The Honorable Dennis Daugaard
President of the Senate
500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Dear Mr. President and Members of the Senate:
My first objection to Senate Bill 95 is that it creates a new and unnecessary layer of government.
Senate Bill 95 irreversibly alters a governance system that currently operates well and the way it was
intended, with local control. Adding a new bureaucracy simply drains additional state resources and
provides no benefit to the technical institutes. I do not support creation of this unneeded layer of
My second objection is that Senate Bill 95 violates Article XIV, §3 of the South Dakota
Constitution. That provision charges the South Dakota Board of Regents with governance of all
postsecondary educational institutions in South Dakota. Although certain court cases recognize that
the legislature may exercise control over operations of the Regents through budget and oversight,
it may not change by statute the constitutional delegation of authority to the Regents to serve as the
governing body for postsecondary education. Senate Bill 95 thus violates Article XIV, §3 of the
South Dakota Constitution by charging an entity other than the Board of Regents with governance
of these postsecondary educational institutions. While proponents of Senate Bill 95 have attempted
to present complicated arguments that it does not violate the South Dakota Constitution, I think that
this question simply requires us to read the words of this section which state that "...all other
educational institutions that may be sustained either wholly or in part by the state shall be under the
control of the Board of Regents".
The Board of Regents has repeatedly and publicly stated that if Senate Bill 95 is passed they will
immediately challenge it in court based on this constitutional violation. I will support that effort and
believe the Regents will prevail.
Finally, Senate Bill 95 contains an internal inconsistency that temporarily leaves technical institutes without authority to award degrees. Section 48 repeals SDCL §13-39-72 which allows technical institutes to award associate and applied science degrees. That provision would take effect on July 1st. However, Section 31 of Senate Bill 95, which authorizes technical institutes to award associate and applied science degrees does not take effect until the date of the first annual meeting of the State Board of Technical Institutes as provided in Section 49 of the bill. There would, therefore, be a
period of time from July 1, 2007, until the date of the first annual meeting of the newly created board
during which technical institutes could not award degrees. This is a fatal flaw in Senate Bill 95
which cripples the technical institutes during the interim period.
For these reasons, I have vetoed Senate Bill 95. I respectfully request that you concur with my