Radio Update Report 6:30pm (Audio)
House Majority Leader Bob Faehn of Watertown says one of the most difficult issues this week was a bill that appropriates nearly $5.5 million to bridge a funding gap for the Sanford Lab at Homestake. House Bill 1083 received 45 yes votes and 23 no votes, failing to get the needed two-thirds majority. Faehn says he's upset with the party-line vote.
"You know, I'm really disappointed that probably the largest economic development project in South Dakota for many decades had turned into a political issue," Faehn says.
House Minority leader Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton says Democrats support the Sanford Lab, but say the funding in House Bill 1083 comes from the wrong places. He says it should come from the futures fund instead.
"The Sanford Mine is a priority, but I have a hard time ranking it above schools and healthcare," Hunhoff says. "It's a priority, but not the number one priority for Democrats in the House."
Faehn says the largest amount of time has been spent on working through budget issues.
"We still fully intend to try and find a way to balance the FY11 budget without using the $32 million in reserve funds that the Governor had proposed," Faehn says.
Senate Minority Leader Scott Heidepriem says it's unfortunate the two parties haven't come to an agreement on how to reduce the size of government.
"Government wants to grow, government has an insatiable appetite to consume as much of public resources as we make available," Heidepriem says. "It's up to us to reduce that appetite. It's up to us to say government cannot keep growing."
He says he's disappointed the Republicans haven't come forward with a plan to reduce spending.
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