SD Gov. Daugaard Gives State Of The State
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
January 08, 2013 8:19 PM
For the 88th time, a South Dakota governor addressed state lawmakers before their session filled with creating and changing state laws.
Among the things that will be discussed this year are Medicare, education, and the federal government’s effect on state spending.
Governor Dennis Daugaard will also be proposing a bill to legislators that would change South Dakota’s law enforcement. The governor hopes the bill will lower incarceration rates throughout the state as well as lower crime rates.Governor Dennis Daugaard said, "This set of proposals is not about being soft on crime its about being smart on crime."
Daugaard didn't believe the numbers that said South Dakota's incarceration was higher than any other neighboring state.
Daugaard said,” Our public safety is better with more bad guys locked up. Less crime I thought, well unfortunately that isn't the case either."
So the governor made a proposal during his state of the state that he hopes would improve public safety and allow more non-violent criminals more freedoms.
Daugaard said, "If our state policy does not change South Dakotas prison population will grow by more than 900 inmates in the next decade."
With money always an issue, the governor warned not one but two new state prisons would be needed for such an increase in prisoners.
Daugaard said,” The path we are on will cost us an additional $224 million over the next decade. And about $100 million in increased operating costs for those two new prisons that will cost us $125 million." His plan includes adding two more drug and DUI courts.
Daugaard said, "Fewer than 20 percent of the graduates of South Dakota drug courts and DUI courts over the last five years have committed new felonies. "
He wants to adopt a system similar to Hawaii's hope program.
Daugaard said, “The system works because of swift and certain sanctions. Each morning participating offenders must call into an automated drug testing hotline which will inform them whether or not they've been selected that day to come in for a drug test."
The governor also plans to add more service and probation officers.
The governor has a bill ready for the legislators to look at. In it he describes how preliminary pilot programs would work in both rural and urban areas.