Sanford Lab Funding (Audio)
By Jenifer Jones
Lawmakers say they are at the point in the legislative session when they really begin making tough decisions. One choice legislators made this week was whether or not to appropriate nearly five and a half million dollars to the Sanford Lab at Homestake.
House Majority Leader Bob Faehn of Watertown says House Bill 1083 was one of the most difficult issues for him this week. The funding was meant to bridge a gap until National Science Foundation money comes to the state. House Bill 1083 received 45 yes votes and 23 no votes, failing to get the needed two-thirds majority. Faehn says he's upset with the party-line vote.
"You know, I'm really disappointed that probably the largest economic development project in South Dakota for many decades had turned into a political issue," Faehn says.
House Minority leader Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton says Democrats support the Sanford Lab, but say the funding in House Bill 1083 comes from the wrong places.
"The Sanford Mine is a priority, but I have a hard time ranking it above schools and healthcare," Hunhoff says. "It's a priority, but not the number one priority for Democrats in the House."
Hunhoff says money for the project should come from the futures fund instead.
Member stations can download the audio file here.