User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

32° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.
Winter Returns To KELOLAND This Weekend. Click here for details. | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news


Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Five Things To Know About Congress And South Dakota

August 9, 2014, 9:57 AM

Five Things To Know About Congress And South Dakota

Congress adjourned last week for its summer recess and, with elections scheduled in November, isn't expected to take any action until after voters weigh in. A look back at five key moments for South Dakota during Congress' work in 2014.


After months of delays, near-misses and extensions, Congress approved a massive, $100 billion-a-year farm bill in early February. Crucial for many South Dakota ranchers, the bill restored expired disaster programs that could provide relief after an early-season blizzard in October killed more than 20,000 cattle, sheep, horses and bison in South Dakota and parts of North Dakota and Nebraska. The bill includes dozens of other provisions that will guide farm policy until 2017, including locking in conservation policies and tying subsidies for farmers to compliance with conservation initiatives. The bill also gives more flexibility to the Forest Service when dealing with the health of forests and allows them to treat some areas before they are affected by pine beetles - a big issue in the Black Hills.


The farm bill gave retroactive coverage to farmers and ranchers who took heavy losses in the October blizzard. But it didn't automatically mean the money would flow quickly. After a push from South Dakota lawmakers and President Barack Obama to get disaster relief programs up and running quickly a top priority, the Department of Agriculture was able to accept applications within 60 days of the farm bill's passage. Under the last farm bill, which was enacted in 2008, it took more than a year to restore expired programs and begin taking applications.


Lawmakers pushed back aggressively when they thought the Obama administration was considering increasing its regulations on small farm operations. After fierce pushback, they received assurances in February that the Occupation Safety and Health Administration had no such plans. Since 1976, Congress has categorically forbidden OSHA from regulating small farms. But Department of Labor action in 2011 appeared to open the door to doing just that. The U.S. Department of Labor announced that it was withdrawing the memo to avoid any confusion and clarified that the memo was never meant to change longstanding policy.


South Dakotans can continue to use Missouri River water free of charge after all. The Army Corps of Engineers had floated a proposal that would have levied a fee for use of water from the river and its reservoirs. But South Dakota lawmakers joined with others from neighboring states to push back against the proposal. When Congress approved a massive water projects bill in May, it included language that expressly forbids the Corps from any proposal that charges for river water for at least 10 years.


Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson will return to Washington after the summer break and again after November's elections. But the man first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986 has just about wrapped up his work in Congress. South Dakotans will elect a new senator in November - choosing between Republican Mike Rounds, a former governor, Democrat Rick Weiland, a businessman and former staffer for Sen. Tom Daschle, and independent candidate Larry Pressler, who served South Dakota in Congress as a Republican representative and senator. Johnson, who will finish his Senate term while serving as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, announced in March 2013 that he wouldn't seek another term. Rounds is favored to win the seat.

Previous Story

Next Story

Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View politics

You may also like

SD Legislation: Daylight Saving Time All The Time

1/28/2015 6:02 PM

Imagine driving home in the winter with the sun still shining. It could be possible if a proposal in the South Dakota legislature passes that would pu...

Full Story | Watch
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad Hospitalized

1/26/2015 12:37 PM

68-year-old Branstad fell ill at an event on Monday, and was transported by ambulance to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines.   

Full Story
Gorbachev Warns Of Military Conflict Between Russia, West

1/29/2015 6:23 AM

More than 5,100 people have been killed in a bloody conflict in eastern Ukraine between government troops and pro-Russian separatists.

Full Story
Senate Passes Bill Approving Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

1/29/2015 3:18 PM

The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Full Story
Med-Star Plans To Appeal SF Ambulance Ruling

1/26/2015 5:41 PM

The City of Sioux Falls announced Monday that an independent hearing examiner has found the city used a fair system to select the ambulance provider P...

Full Story | Watch