South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant unveiled the new on-line lobbyist registration and reporting system to all of South Dakota today. The new system will allow lobbyists to register and complete payments online, as well as improve the ability of citizens to review lobbyist expense reports. The change should save tax dollars and provide more information to the public.
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.
As the lights begin to come up and expose the cockroach RINOs of the GOP who like carrying the name “Republican” but don’t like doing the work of one, there has been a lot of scurrying for cover from the aforementioned critters. Once again, those who are committed to upholding the values, principles and platform of the Republican Party have been portrayed as the bad guys while being forced to endure the bleatings about “different opinions” and Reagan’s 11th Commandment. But was the 11th Commandment intended to provide cover for those who willfully undermine the Republican agenda?
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.
There has been a nasty stench in the South Dakota Republican Party for several years now. If you don’t follow politics too closely, you may not have noticed it, and even if you do, the whiff comes and goes. But thankfully, there are a few who are actually within the party and serve in elected office who are willing to rock the boat, who won’t go along with what the establishment tells them to shut up and do, who are willing to swing wide the door on that stench and allow the public to get a good smell of that decay that’s been rotting for so long inside. Lately, thanks to Rep. Stace Nelson and a few others, that door is opening and the light of truth is beginning to shine in.
Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD) sent a letter to President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Labor flagging a proposed change to regulations impacting children who work on family farms across the United States. Specifically, Noem is concerned with the changes to the definition of a family farm within this new regulation and further restrictions for hiring youth. The proposed rule could seriously undermine traditional family agriculture if the exemption for family farms does not include those partly owned by close relatives.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley is warning South Dakota seniors to be cautious if they receive telephone calls from someone who claims to be their grandchild or other family member and requests money for a critical situation. The South Dakota Consumer Protection Division has received numerous calls over the past few days. In this reoccurring scam, a fraudster calls a senior individual and poses as a grandchild. The person calling uses a plea for help and a sense of urgency when asking for a wire transfer in amounts up to $6,500.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that Larry Lee Jones, 63, Yankton, South Dakota, was sentenced to serve 180 days in the State Penitentiary for committing Medicaid fraud. The case was investigated and prosecuted by the South Dakota Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with assistance from the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the Department of Social Services.
Trees infested by mountain pine beetles produce lumber that has the same structural integrity and durability as wood from non-infested trees, according to South Dakota forestry officials. Lumber from trees infested with pine beetles often carries a blue stain is created by a fungus, but it will not spread to other lumber. The lumber does not decay any faster than un-stained wood and will not cause mold.
John Quinn was one of the featured speakers at the Dec. 10 meeting of the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. Quinn spoke about the American economy, what makes it great, and what holds it back. He also spoke about economic theory and how the political state of affairs affects the strength of our economy. This is the complete video of his presentation.
Communities across South Dakota took a look at their needs for the past several years and with the help of state and federal grants and loans some of those needs have been taken care of. However, there is one question that probably hasn’t been asked. Is our community pretty? Is our town attractive, good looking to a visitor, be he or she a family member or someone who may be looking for a town just the size of where you live to start a new business?
Recent national rankings released by three different organizations prove that South Dakota has one of the best business environments and among the strongest economic policies in the nation. For the seventh year in a row, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council named South Dakota as the No. 1 state in the nation for friendliness toward small businesses.
A bill sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) to prohibit any further regulation of rural dust by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed the U.S. House today with bipartisan support. The bipartisan bill, H.R. 1633, was approved by a vote of 268 to 150. “The EPA is still saying they have no plans to further regulate farm dust, and that this issue is a “myth,” but those words are empty promises until we back them up with real action.
Some jobs are dustier than others. Rural American jobs like tilling fields, herding cattle, driving along dirt roads or extracting important resources from the land are critical American jobs that sometimes kick up a little more dust than others. But as far as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned, the dust is too much.
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.
Beginning January 1, 2012, five South Dakota communities will implement new municipal taxes or update their current city taxes. These towns include Bruce, Camp Crook, Frankfort, Oldham and Irene. The South Dakota Department of Revenue has Municipal Tax Information Bulletins available listing all municipal sales and use tax rates statewide as well as information on tribal sales, use and excise taxes.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has announced that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a January 2012 rehearing of the entire eleven-member Court with regard to abortion disclosure requirements adopted by the legislature in 2005. The full Court will address the validity of the legislative requirement that women considering an abortion be advised of the association of suicide in relation to abortion.
According to U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) on Thursday the House will take up a bill sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) to prohibit any further regulation of rural dust by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The bipartisan bill, H.R. 1633, was approved by the House Energy & Commerce Committee last week.
Lonis Wendt recently wrote an essay on the Vivian (S.D.) dance hall as published in my hometown newspaper. The article originally was submitted to the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on behalf of the hall’s induction slated for April 21, 2012, at the Ramkota in Sioux Falls. While this article just refers to the history of the Vivian dance hall, it should remind a lot of us about the dance halls in most of South Dakota’s small towns that are now just a memory.