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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Attorney General Jackley Praises Final Budget That Includes Funds for Digital Investigation Unit, Victim Grants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, March 21, 2024

Contact: Tony Mangan, Communications Director, 605-773-6878

PIERRE. S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley is praising approval of the fiscal year 2025 state general fund budget that includes funds for the Attorney General’s Office to use for a new Digital Investigation Unit, cybersecurity services initiative, and grants to organizations that assist abused children.

Gov. Kristi Noem on Monday, March 18, signed the budget bill, which was earlier approved by the state Legislature. In the overall state budget, the Attorney General’s Office will receive the $39 million the office had requested during the appropriations process. State legislators also appropriated an additional one-time $12 million to the office to use for the state cybersecurity initiative to be run by Dakota State University and the victim grants.

“Thank you to Gov. Noem and state legislators for supporting our law enforcement budget requests this session,” said Attorney General Jackley. “This budget provides the resources needed by the Attorney General’s Office to better protect the people of South Dakota and to support victims of crime and the statewide cybersecurity initiative.”

Highlights of the budget include:

*** Seven million dollars in one-time general funds to create a cybersecurity initiative to expand and improve cybersecurity for counties and municipalities statewide. This initiative will help protect county and municipality resources, as well as South Dakota citizens’ personal data. The funds will be transferred from the Attorney General’s Office to Dakota State University which will oversee the initiative.

*** Five million dollars in one-time general funds for the Attorney General’s Office to award grants to organizations that assist children who have been abused or neglected, victims of domestic violence, and victims of sexual assault. The funding will help ensure victim services organizations have the resources they need to support victims of crimes across South Dakota.

*** $405,000 in on-going general funds to create a new unit that will focus on digital evidence investigations. The unit will utilize existing FTEs with additional costs for training, certification, equipment maintenance, and software needed by state Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) agents who will specialize in digital evidence investigations.

*** $199,500 in on-going other fund expenditure authority. The authority will allow the Attorney General’s Office to spend funds in the new internet crimes investigation fund that was created in Senate Bill 15. The bill states “a person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor shall, as part of the sentence imposed by the court, pay for the reimbursement of the cost of any digital forensic examination performed on any personal electronic device in the investigation and prosecution of the crime for which the defendant is convicted.” The fee assessed may not exceed $95 for each device.

*** $30,757 in ongoing general funds to cover an 8.5% salary policy increase for the office’s legal support staff and secretaries. This additional increase will allow the office to retain valuable staff and recruit talented individuals in the future.

Seventy percent of the proposed budget ($27.2 million) is earmarked for the DCI and Law Enforcement Training. Another 30 percent ($11.6 million) is allocated for department attorneys, legal services, and other programs.

The new budget takes affect July 1, 2024.