A lengthy debate on the House floor didn’t halt the progress of an omnibus economic development bill, which would provide funding for certain K-12 education programs.
Representatives passed Senate Bill 235, which would create the Building South Dakota fund, on a 56-13 vote. The bill received the 2/3 support it required.
Thirty percent of the dollars collected – from fund projects tax revenue and from unclaimed property revenue from banks – for the Building South Dakota fund would be appropriated to the Workforce Education fund to provide a 25 percent increase in state aid for ESL students, funding for CTE programs and potential dollars for education programs preparing students for the workforce.
“(Economic development) should start with education,” Rep. Bernie Hunhoff (18) said. “The biggest share of the Building South Dakota fund will go to K-12 education.”
Rep. Stace Nelson (19) called the bill a “hodge podge” because of its wide range of funding areas, which he argued was against the state’s constitutional provisions to address just one area. Rep. Nelson presented an amendment to remove many sections of the bill because they could act as separate legislation, but it was defeated on a voice vote.
Rep. David Lust (34) said the bill is for the betterment of South Dakota and its voters.
“(Voters) send us here to do things that are best for South Dakota,” Rep. Lust said. “That’s really what Senate Bill 235 does.”
ASBSD supports the bill. For updates on the bill, check the ASBSD blog and bill tracker.