PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has joined his counterparts in other western states in asking federal officials to release the states' share of mineral leasing revenue from federal lands.
Jackley said federal officials have stopped royalty payments to the states under the automatic budget cuts that started last spring. He said the mineral leasing royalties are not the kind of federal spending subject to the budget cuts.
Federal law gives states 48 percent of all rentals, royalties and other receipts for mineral production on federal land within a state. South Dakota distributes the mineral lease money to school districts in the counties where the mineral production is located.
The automatic budget cuts will trim mineral royalty payments to South Dakota schools by at least $100,000, Jackley said.
"South Dakota's school districts that have mineral deposits have legal right to these funds and depend on this money as a source of guaranteed revenue," the attorney general said.
South Dakota school districts got more than $1.2 million last year in payments for mineral royalties.