RAPID CITY, S.D. - Pennington County Commissioners and staff discussed with South Dakota legislators Friday on how they can assist South Dakota counties during the upcoming session. The forum was hosted at the Pennington County Commission's Chambers Friday morning, giving county administrators a chance to update state legislators on concerns facing many counties.
South Dakota counties are responsible for many services, such as tax collection, criminal justice, and emergency management. Over the summer, a legislative study was conducted on how to shift some cost from South Dakota counties to the state.
South Dakota Representative District 34 (R) Mike Derby stated, "For example, public defenders costs above 10,000 per case (go) to the state. And so they've come up with a whole list of possible bills that we'll be looking at during the legislative session that would take some of the pressure off of the counties."
With all the services provided by counties they consider themselves a people business. And one challenge counties are facing is how to hire new employees and keep the ones they have.
Pennington County Human Resource Director Carol Bancroft stated, "The labor force with the unemployment in Pennington County and Rapid City specifically being below 1.8%, that the competition with hiring and that many open positions that all employers are experiencing."
Black Hills area legislators were present for the forum along with legislators from across the state via Zoom.