PIERRE, South Dakota: South Dakota's 2012 budget (unveiled last Tuesday) asks taxpayers for an additional $1.04 million for the state's Extraordinary Litigation Fund. The new dollars will bring the fund to just under $1.23 million for 2012. The most expensive case next year could be North Dakota's defense of its controversial abortion law that has angered abortion rights advocates. Planned Parenthood is currently challenging the law.
The Governor does not expect to incur any costs in the case this year, but the Office of Risk Management has budgeted three-quarters of a million dollars for the case in 2012. While pro-life organizations may contribute to the defense, North Dakota may be required to pay the legal fees of Planned Parenthood if the state loses--fees that could top $400,000 dollars. Part of the law was struck down by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in September.