Noem’s push for scholarship endowment gets early support  (Audio)

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Kristi Noem’s proposal to put $50 million toward a need-based scholarship endowment has cleared its first test in the Legislature.

South Dakota is the only state without a significant scholarship endowment for low-income students.

Noem wants to create a $200 million fund by combining the state money with $150 million from private donors.

Lawmakers have an extraordinary amount of one-time funds after the state used federal coronavirus relief funding to cover the state’s pandemic-related expenses.

A state Senate committee on Monday unanimously recommended the bill’s passage.

One of the prime sponsors of the bill is Senator Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown…

SDSU President Barry Dunn told the Senate State Affairs Committee thousands of potential students could miss out on higher education without the financial help…

The commitee passed the bill on a 9-0 vote. It now goes to the full Senate.