PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota lawmakers rejected a bill aimed at approving $5 million for the purchase of a state airplane.
In December’s budget address, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) asked lawmakers to give $5 million of the state’s budget to purchase a new state aircraft. Noem has also said the state should sell two of its older planes. The South Dakota Department of Transportation has three planes it operates.
The State of South Dakota currently owns three aircraft for executive branch use.
Rep. John Mills (R-Volga) said the state wasn’t sure what value the state would get from the two existing planes it wants to sell. Rep. Mills also said the state has hired a consultant about the state planes. His amendment, 1282C, called for the $5 million but also added “the sale and purchase of any state-owned aircraft, and any monies expended under this act, are subject to final review and approval by the Joint Committee on Appropriations or Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations.”
Rep. David Anderson (R-Hudson) said the legislature didn’t want to get into the details of the design, model or color of state airplanes. He said the legislature approves the money or not.
Rep. Mills said a $5 million “blank check” was too much for him to stomach. He said he’d like to know the details.
HB 1282, as amended, failed to obtain the two-thirds majority approval needed to pass an appropriations bill. There were 36 “yea” votes, 31 “nays” and three excused.
Gov. Noem spokesman Ian Fury told KELOLAND News earlier this month if the Legislature approved $5 million toward the purchase of a plane and the sale of an older one, the state would issue a request for proposal (RFP) from brokers who would help the state in the process.