The Life and Liberty Group in Rapid City sponsored a Pre-Session Legislative Forum Tuesday evening. During the gathering, a Republican Legislator Voting Scorecard, prepared by the Life and Liberty Group, was released. The scorecard examined the votes of South Dakota’s state senators and representatives on several votes in the last legislative session. With so many tools now available to alert voters to legislators who do not live up to the banner under which they sought office, the people will be watching the 2012 session (about to begin in a few days) very closely. And there will likely be some primary challenges in the 2012 election, as well as some new faces in Pierre next year.
I received an email just a few minutes ago from South Dakota Rep. Stace Nelson with a letter sent by himself and three other legislators to Rep. Charles Turbiville, Chairman of the South Dakota Legislative Executive board. The letter concerns allegations that confidentiality may have been violated concerning legislative bill research when Republican members of South Dakota’s House leadership are said to have pressured members of the Legislative Research Council staff for the information.
It seems the Left, along with a few naive individuals on the Right, are making their perreniel push for yet another vehicle to normalize and protect homosexual behavior in the public schools. Homosexual activists have been very successful in using “anti-bullying” legislation to silence their opponents, and they seek to expand that success. The reality is that bullying has always occurred and always will occur. There is no reason to believe educators do not already have the tools necessary to protect all students from bullying for all reasons–without providing a tool that homosexual activists are already using to bully those who disagree with them into silence.
The Life and Liberty Group will be sponsoring a Pre-Session Legislative Forum in Rapid City on Tuesday Dec. 27. Special guest speakers will be Rep. Lance Russell on repealing ObamaCare in South Dakota, Senator Ryan Maher on stopping efforts to increase the South Dakota sales tax, and Rep. Stace Nelson on the truth about abuse of power in Pierre. Area legislators have been invited, and members of the public are, too.
A column from South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard on the Fiscal Year 2013 state budget, in which he urges continued caution but increases in spending in some areas. Increases include a 2.3% ongoing increase in K-12 education, coupled with one-time investments that total more than $12 million. Gov. Daugaard also proposes Medicaid providers and state employees receive extra one-time funds that are the result of strong revenue growth.
South Dakota Secretary of State Jason M. Gant spoke today about the new Legislative Districts that will take effect in January as a result of the special legislative session which set new legislative boundaries. Three counties were newly split in order to meet population targets, and five counties that had been split are now unified.
Obviously, some changes are to be expected whenever redistricting is necessary – and inevitably some primaries are likely to result when changes like this are made. But it now appears that several pro-life legislators will be forced to run against each other in the next election, and thus reduce the number of conservative pro-life votes in the South Dakota Legislature. Is this by design by the RINO establishment?
We’d like to think that in a conservative, patriotic state like South Dakota, we shouldn’t have to worry too much about people and politicians who are eager to take away the freedom of those they ostensibly represent. Unfortunately, with human nature being what it is, we must ALWAYS be ready to defend our freedom. Now the people have a new tool in their arsenal: the South Dakota Freedom Index, from the South Dakota Freedom Coalition. The Index looks at several votes in key areas and measures the votes of state senators and representatives regarding the protection of freedom. Find out how your senator/rep did.
There are $527 million worth of exemptions in South Dakota’s tax code. A legislative committee was assigned the task of finding those exemptions that could be put back on the books since the state is so short-handed for funds. Unfortunately, the body only could come up with $332,000 worth of exemptions out of that $527 million to be put back on the books for collection. This package will be recommended to the full Legislature come January.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announces that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds (III) that significant provisions of South Dakota’s abortion disclosure requirements are constitutional. “Today’s decision supports the Legislature’s goal of encouraging women seeking an abortion to make informed and voluntary decisions,” stated Attorney General Marty Jackley.
The South Dakota Supreme Court has unanimously shot down the asinine lawsuit which has seen one area of government suing another area of government to force that second area of government to take more money from the citizens of South Dakota. About five years ago, a group of schools got together and filed a lawsuit against the legislature because they claimed the legislature was violating the South Dakota Constitution for the nebulous offense of failing to provide all children with “an adequate and quality education.”
Depending on who is saying it, but the blame game is being played on the causes of loss of revenue with South Dakota’s video lottery industry. Today’s column takes a look at the various factors affecting the decline of play in the gaming industry. There is no one reason, but a multitude of causes of why video lottery is not as popular as it once was.
South Dakota District 33 State Senator Elizabeth Kraus has written an op/ed piece published in the Rapid City Journal today. It deals with the lawsuit Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, has filed against South Dakota’s informed consent law passed by a large majority in the legislature a few months ago.
South Dakota voters will be asked to vote on at least three ballot issues come Election Day 2012. One of them is a referred measure and the other two are initiatives. It is important to study these issues so they can be discussed and cussed between now and November of next year. They are now in the Attorney General’s office waiting for him to put a title and write an explanation on each of them. One of them is on the National Popular Vote movement and the other establishes a state sales tax increase of one cent.
A special legislative committee is looking at all the sales and use tax exemptions there are on the books in our state. The committee is looking to find additional funding to help run state government. Will it find that money by eliminating some or all of those exemptions? It would take a lot of intestinal courage to do so, but do our legislators have the stomach to do it? Looking at the size of this herd of sacred cows, certainly there must be some that should be put back on the discussion list.
Is the kind of Republican, the kind of elected official you’d like representing you and your party one who uses strong profanity and admits to using it in front of young children? If you are a Republican, do you want to be represented by someone who contributes money and energy to fight against the protection of innocent human life, and against the protection of the sanctity of marriage? If you are a Republican, do you want to be represented by someone who has given tens of thousands of dollars to elect Democrats? Republicans, you have such a person in your midst.
Secretary of State Jason M. Gant announced that ballot submissions to repeal SB 38 and SB 43 did not meet today’s deadline and will not be on the ballot for the November 2012 election. Since they did not meet the deadline, they will take effect as other laws would on July 1st. The bills were related to South Dakota’s compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act (commonly known as President Obama’s Health Care reform).
The Sioux Falls School District will join the Yankton School District on Tuesday, May 24th to be the first two local elections in the state to utilize the State Election Reporting Systems for their local races. The new system is expected to make voting easier for the citizen, as well as save money for the taxpayer.
A South Dakota legislative committee is scheduled to examine the dozens of sales-use tax exemptions this summer. These exemptions total more than $500 million annually in what could be tax collections. That $500 million would be quite a windfall for the state. Did all of those exemptions pass a thorough testing, or just a seat-of-the-pants type of test as to their value for the people of South Dakota? Hopefully, we’ll find out.
It has only been about a month since the South Dakota Legislature closed the doors on the 86th session in Pierre and already there are plans being made to refer two of the new laws to the voters in the state. Both relate to health care in South Dakota. There is also a hint that more referendums may be coming down the pike.
During the last session legislators changed the state’s large project refund. Taking effect in 2013, the new refund program is to be less expensive and discretionary. Unlike the current program, projects won’t automatically qualify for refunds simply by meeting certain spending requirements. Instead, a panel will decide who gets the refund. Opponents call the change the Governor’s slush fund. Are they right?
South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant announced today that a group of South Dakotans have filed paperwork with his office to refer Senate Bills 38 and 43 to a vote of the public. The bills are part of South Dakota’s compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act (commonly known as President Obama’s Health Care reform) and a successful referral would put the measures to a public vote during the November 6, 2012 general election.
Shad Olson has produced another excellent video report, this time on the outcome of the 2011 South Dakota Legislative Session. Conservatives wanted the South Dakota legislature to balance the budget this year by cutting government spending with no new taxes. Some say they did that, but you have to say that the vehicle license fees which were raised significantly are only a “fee” and not a “tax” in order to do that.