A group of Democratic legislators says cuts to South Dakota's Cooperative Extension Service might be illegal.
That state Sen. Jason Frerichs and Reps. Frank Kloucek and Peggy Gibson say the cuts might violate the mission of the state university system imposed by federal law. They're asking Attorney General Marty Jackley for a legal opinion.
The cuts made by the Legislature this year to deal with a budget deficit have resulted in layoffs and the closure of some research stations and labs. The Extension Service is reorganizing into seven regional centers to help offset the loss of $1.2 million in state and federal funding.
The three lawmakers say the cuts will make extension services to the agricultural community inadequate.