Recent Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC  —  Senator John Thune issued the following statement after the Senate approved the FY 2008 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. This bill contains several requests Senator Thune made on behalf of South Dakota.

"This bill provides needed funding for some of South Dakota's most important transportation and economic development projects. Programs helping at-risk South Dakota youths will receive critical funding. South Dakota roads and bridges will receive necessary improvements as well. This funding will strengthen our state's economy, create quality jobs, and increase the quality of life for all South Dakotans," said Thune.
FY 2008 THUD Appropriations highlights for South Dakota:

Overall Transportation Funding: The FY 2008 THUD Appropriations bill would provide $40.2 billion in funding authorized by the Transportation Reauthorization bill that Congress passed in 2005. South Dakota is slated to receive roughly $220 million in the coming year for road and bridge improvements across the state. This important funding is provided entirely through user fees that are collected from gasoline and diesel fuel. As a result of Senator Thune's work on the 2005 Transportation Reauthorization bill, South Dakota will continue to receive a 2-1 rate of return for every dollar of motor fuel tax that's collected.

Transportation Projects:
 $1 million for Ellsworth Air Force Base Access Road Improvements;
 $1 million for paving and road improvements on US 212 and SD 63 near Eagle Butte and the Cheyenne River Reservation;
 $900,000 for road improvements on SD 44 and SD 73, serving the Pine Ridge Reservation;
 $848,000 for road improvements near Wakpala, serving the Standing Rock Reservation;
 $500,000 for South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Connector Road.

Economic Development Projects:
 $800,000 for Children's Home Society in Sioux Falls;
 $200,000 for Canyon Lake Revitalization Study in Rapid City.

Other Projects for South Dakota include:

 $3 million for road improvements on SD 11 and SD 42 in Sioux Falls;
 $2 million for Kenel road rehabilitation and resurfacing, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe;
 $1.69 million for road improvements on BIA Route 14 near Oglala;
 $1 million for BIA Route 27, near Oglala;
 $250,000 for revolving loan fund recapitalization for the Four Bands Community Fund, Eagle Butte;
 $250,000 to upgrade the open class beef complex and hippodrome, SD State Fair Foundation, Huron.
 $250,000 for Aberdeen downtown revitalization;
 $200,000 for Spearfish Industrial Park infrastructure;
 $200,000 for uptown revitalization in Watertown;
 $200,000 for Cheyenne River Youth Project and Teen Expansion, Eagle Butte.

Essential Air Service Funding:
 $110 million for the Essential Air Service program, which is a $600,000 increase over last year. This funding helps provide commercial air service to Brookings, Pierre, Huron, & Watertown.

Public Transportation Funding:
 $8.5 million for overall public transit funding for South Dakota.

The Senate-passed bill will now be reconciled with the bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year. Since the new fiscal year begins October 1st, it will most likely be necessary for Congress to pass a short-term Continuing Resolution before the end of September to keep federal programs operational while a conference committee works out the differences between the two bills.