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NEWS 4.21.22


The board that investigates complaints against South Dakota officials is scheduled to take up a pair of ethics complaints against Gov. Kristi Noem in May. Noem had until last Friday to respond to complaints alleging she misused state airplanes for personal use and that she improperly interfered in a state certification program for her daughter. Neither Noem nor members of the South Dakota Government Accountability Board will say whether Noem responded by the deadline. The board is scheduled to revisit both complaints at its May 2 meeting in Sioux Falls.

Opposition to Iowa Governor Kim Reynold’s push to create scholarships for private school students is coming from members of her own party.

Republican Representative Megan Jones of Sioux Rapids, who is against the plan, says the votes “just aren’t there” in the House to pass it and she worries only schools in the Des Moines area would benefit.

The proposal includes funding for 10,000 students to go to private schools with a budget of $55 million dollars.

The legislature approved a 2.5% increase for public school funding.

Radio Iowa reports there are more than a dozen private schools in the Des Moines metro, including Dowling Catholic and Des Moines Christian High Schools, while 42 of Iowa’s 99 counties do not have a private or parochial school.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts touted the tax cuts lawmakers approved this year as they wrapped up their session Wednesday. Ricketts said the $900 million package of income and property tax cuts that the Legislature approved this year delivered “the most significant tax relief bill we have ever had in the state of Nebraska.” He signed the bill last week. Lawmakers took care of their business quickly Wednesday because Ricketts didn’t veto any of the bills they sent to him this week. Ricketts also praised bills the Legislature passed that will lay the groundwork for a canal project to divert water out of Colorado and allocate more than $1 billion of federal pandemic relief money.

Former Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson has endorsed state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks in her campaign for the state’s 1st Congressional District. Pansing Brooks, a Democrat, is looking to replace former U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican who resigned after he was convicted on charges that he lied to federal authorities about an illegal campaign contribution. Nelson, a Democrat, says Pansing Brooks has worked with both parties while in the state legislature and passed more than 60 bills. Pansing Brooks will face state Sen. Mike Flood, a Republican, in a June 28 special election to determine who will serve the remainder of Fortenberry’s term in Congress