South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Daugaard weighs in on challenges successor will face


If elected, how are you going to serve your student constituency and higher education?

I will continue to promote college education through programs such as the Opportunity Scholarship. I will also continue our state’s commitment to university research, as it expands knowledge and drives economic growth. Research grants received by state universities are now over $154 million per year, $100 million more than eight years ago.

Many in higher education, students included, are concerned about faculty raises. SDSU’s faculty has not received a raise in three years. Do you support faculty raises this year?

The budget for the upcoming fiscal year will again be tight. Our university professors are hardworking people, and I will be happy to consider giving them a raise when our state can afford it. While our economy recovers, I will be committed to finding savings wherever I can in order to prevent layoffs.

South Dakota is currently involved in a lawsuit against the federal government over thePatient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Do you support this lawsuit?

I do support the state’s lawsuit in opposition to federal health care reform. The problem with health care in our country is cost, not access. The recent federal health care law increases access, but places a significant, unsustainable financial burden on the states in order to do so.

Medicaid spending as a part of our state budget has increased 68 percent over the past eight years. Rapid Medicaid spending increases are simply unsustainable and make providing funding increases in other important areas of state government, such as higher education, more challenging. What our country needs is meaningful health care reform that helps curb costs, and this law does the opposite.

Why should the people South Dakota elect you as governor?

I believe South Dakotans are looking for four things in their next governor: honesty, experience, leadership and someone that cares about people. I consider myself an honest man.

I also have the experience necessary to be governor. I worked as an attorney, trust officer and CEO of Children’s Home Society. I spent six years in the state legislature and served as lieutenant governor for the last eight years. As governor, I will be South Dakota’s number one salesman, aggressively promoting economic growth in our areas of competitive strength.

A good governor cares about people. I took a pay cut to work at Children’s Home because I wanted to serve others. I ran for governor because I care deeply about South Dakotans and believe I can make a difference.


Dana Hess
Community News Service

PIERRE — The next governor of South Dakota will face challenges brought on by a proliferation of laws, a poorly focused educational system and river pollution.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard, in the last year of his last term, shared his ideas about the challenges his successor will face when he met with newspaper editors and publishers as part of Newspaper Day at the Legislature. The event is sponsored by the South Dakota Newspaper Association.

Daugaard said he was happy that some legislators have presented bills designed to streamline South Dakota laws. He said the state should be vigilant about how many laws it enacts and not follow the example of the federal government.

“There is no one in the federal government who comprehends the breadth of the law,” Daugaard said.

The governor said he regretted not realizing until late in his last term that an education system set up to send students to a four-year college doesn’t serve the best interests of many students.

“A four-year degree is not the path that’s successful for most of our students,” Daugaard said.

Another late realization was the state of some of South Dakota’s rivers that have been polluted by silt run off.

“We’ve got some rivers, they’re in bad shape,” Daugaard said.

In a wide ranging news conference, the governor also discussed:

Internet sales tax
Daugaard said he has no idea how much money will be coming to the state if it wins its Supreme Court case regarding the remittance of sales tax on internet sales.

When South Dakota passed the law that’s being challenged in the high court—requiring Internet businesses to register with the state and remit sale tax—about 100 businesses signed up to pay sales tax.

“We know we’re collecting some of the internet sales,” Daugaard said.

If the state should win its case and sales taxes are paid on all internet sales, Daugaard said the first $20 million in extra funding would be used to reduce the state sales tax by a 10th of a cent.

The next $20 million would reduce the state sales tax by another 10th of a cent.

Medicaid work requirements
Daugaard has proposed a work requirement for able-bodied people on Medicaid.

“I’ve always wanted a work requirement,” Daugaard said. “Those who can work, should.”

Of the 120,000 people on Medicaid in the state, Daugaard estimated that the work requirement would apply to only about 2,000 low-income parents.

“It’s not a large group,” Daugaard said.

He said a voluntary program will start on July 1 to help those Medicaid recipients find jobs or training.

Executive branch vs. Legislature
As a former legislator and a two-term governor, Daugaard has worked in the legislative and executive branches. Asked if the executive branch had too much power, Daugaard said any governor who became “too autocratic” would face the wrath of a Legislature that would likely be able to muster enough votes to override a veto.

The governor said a part-time, citizen Legislature, like the one in South Dakota, is good for the state.

“I think you stay closer to the people of your district,” Daugaard said.

Helping meth addicts
Daugaard said the state is responding to the meth epidemic with more treatment options.

“I do think we are seeing more treatment availability,” Daugaard said, noting a substance abuse benefit will be added to Medicaid.

“We’re going to change that,” Daugaard said. “We’re going to change that this year.”

Legal notices
Two bills offered during this session of the Legislature seek to move public notices out of smaller newspapers and allow them to be published on the internet.

Daugaard said he would oppose those bills, noting his opposition to such bills in the past.

“Many of our citizens don’t access news through the internet,” Daugaard said.

Newspaper editors and publishers in attendance burst into applause when Daugaard said if the legislation reached his desk he would veto it.

Plans for retirement
Daugaard, who will be 65 in June, said he has no firm plans for retirement, other than refusing all offers right after he leaves office.

After 22 years in government Daugaard said, “For six months I plan to do nothing.”

He knows he’ll be spending more time with his five grandchildren. He also said he’s done with politics.

“I plan on no further political office,” Daugaard said.

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