Black Hills Playhouse Bill Passes in State Senate 02/24/10 (audio)
By Eryn Clement
The State Senate passed a bill that allows the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park to continue their lease agreement.
An amendment was added within the bill which requires the Playhouse to make infrastructure improvements to the state’s satisfaction within a specified timeframe.
The Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park has received considerable attention following the state’s refusal to renew its lease last April. The current bill extends the theater’s lease until 2019 and requires the Playhouse to put its buildings back into good condition by September of 2012. Senator Gene Abdallah voted for the bill saying the government needs to quit interfering with groups like the Black Hills Playhouse.
“There people have a playhouse and big state government comes in and says we don’t like the way you’re doing it, we want the lease cancelled. And then come down with everything they’ve got to crush this little group of people. We gotta send the message that the governments gotta quit kicking people around and stop this kind of nonsense,” says Abdallah.
Opponents counter that this isn't an issue that calls for a legislative fix. The measure passed with a 26 to 8 vote and now goes to the House.
Member stations can download the audio file here.