As school boards across the state disappointingly sink their teeth into cutting their 2011-2012 budgets as mandated by the South Dakota Legislature and Governor Daugaard, we are seeing a variety of watered down budgets surfacing. With the reduction or elimination of programs in our schools the question must be asked, were they necessarily needed in the first place?
The Rapid City Journal editorial staff recently made the claim that an informed consent law passed by the South Dakota Legislature “distract[s] the Legislature from more important business.” Thomas Jefferson said, “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” I can’t escape the question of what could possibly be more important than saving innocent human life.
KOTA contacted the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance yesterday for an interview regarding the South Dakota budget. The legislative session is pretty much over at this point, and the legislature managed to balance the budget with only one or two taxes (that they call “fee” increases), and a lot of cuts in most areas of state government. Zach Lautenschlager is the treasurer and lobbyist for the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance, and was interviewed on behalf of the organization.
We’ve all heard the liberals in society complaining that their taxes aren’t high enough, that they need to be paying more for government to do this or that, that we just may not be paying our fair share. Well, Rep. Hal Wick of Sioux Falls has come up with a solution for South Dakota that should please these liberals and still allow regular citizens to keep more of their own property in their own pocket: a fund to which guilt-ridden liberals can donate for government projects.
In remarks made to the newly formed Liberty Caucus, former State Senator and Gubernatorial candidate Gordon Howie suggested that Republican leadership is being less than honest when claiming they “balanced the budget without raising taxes”. Among other things, he points to the vehicle registration “fee” increase.”
The last day of the 86th legislative session is next Monday. Some are withholding judgment on whether or not the session has been successful until the last gavel falls. In your opinion was it a good, worth-while session or not? I would have to say parts were OK and parts weren’t. But getting the budget into line almost looks miraculous.
Though the South Dakota Legislature tabled a measure to move the state from the electoral college to a popular presidential vote, NationalPopularVote.com has just sent out an email to a Hillary Clinton mailing list, urging South Dakotans to call their legislators in support of the bill. Just looking at the liberal groups that support this measure is enough to warn most good people away from it.
South Dakota was once known as the state of infinite variety. Observing the Legislature over the past several weeks South Dakota is more like the state of infinite issues. From playing with the state’s abortion ban to raising car license fees were a couple of examples like this facing us. Still, there is another issue that has been on the back burner far too long. That’s the issue of the millions of tax dollars our state government is losing to Internet and catalog sales.
HB 1217, a pro-life bill in the South Dakota Legislature designed to help women be informed and protect them from undue coersion to have an abortion, has passed both chambers of the legislature and is now on Governor Dennis Daugaard’s desk. Despite threats from Planned Parenthood to sue the state if the bill becomes law, Daugaard says that although he has not made up his mind, he is still inclined to sign the legislation. Now a group of citizens is working to raise money to help defend the law against Planned Parenthood’s attack.
This is the last full week for the 86th legislative session in Pierre. Will it be a good one? Will our legislators accomplish what they had hoped for, especially in regard to the budget for state government? Some South Dakotans argue little has been accomplished this session, but will we really know until they return March 28 to Pierre after their two-week break. Today we mull over some of the actions that have taken place since January 11 when the session started.
Did we have a historic election in November, electing fiscally conservative leaders all across the country only to see South Dakota Republicans buckle under union pressure to raise taxes in this economy. It’s rather like defecting to Illinois to escape your sworn duties. They don’t have the courage to cut spending, nor do they have the guts to raise taxes themselves, so the GOP is setting the stage to pass it off to a vote of the people in a November 2011 special election.
Because of the recession and the smoking ban talk has been to get rid of video lottery because revenue is down as well as the lottery being morally wrong. Some other talk was to increase the state’s share of the lottery’s profits. However, the state’s earnings from video lottery is the second largest revenue for South Dakota’s general fund. The number one source is the sales tax.
Children Need Parents, a bi-partisan group of mothers and fathers who have come together to reform South Dakota’s antiquated child custody laws, applauded the South Dakota House of Representatives for passing HB 1255. On Wednesday the South Dakota House passed legislation that would restore fairness and equity to South Dakota’s child custody laws by a vote of 53 to 16. The legislature is getting behind a bill that brings both parents back into the lives of children of divorces,” said District 5 State Rep. Melissa Magstadt.
South Dakotans object when the federal government uses a ‘one size fits all’ approach, treating all the states the same way. We are not the same as California or New York. Each state is a better judge of its own state values than is the federal government. In the same way, we should not use a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to our counties, school districts and municipalities.
Gov. Daugaard has submitted a bill to the South Dakota Legislature to improve the way South Dakota attracts large, job-creating projects to the state. Our current program provides tax refunds to attract businesses that would have come to South Dakota anyway. Daugaard estimates the new plan will save $7 million that can go into the general fund.
The state’s budget is center stage in Pierre, but the spotlight is on cutting its education budget. Gov. Daugaard originally said a 10 percent cut for all departments in state government, but educators responded, “No way!” It appears that now the governor and the educators may be coalescing towards a solution both sides can live with.
The best of the best at Dakota Voice last week, including: O Canada, You That Censors the Christians; University Specifically Excludes Christians from Anti-Discrimination Policy; Liberalism on Parade In Wisconsin, Reveals More Than Anticipated; Republican Legislators Again Shoot Down Illegal Alien Bill; Churches Under Attack; Why Does America Have So Many Problems?; Democrat Distortion Poll Taints the Tea Party; and more!
SB 138 promoting a National Popular Vote approach to presidential elections was heard in the Senate State Affairs Committee today, and it went down hard 9-0 in favor of killing it. The bill sought to bypass the Electoral College method of presidential elections that has been in place in our Constitution since 1787.
Last week, the “Republican” controlled House State Affairs committee shot down HB 1199, a bill to prevent illegal aliens from using their children born in the United States as a vehicle to escape judgment for breaking our laws and violating our national borders. Today, the same “Republican” controlled committee shot down another bill designed to deal with the problem of illegal immigration–a job our federal government has demonstrated contemptuously that it will not do.
From the beginning of his campaign for Governor, Dennis Daugaard declared “No new taxes.” So far, there have been two sales tax bills presented to this session of the South Dakota Legislature. One of these has already been killed in committee and even though several legislators have shown some interest in the other, there is little chance it will go any where. By now it may also be dead. Today’s column is also throwing in a couple of “games” that our readers may find interesting.
On Monday Feb. 14 the South Dakota Senate State Affairs Committee will consider SB 138, a bill to “enact the agreement among the states to elect the president by national popular vote.” This bill would have South Dakota join a movement of others in the United States to abolish the Electoral College method of selecting the president of the United States. The founders set up this system to give smaller states more consideration in presidential elections, and also to safeguard against the fires of direct democracy being manipulated…as Electoral College opponent George Soros would love to do.
These are the best of the best from Dakota Voice last week, including: Barack Obama: Radical in Chief; Dearborn Should Wake up to Creeping Islamic Shariah Law; Super Bowl Entertainment Showcases Degenerate State of American Culture; Message to SD Legislature: The People Are Paying Attention; South Dakota House OK With Welfare Payments to Drug Users; South Dakota House Again Wimps Out Against ObamaCare; and more!
The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee got a second chance today to strike a blow for South Dakota against the unconstitutional ObamaCare legislation with HB 1165. Last week, these Republicans chose to listen to liberal talking points and kill the bill. This week, they just quickly moved to kill the second bill. It’s a sad day when you can’t get a Republican majority to move against an unconstitutional socialist scheme that the rest of the country realizes is a travesty.