Politics

At Capitol, Franken Apologizes And Sees Long Fight For Trust

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sen. Al Franken is apologizing to voters, aides and “everyone who has counted on me to be a champion for women.” The Minnesota Democrat is fighting to bolster his support and made the comments in his first Capitol public appearance since being drawn into a wave of sexual harassment accusations buffeting Congress. Lawmakers are starting to return…

Trump Hits Warren With ‘Pocahontas’ Jab At Event For Navajos

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has used an event honoring Native American veterans to take a shot at Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whom he has long derided as “Pocahontas.” Trump welcomed Navajo code talkers from World War II to the Oval Office on Monday. During remarks praising their service, Trump said: “We have a representative in Congress who they…

Governors Association Backs Bid To Collect Online Sales Tax

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Business groups, federal lawmakers and public officials’ associations have signed on to support South Dakota’s legal bid to collect sales taxes from out-of-state internet retailers. South Dakota is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether retailers can be required to collect sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence. The case could have…

$300M For Great Lakes Cleanup Moves Forward In Congress

DETROIT (AP) – A wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program would receive $300 million next year under a spending bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The measure cleared the committee this week and now goes to the full Senate. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative focuses on the region’s most longstanding environmental problems, such as toxic pollution, farm and urban runoff,…

Customs And Border Protection Caught Off-Guard By Travel Ban

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general says the entity responsible for implementing President Donald Trump’s travel ban was caught-off guard by his executive order. The inspector general’s office says in letters sent Monday to members of the Senate that Customs and Border Protection had “virtually no warning” the order was coming. It also says department leaders…

House Passes Sweeping GOP Tax Overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has passed a sweeping Republican tax bill cutting taxes for corporations and many people. It puts GOP leaders closer to delivering to President Donald Trump a crucial legislative achievement after nearly a year of failures. The House voted 227-205 along party lines to approve the bill, which would bring the biggest revamp of the U.S….

Defense Bill Authorizes Billions More Than Trump Had Sought

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a defense policy bill that authorizes a $700 billion budget for the military. That’s far more than President Donald Trump requested and greatly exceeds mandatory spending caps. The legislation has passed by voice vote and now goes to Trump for his signature. The House already approved the measure. Lawmakers say the billions…

GOP, Democratic Senators Back Bill To Bolster FBI Gun Checks

WASHINGTON (AP) – A bipartisan group of senators has reached agreement on legislation to ensure federal agencies and state governments accurately report relevant criminal history to the FBI’s database of prohibited gun buyers. Congress has taken no steps on guns in the weeks after deadly shootings in Las Vegas and Texas. The bill has the backing over several GOP and…

Daugaard Administration Anticipates ‘Lean’ State Budget Year

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s administration says lower-than-expected tax collections will require a lean state spending plan for South Dakota’s upcoming budget year. Daugaard spokeswoman Kelsey Pritchard said Wednesday that the administration wouldn’t have specific details to offer until the governor’s December budget address to the Legislature. The Republican executive will outline his fiscal year 2019 budget proposal….

City Council Denies Gas Station To Expand Into A Casino

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Sioux Falls City Council took up a disagreement between a neighborhood and gas station owner Tuesday night. The owner of Hilltop BP on the corner of 18th and Cleveland says he’s trying to grow his business – by offering video lottery. But, those who live near the gas station fear gaming will drive up crime in…

Medical Marijuana Backers Turn In 15K Signatures

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A ballot measure that would allow patients with serious medical conditions to use marijuana has attracted roughly 15,000 signatures. The names submitted Monday narrowly exceed the nearly 14,000 valid signatures required to advance to the 2018 ballot. The Secretary of State’s office conducts a random sampling of signatures to determine validity. Supporter Melissa Mentele says it’s…

20K Signatures Submitted For Vote-By-Mail Measure

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Supporters of a ballot measure that would allow South Dakota counties to switch to elections conducted entirely by mail ballot have turned in nearly 20,000 signatures to put it before voters in 2018. Ballot question campaigns hoping to go before voters next year face a crucial Monday deadline to turn in signatures to the secretary of…

Redistricting Measure Backers Submit 34K Names

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Signatures have been submitted to put a constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot that would take control of redistricting from South Dakota legislators and give it to an independent commission. Supporters handed over more than 34,000 signatures for the amendment on Monday, which is the deadline to turn them in to the secretary of state for…

Campaign Money, Tech School Petitions Submitted For 2018 Ballot

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota’s House speaker has submitted thousands of signatures to qualify voter initiatives on campaign finance and state technical institutes for the 2018 ballot. Republican Rep. Mark Mickelson said Monday that he turned in more than 19,000 signatures for the initiative that would raise tobacco taxes to improve tech school affordability. It would increase taxes on…

South Dakota Ballot Measure Campaigns Reaching Key Deadline

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota ballot question groups hoping to put a slew of initiatives before voters next year are hitting a crucial campaign deadline. Campaigns must turn in thousands of signatures by 5 p.m. Monday to the secretary of state. Supporters have been gathering names on issues ranging from legislative redistricting to establishing open primary elections. Plans to…