Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune issued the following statement after the Senate approved the FY 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. This bill contains several requests Senator Thune made on behalf of South Dakota.

The Democrat led Congress has been far behind in completing action on the annual appropriations bills. Despite the fact that the new fiscal year began on October 1, 2007, only one of the twelve annual appropriations bills have been sent to the President and signed into law. Due to this delay, Congress has been forced to fund all federal agencies with three short-term funding measures - the latest of which expires on December 21st.

"While it is regrettable that Congressional gridlock forced us to pass eleven of the twelve appropriations bills at once without proper debate and scrutiny, there are many important provisions in this bill which will spur economic growth across South Dakota." said Thune. "Whether it is military construction at Ellsworth Air Force Base or the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System or funding important projects at our higher learning institutions, this legislation is a major step in moving South Dakota forward."

FY 2008 Appropriations highlights for South Dakota:

Agriculture and Related Agencies:
  • $465,717 for Ruminant Nutrition Consortium, which is led by SDSU and assesses available resources and opportunities for expanding ruminant livestock (beef, sheep, bison and dairy) in the upper Midwest;

  • $265,131 for SDSU Seed Technology Center, which conducts research, training and the development of seed technologies;

  • $223,425 for crop integration and production research at SDSU that integrates pulse crops and other emerging opportunities into regional production systems, which will diversify agriculture and improve economic options for producers;

  • $497,493 for feedstock conversion within SDSU research and extension programs for biomass energy (switchgrass breeding, fuels, power generation, bio-oils), gasification of biomass and agriculture co-products, and new anaerobic digestion processes;

  • $426,990 for the International Arid Lands Consortium, which includes SDSU, four other U.S. land grant universities, and academic institutions in Israel, Jordan and Egypt and focuses on improving agricultural production and safeguarding natural resources in dry environments.

  • Commerce, Justice, and Science:
  • $94,000 for the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Department for meth reduction programs;

  • $893,000 for the Oglala Sioux Tribe Criminal Justice System;

  • $446,500 for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Criminal Justice System;

  • $223,250 for St. Joseph's Indian School for expansion of residential facilities and programs;

  • $455,900 for family support and forensic interviewing services at the South Dakota Children's Home Society;

  • $89,300 for A Child Is Missing South Dakota Initiative.

  • Energy and Water Development:
  • $26.56 million for the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System;

  • $28.19 million for Mni Wiconi construction, plus $9.5 million for operations and maintenance;

  • $1.87 million for the Big Sioux Flood Control Project;

  • $2.95 million for Perkins County Rural Water System;

  • $3.936 million in Construction and $2.804 million in Operations and Maintenance to assist the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in managing recreational areas, wildlife restoration plans and cultural and historic sites as a result of the thousands of acres of land in South Dakota that were lost due to the construction of the reservoirs along the Missouri River;

  • $924,000 for South Dakota Catalysis Group to conduct research at USD concerning production of catalysis for alternatives to fossil fuel;

  • $364,000 for a feasibility study on the James River regarding bank stabilization;

  • $344,000 for the Watertown Flood Control plan.

  • Interior and Related Agencies:
  • $1 million for the Inter-Tribal Bison Cooperative (ITBC);

  • $984,400 for Lady C Ranch Land Acquisition;

  • $590,640 for Source Water Protection Initiative, Rapid City.

  • Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education:
  • $80,567 for the Rapid City Area School District for their school-based health clinic;

  • $335,043 for Dakota Wesleyan University's McGovern Library;

  • $325,217 for the Community Health Center of the Black Hills;

  • $95,305 for the West River Foundation for the Midwest Alliance for Professional Learning and Leadership;

  • $118,886 for South Dakota State University Obesity Research Group on children;

  • $143,449 for Youth and Family Services in Rapid City.

  • Military Construction and Veterans Affairs:
  • $16.6 million for Ellsworth Air Force Base Civil Engineer Administrative Facility;

  • $7.9 million for South Dakota Air National Guard for Sioux Falls Base Civil Engineer Maintenance;

  • $3.73 million for South Dakota Reserve (Army Reserve) Joint Armed Forces Reserve Center.

  • Transportation and Housing and Urban Development:
  • $686,000 for Ellsworth Air Force Base Access Road Improvements;

  • $686,000 for paving and road improvements on US 212 and SD 63 near Eagle Butte and the Cheyenne River Reservation;

  • $617,400 for road improvements on SD 44 and SD 73, serving the Pine Ridge Reservation;

  • $581,728 for road improvements near Wakpala, serving the Standing Rock Reservation;

  • $382,200 for South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Connector Road;

  • $548,800 for Children's Home Society in Sioux Falls.

  • The FY 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill will now be sent to the House of Representatives, which is expected to approve the measure so it can be sent to the President for his consideration.