South Dakota Governor Proposes Infrastructure Investments in State of the State Speech

January 14, 2015 AT 7:30 PM

Gov. Dennis Daugaard proposed hiking taxes by roughly $50 million to fund road and bridge projects during his annual State of the State speech on Tuesday, only half the amount being sought under a legislative plan to address one of the most significant issues facing South Dakota lawmakers this year.

MORE: Text, highlights and video of every governor's annual address.

Daugaard warned on the first day of the 2015 legislative session that without investment, South Dakota's roads and bridges would only become more costly to maintain.

"Our entire economy — our very wellbeing — depends on road infrastructure," he told lawmakers, who gathered to listen to the speech in the House chamber. "And right now, our roads are underfunded."

A legislative plan calls for increasing infrastructure funding by more $100 million annually through fuel and vehicle assessments. It's among several issues lawmakers are expected to tackle as they build a budget for the next fiscal year, including the governor's signature issue of overhauling the juvenile justice system.

View Full Story From the Associated Press