Politics

House Speaker Pursues Campaign Finance, Tech School Measures

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota’s House speaker plans to pursue ballot measures to raise tobacco taxes for technical schools and ban out-of-state political contributions to ballot question campaigns. It’s an unorthodox move for the highest-ranking House lawmaker, but Mark Mickelson has proven unpredictable since joining the Legislature in 2013. The Sioux Falls Republican this week formed a ballot…

House Passes $788B Bill For Military, Border Wall

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has passed a $788 billion spending bill that combines a $1.6 billion down payment for President Donald Trump’s controversial border wall with Mexico with a whopping budget increase for the Pentagon. The 235-192 vote both eases a large backlog of unfinished spending bills and gives Trump and his House GOP allies political wins heading into…

Transgender Activists Speak Out Against Military Ban

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Members of the transgender community are speaking out against the military ban President Trump announced Wednesday. They’re calling the move an ‘insult’ to those who’ve served. “Just because we are transgendered does not mean we are not fit to serve in the military,” says TransAction South Dakota President Marty Epstein. TransAction South Dakota is firing back at President…

Senate Rejects Proposal For ‘Obamacare’ Repeal

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Republican-run Senate has rejected a GOP proposal to scuttle President Barack Obama’s health care law and give Congress two years to devise a replacement. Seven Republicans joined all Democrats Wednesday in a 45-55 vote defeating the plan. It was the second self-inflicted setback the GOP has suffered this week in trying to roll back Obama’s 2010…

Senators Criticize FBI, Justice In Russia Probe

WASHINGTON (AP) – A top Justice Department official is explaining why criminal prosecutions are rare for people who fail to register as foreign agents. Adam Hickey is a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s national security division. He says the law contains multiple exemptions for registration and there’s a burden on prosecutors to prove that the failure to…

Trump: Transgender People Will Not Be Allowed To Serve ‘In Any Capacity’ In The US Military

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says he will bar transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the U.S. armed forces. Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that after consulting with “Generals and military experts,” that the government “will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” Trump added that “Our military must…

Pence Breaks Tie, Senate Takes Up Health Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has voted to move ahead on health care legislation aimed at dismantling the Obama health law. The vote was 51-50 on Tuesday, a victory for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump. Last week, McConnell was forced to postpone the vote, lacking the support of conservatives and moderates. Vice President Mike Pence cast the…

Trump Administration Pulls Health Law Help In 18 Cities

CHICAGO (AP) – President Donald Trump’s administration has ended Affordable Care Act contracts that brought assistance into neighborhoods in 18 cities, meaning shoppers on the insurance exchanges will have fewer places to turn for help signing up for coverage. Community groups say the move was announced to them by contractors last week, and it will further shrink efforts already challenged…

Sen. McCain Diagnosed With Brain Tumor After Clot Removed

Courtesy J. Scott Applewhite/ AP fileWASHINGTON (AP) – Arizona Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain tumor. The 80-year-old Arizona lawmaker has glioblastoma, according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. That’s where McCain had a blood clot removed from above his left eye last Friday. He and his family are considering further treatment,…

Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission Meeting For The First Time

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s voter integrity commission is meeting Wednesday for the first time amid outrage over its request for extensive personal voter data. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity got off to a rocky start when numerous states rebuffed its request for detailed voter data, including voter names, voting histories and party registrations. Trump convened the…

Secretary Of State Closes 2017 Budget Year With Surplus

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs says that her office has ended the 2017 budget year with a surplus, returning more than $30,000 to the state general fund. Krebs said Tuesday that the office also generated roughly $7 million in general fund revenue in the 2017 budget year, an increase of nearly $460,000 over the…

US: More Work Needed To Resolve Irritants, Russia Impatient

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration says more work needs to be done to resolve irritants in the U.S.-Russia relationship, including the return of two seized diplomatic compounds that Moscow is demanding. The State Department said Tuesday the latest round of high-level talks between the two sides was “tough” but achieved no breakthrough. It said Monday’s discussion between Under Secretary…

George Hendrickson Enters U.S. House Race

"I'm the only one who is not a politician"

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A Sioux Falls man, who doesn’t consider himself a politician, is the newest candidate to announce his bid for South Dakota’s lone U.S. House seat. George Hendrickson is the only candidate running as an independent, so far. He knows it won’t be easy, but says he and his family are already overcoming great odds. “If he…

US-Russia Talks Resume; Moscow Demands Dachas’ Return

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States and Russia are resuming high-level talks aimed at resolving irritants between Washington and Moscow, as Russian patience dwindles for the return of two seized diplomatic compounds. Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov were meeting on Monday. U.S. officials downplayed chances for a breakthrough. Ryabkov made no comment as…

Governor: South Dakota Closes Budget Year With $8M Surplus

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard says South Dakota has ended the 2017 budget year with a surplus built on state spending reductions that offset lower-than-expected tax collections. The Republican governor said Monday that South Dakota finished the budget year with roughly $8 million left over, marking the state’s sixth straight year of surplus. The 2017 budget year ended…

AG Sessions To Address Local Prosecutors In Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is visiting Minnesota to speak to state and local prosecutors. Sessions was expected to address an annual gathering of district attorneys from around the country in Minneapolis on Monday afternoon. Sessions has pitched a tough-on-crime mentality as President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Justice. He has ordered top federal…