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$660M for Water Works in Senate State Affairs Friday

One of the biggest single spending bills in the hopper comes before Senate State Affairs on Friday. Senate Bill 62 proposes giving the Board of Water and Natural Resources $600 million immediately to fund water and environmental projects around the state.

This appropriation is part of Governor Kristi Noem’s massive spending binge, fueled almost entirely by what Republican Representative Jon Hansen has derisively and ungratefully deemed “Biden Bucks“*, that would bring South Dakota’s budget dependence on Uncle Sam to over 50% this year. But even that massive federal stimulus would be only a few drops in the big bucket of water infrastructure projects that thirsty communities East River and West are clamoring to build.

Senate State Affairs will also hear on Friday Senate Bill 50, which will pour another $60 million into the Bureau of Administration to fund waterworks for various state agencies. Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources last week approved Senate Bill 64 to provide few more million for some specific water and environmental projects around the state.

Boy, the next time you open a tap, flush the toilet, or take a dip in the lake, you’d better thank the federal government for keeping South Dakota afloat.

Senate State Affairs convenes Friday at 10 a.m. in Capitol Room 414.

*Rep. Hansen was supposedly going to use his new blog, the Dakota Conservative, to “fight[] for South Dakota Families and authentic conservative governance in our state by speaking the truth, leading with principle,” blah blah blah. Hansen’s enthusiasm for speaking the truth has produced two articles, from October 22 and December 21. Speaking truth does tire Republican out quickly.


  1. Jake 2022-01-19

    Yeah Cory, when you are a South Dakota Republican, speaking ‘The Truth” more often than twice in two months is quite stressful. Because when so much of what you do and say is built on lies, it’s like placing a marble statue on beach sand seaside-the “waves of truth” undercut and tip over your idol quickly.
    This legislature is going to be interesting to watch because they have so much money from Biden’s administration to play around with, make themselves look like they’re taking care of people’s needs, etc. All this, after their leader Noem fanned the airwaves with all the doom and gloom that would happen if Biden won the election.
    I wonder, will this legislature even give “lip-service” to a Democratic administration that has enabled them with so much $$$ to spend? Any ‘proclamations’ pending? Doubtful, I’d say.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-01-19

    Republican welfare farmers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them. The South Dakota Ag Land Trust and conspires with Republican organizations like the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and South Dakota Farm Bureau who make sure the Prairie Pothole Region is one big eutrophic manure repository and nearly every waterway in the northern Plains states is impaired.

  3. Loren 2022-01-19

    I still think if your delegation votes against the spending, you should get exactly what they voted for rather than vote “nay” for spending and then brag about the results that come. Somewhere in there is the definition of a hypocrite!

  4. Donald Pay 2022-01-19

    Governor Mickelson’s reforms in the 1980s was to de-corrupt the funding spigot for water development and other environmental funding, most of which came from the federal government. The decisions about what projects got funded in what order was put on a more rational basis with public need and public interest becoming more important than private interest and political logrolling I know there are a lot of needs out there, but there is also a lot of money to throw around. That money attracts the greedy. and the corrupt. I worry that Mickelson’s reforms, done during the money tight Reagan years, might not be quite as rigorously applied with all the Biden Bucks that are available. Watch for corruption. Watch how and to where the money flows.

  5. larry kurtz 2022-01-19

    Donald Pay is exactly right.

    While my home state could spend a half a billion dollars to fix impaired waterways nothing will be done to keep offenders from repeating past transgressions. It’s not just the Big Sioux and the James; it’s the Grand, the Cheyenne and Moreau where Indian Country has been dumped on since statehood.

  6. larry kurtz 2022-01-19

    And again, who’s going to dredge 10,000 miles of polluted waterways: the National Guard? Completion of the bridge from Ft. Pierre to its putrid neighbor to the east has been pushed back to probably 2024 because the Iowa contractor isn’t well enough equipped to perform the task.

  7. larry kurtz 2022-01-19

    Nearly a century of residue from Black Hills Mining District affected millions of cubic yards of riparian habitat all the way to the Gulf of Mexico until the Oahe Dam was completed in 1962. The soils of the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers are inculcated with arsenic at levels that have killed cattle. Catfish and most other organisms cope with lethal levels of mercury.

    When will spikes in human misery finally compel action on the failures of anthropogenic biomanipulation on the environment?

  8. Mark Anderson 2022-01-19

    Larry the 1950s was when every engineer thought they could control the world. My favorite was putting a nuclear bomb into a hurricane to break it up. There were more Republican scientists back then.

  9. larry kurtz 2022-01-20

    So, instead of empowering communities to harvest snow melt and rain water rural communities continue to be dependent on politicians who exploit need so they’re begging the Biden administration for more money. South Dakota’s dairies are wreaking habitat havoc all along the state’s border with Minnesota and like most of the state, southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa are Republican strongholds where dairies, swine units and other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have devastated water supplies by contaminating wells with nitrates.

    Contact with the Big Sioux River can cause spontaneous abortions in pregnant women but the congressional delegations from the tristate region are Republican Earth haters elected to bring bacon home to their districts while decrying socialism, big gubmint and the US Army Corps of Engineers who manage the Waters of the United States or WOTUS.

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