships...if they agree to stay in South Dakota following graduation.
Another issue touched on in the Governor's "State Of The State" address is rural healthcare. Daugaard says he understands the issue and that it needs to be addressed. One idea under consideration is a study program where medical students would spent internship time in rural areas to improve the quality of health care in those areas of the state.
The Governor says he also plans on convening a special summit with South Dakota business leaders, where they will discuss what types of workers they need and how to grow those workers here at home and/or recruit those workers from out of state.
Concerning his administration's work in criminal justice reform, saying it's too early to declare victory on the measure but that the initial results look promising. The Governor says the real test will come in the next 3-5 years, when those reforms have had real time to take effect.
The Governor also wants to establish a state fund called "Building South Dakota", which would be funded by tax revenues but only after the state's rainy day fund is adequately funded. The "Building South Dakota" would help fund expanded economic development opportunities in the state.
Concerning South Dakota's expanded economy, the Governor says the state is seeing true growth in the number of dairies and dairy herds operating in and near South Dakota.
Daugaard also address the on-going investigation into the state's Office of Economic Development and missing money from that office. The Governor says he is ordering three reviews of the situation so there is a greater understanding of what happened and what didn't.
Governor Daugaard also mentioned the issue of Common Core; the federal plan which means to standardize public school education nationwide. Daugaard says he supports the Common Core plan, saying it will teach kids the skills of critical thinking.
The Governor mentioned taxes on banks during a portion of his "State Of The State", saying for banks to continue to thrive in the state the taxes they pay need to be maintained and not increased.
Concerning the issue of government transparency, Daugaard says he supports putting more state government info online and making it available through mobile apps as well, so the people of South Dakota can keep a closer eye on what lawmakers in Pierre are working on.
Daugaard also mentioned what he says is a decline in the state's pheasant population and how that decline could hurt the state's pheasant hunting industry every Fall. Daugaard says the state needs to do something to improve habitat and improve bird numbers for the state.
Stay with KSFY News and ksfy.com for continuing coverage of Governor Daugaard's "State Of The State" address.
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