Radio Update Report 6:30pm (Audio)
A bill that makes oil pipelines ineligible for certain tax breaks failed to pass the state House of Representatives by a vote of 36 to 32. House Bill 1246 affects the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline planned to run through western South Dakota.
Supporters say the tax break isn’t needed to entice the company to come to the state, because geography makes South Dakota the easiest place to put the pipeline. They say TransCanada is expected to receive a $38 million tax break, and only create about ten permanent jobs. Representative Eldon Nygaard of Vermillion says that’s unfair.
“We have problems in America,” Nygaard says. “We’re in one of the deepest recessions we’ve ever been in. The voters in this state, the citizens of this state want to see us have some more revenue because we’re cutting spending and we don’t have enough money to go around. So why would we be giving back money to a project that’s going to go through here anyhow?”
Opponents of the measure say it’s not right to change the rules and add millions of dollars to the project. They say the pipeline is good for South Dakota because construction of the project brings revenue to the state.
On the Senate side, the Judiciary Committee passed a bill that provides training for county coroners. Supporters say it keeps coroners up to date on modern practices. Senator Gene Abdallah of Sioux Falls says it creates uniformity in the coroner network.
“We ask our police, our firefighters, everybody else to be trained,” Abdallah says. “Sixteen hours is just a basic training but it will be a big step forward.”
To listen to the full debate on any of these bills visit us online at SDPB.org.
Member stations can download the audio file here.