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PIERRE | Republican and Democratic leaders agreed Wednesday the Legislature will review state government’s involvement in the EB-5 immigrant-investor program.

“You have my word,” Sen. Corey Brown, R-Gettysburg, said during a discussion on the topic by House and Senate members on the Legislative Procedure Committee.

“Your word is more than good enough for me,” Rep. Bernie Hunhoff, D-Yankton, responded.

Hunhoff, the House minority leader, proposed to the committee that a new joint rule be adopted setting forth the requirements for hearings, with a deadline of Dec. 1.

House Majority Leader David Lust, R-Rapid City, and House Speaker Brian Gosch, R-Rapid City, however, questioned whether the specific date in Hunhoff’s language was appropriate in the permanent rules.

They suggested that a resolution approved by both bodies would be a better fit. Hunhoff agreed and withdrew his plan.

Brown, the Senate president pro tem, said it’s been his intention since late November that the Legislature’s joint committee on government operations and audit would look at the reports from the reviews of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development under way.

Those include reviews by two accounting firms and by the state Department of Legislative Audit. GOED Commissioner Pat Costello contracted for the reviews.

Hunhoff’s proposal followed the same line. Hunhoff said Gov. Dennis Daugaard has been “very forthright” in his handling of the matter.

Hunhoff said after the meeting that he would work on language for the resolution and pass it around. He said its chances for approval would be better if Republicans are the main sponsors.

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