PIERRE, SD -
South Dakota Republicans and Democrats have reached an agreement on a plan aimed at bringing business to the state while improving schools and infrastructure.
The bipartisan Building South Dakota plan was introduced Thursday in response to a plan rejected by voters in November.
"We are on the verge of one of the more complex and important bipartisan compromises I've seen in a long long time," Rep. Bernie Hunhoff (D) Yankton said during a joint news conference on Thursday.
"One of the messages from this last November is if we're going to have an economic development plan it has to be broader and it's got to focus on other aspects that include rural development, that include housing, that include education," Sen. Corey Brown (R) Gettysburg said.
The new plan does that by attracting large projects to South Dakota by allowing companies to reinvest the sales tax they would have paid to the state back into their own project.
The plan then puts the construction taxes from the project into the Building South Dakota fund to pay for other areas of economic development in the state like rural housing and technical education.
"The irony is we're going to be building South Dakota with dollars that weren't even ours to begin with," Brown said.
Projects for the program will have to get approval first from the economic development board.
Legislative leaders from both parties will be on that board and its members have to be confirmed by the Senate; adding oversight to the plan.
Legislators say this is something both parties have been working on together all session.
"I give our Republican colleagues all the credit. They listened to every legislator, Republican and Democrat, rural and urban," Hunhoff said.
And that's why both parties say this is the right approach to Build South Dakota.
The plan will have its first hearing Monday morning and legislative leaders hope to have it passed by the end of the session on Friday.
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