One little budget note: Governor Kristi Noem did sign Senate Bill 35, which immediately provides $13 million to help expand the Sanford Underground Research Facility under Lead in the Black Hills, despite the fact that she sent her money man to testify against the funding:
In opposition to the bill was Jim Terwilliger, the Bureau of Finance and Management Commissioner. He said there are sustainability questions to be considered.
“The primary reason for my opposition here today comes down to unanswered questions about when, how much, and for how long into the future should the state be expected to put funding into the Sanford Underground Research Facility,” Terwilliger said. “And with this particular ask, we don’t have anything in writing regarding the potential for $100 million dollars in private funding” [C.J. Keene, “Funding Proposal for SURF Advances Past Appropriations Committee,” SDPB Radio, 2023.02.22].
How long into the future should the state put funding into SURF? I’d say for as long as we are interested in (a) discovering facts about the creation and structure of the universe and (b) enjoying hundreds of millions of dollars a year in economic impact from activities that employ highly educated professionals and don’t involve polluting or destroying the Black Hills.