Telephone funds raided by the state of South Dakota

Fly Free

New Member
A friend asked me to post this here on AD as this had surprised me and makes me wonder if the other states has raided the funds intended for Deaf services

State raids fund for deaf
Critics say transfers of cash jeopardize future communication upgrades

Jonathan Ellis • • October 5, 2008

At 15 cents a month per phone line, most people probably don't notice the fee on their telephone bills.

Yet that monthly assessment on every standard phone line, cellular phone or pager now generates more than $1.5 million a year. Since 1989, the money has gone into a fund that provides telephone services to the deaf and hearing impaired.

But South Dakota lawmakers, at the request of Gov. Mike Rounds' administration, have raided the fund twice in the past two years, withdrawing $2 million. The money was spent in other areas of government. (partial article)

Source: State raids fund for deaf | | Argus Leader -- the continuation of the article can be found at the link.


New Member
It's not surprising. It's happened to other types of funding. For instance, the "Big Tobacco Settlement" and the tobacco tax was earmarked for smoking prevention programs and Louisiana schools. After the storm, it was earmarked for Katrina-related issues.

While I could argue that lawmakers couldn't care less about children smoking, their response came with support from the majority. Deaf services in South Dakota? Expendable - just like children who smoke.