S.D. legislature opens todayby Cara Hetland, Minnesota Public Radio
Sioux Falls, S.D. — South Dakota's 2008 Legislative session begins today. S.D. Gov. Mike Rounds delivers his state of the state address this afternoon.
The 35-day legislative session will be one where money drives policy.
Gov. Mike Rounds outlined his budget last month and set the stage for how to deal with a sluggish state revenue forecast. The Republican governor is proposing a two cent increase in the state gas tax as a solution to fund road construction projects. Democrats say with rising fuel prices it's not the time to increase taxes.
The state House and Senate have visible disagreements over issues like school funding and property taxes. Democrats are three seats short of controlling the Senate and clashes between the two chambers could be stronger than ever.
Abortion is sure to get attention. South Dakota has some of the toughest restrictions in the nation, but some lawmakers will propose tighter regulations.