Video of the District 2 House candidate statements at the Sept 24 candidate forum

John Graham and Duane Sutton in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
John Graham and Duane Sutton in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

On Saturday, September 24, the Aberdeen League of Women Voters and the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a candidate forum in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Earlier I posted some pictures from the event and video of the District 3 candidate forum. In this post I will include video of the District 2 House candidate statements.

District 2 has both of the incumbent Republicans on the House side seeking reelection. Those two candidates are Rep Burt Tulson and Rep Lana Greenfield. Trying for one of the two seats is Democrat John Graham. Both Tulson and Greenfield had conflicts so were unable to attend, but they did send statements for the moderator to read. Graham was in attendance and made a short statement of his own.

In this video the event moderator Carl Perry, Chair of the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce, reads off the statements for Tulson and Greenfield. Then Graham takes the podium for his statement.

SD Dist 22 State House Gen Election: Chase, Glanzer, Wollschlager, and Dannenbring

SD Legislative District 22. Screenshot from LRC website 5/21/16.
SD Legislative District 22. Screenshot from LRC website 5/21/16.

South Dakota legislative District 22 has  a general election for State House. District 22 is in the central part of Eastern South Dakota. Towns in this district include Arlington, Badger, Bancroft, Broadland, Cavour, De Smet, Erwin, Hetland, Hitchcock, Huron, Iroquois, Lake Preston, Oldham, Virgil, Wessington, Wolsey, and Yale.

This is one of the few races where none of the candidates are incumbents or prior legislators. Democrat incumbent Rep Peggy Gibson is term limited. The other incumbent Republican Rep Dick Werner moved to District 23; where he failed to advance in the Republican primary for State House. On the ballot for the Republicans are Roger Chase and Bob Glanzer. To represent the Democrats on the ballot are Joan Wollschlager and Carmen Dannenbring. The Democrats actually had a primary election, where Wollschlager and Dannenbring defeated Darrell Raschke.

Here is a brief look at all four candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the general election ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate. For candidates with a legislative history I look at a few pieces of legislation prime sponsored. For candidates with no legislative history I look at the issues I find for them online.

*** It should be noted this is NOT a scorecard. This post only looks at some of the legislative priorities of these candidates. These legislative priorities may or may not have any bearing on how the candidates actually vote on legislation.

Roger Chase

Roger Chase. Photo from Chase's campaign Facebook page.
Roger Chase. Photo from Chase’s campaign Facebook page.

Roger Chase (R)
Website – Facebook – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty
SDPB Audio: 2016

Roger Chase doesn’t have a lot of activity on his campaign Facebook page. But he does have an issues section on his website. It is those five issues I will use to get an idea of his legislative priorities. His issues are very hight level, lacking any specifics. But it does at least give the voters of District 22 an idea of where he stands with some issues.

Agriculture

Chase has this to say about agriculture:

This industry is and will always be the driver of South Dakota’s economy. Government should be supportive and not restrictive to the states producers of food, fiber, and fuel.

The addition of fuel is an eye-catcher. It is possible ethanol and other bio-fuels could be a legislative priority for Chase.

Education

Here is what Chase has to say about education:

A strong supporter of public education investing in our youth is critical to the future of South Dakota. As a graduate of Lake Area Technical Institute, I fully support technical education to provide quality training for the next workforce in our state.

It would be interesting to find out what Chase thinks of how the tech schools are currently funded and if that would be a legislative priority for him. In his SDPB audio interview Chase said he believes the legislature will be working to enhance the education bills that were passed in 2016.

Transportation

Chase says this about transportation:

I believe in a strong infrastructure system for our states transportation. This includes State, County, and Township roads. I also support a strong railroad system that allows movement of our ag commodities to major markets.

There is a definite ag theme throughout his issues.

Healthcare

On healthcare Chase has this to say:

The health and wellness of all South Dakotan’s should be a high priority for the legislature. Preventive care and promotion of young people to enter the healthcare industry are essential to ensure healthcare availability in all of South Dakota.

In his SDPB audio interview Chase believes healthcare will be a major topic for the 2017 legislature.

Taxation

Finally, on taxation Chase has this to say:

Providing financial support to government to function is the role of taxation. As legislators we must be responsible to the taxpayers of South Dakota that we utilize taxpayer money wisely.

Bob Glanzer

Bob Glanzer (R)
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

Glanzer doesn’t really have an online presence. But I was able to find this blurb about him in a Huron Plainsman article:

Glanzer, a political newcomer, has a background in education, banking and a host of community and organizational activities and events, including a stint as manager of the State Fair.

Retired as a 33-year ag loan banker, he said he can hopefully draw on his personality and experience as a member of the House.

I really can’t find much more about Glanzer. Perhaps he is traveling around his district so voters can get an idea of his stances.

Joan Wollschlager

Joan Wollschlager (D)
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty
SBPB Video: 2014

Joan Wollschlager ran for State House in 2014. Wollschlager doesn’t really seem to have an online presence. I was able to find this excerpt from a June Huron Plainsman article:

While the main focus of the legislative session this year was on teacher pay, “in some of the small school districts that didn’t solve our problems,” Wollschlager said.

“So I think we need to keep those schools going, and I think that’s important,” she said.

I think it is safe to say getting more funding to small school districts is a priority for Wollschlager.

I can’t find much more about Wollschlager. But since Wollschlager was in a primary election I will simply copy/paste what I wrote about her at that time:

Wollschlager ran for District 22 House in 2014 and got third place in the general election. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of activity online for voters to learn about Wollschlager as a candidate in 2016 other than an article in the Plainsman. The Plainsman article includes the following:

 “Serious issues like road infrastructure, property taxes, health care, education, ethics violations and bonding laws need the attention of our Legislature,” she said.

“The past couple of years of problems and violations in South Dakota should wake us up to the need for change in Pierre,” Wollschlager said in her announcement.

Those are some good issues to run on, hopefully for her sake she has been reaching out to potential voters in order to inform them of her priorities. She definitely isn’t making it easy for potential voters to learn about her.

Wollschlager’s 2014 SDBP Meet the Candidate video had her saying that education, agriculture, and economic development will be her top priorities. For agriculture she mentions needing a “fair tax structure”. It would be interesting to hear what she would find to be fair.

Carmen Dannenbring

Carmen Dannenbring (D)
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty
SDPB Audio: 2016

Carmen Dannenbring is another candidate that doesn’t have much of an online presence. Here is an excerpt from a June Huron Plainsman article which spoke in part about Dannenbring:

De Smet has had a transgender student in its district and it was handled very well, Dannenbring said.

“It’s an answer to a problem that really doesn’t exist,” she said of the legislation. “It was not an issue at all.”

That was in regards to the transgender related bills that came up in the 2016 legislative session.

I can’t find much more about Dannenbring. But since Dannenbring was in a primary election I will simply copy/paste what I wrote about her at that time:

I’m not sure if Dannenbring is actually a candidate, or a placeholder that accidentally got into a primary challenge. Dannenbring is very active on her personal Facebook with typical partisan Democrat posts and appears to be a Bernie Sanders supporter. But there is nothing showing publicly on her Facebook about her candidacy. The local papers have nothing post about her that I could find, other than to state Dannenbring has turned in her petitions.

Video of the District 3 legislative candidates at the Sept 24 candidate forum

District 3 Legislative Candidates. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
District 3 Legislative Candidates. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

On Saturday, September 24, the Aberdeen League of Women Voters and the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a candidate forum in Aberdeen. South Dakota. Earlier I posted some pictures from the event, now it is time to start getting the videos posted. This video features the District 3 legislative candidates.

All six legislative candidates were in attendance. The two candidates running for State Senate are Republican Rep Al Novstrup and Democrat Cory Heidelberger. The two Republicans seeking the State House seat are Republicans Drew Dennert and Rep Dan Kaiser. Opposing them for the State House seat are Democrats Brooks Briscoe and Nikki Bootz. Carl Perry, Chair of the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce, moderated the event.

I may do a post or two in the future about topics brought up in this forum. Of particular interest was question about ag land assessment.

Here is the video:

SD Dist 22 State Senate Gen Election: White and Bliss

SD Legislative District 22. Screenshot from LRC website 5/21/16.
SD Legislative District 22. Screenshot from LRC website 5/21/16.

South Dakota legislative District 22 has  a general election for State Senate. District 22 is in the central part of Eastern South Dakota. Towns in this district include Arlington, Badger, Bancroft, Broadland, Cavour, De Smet, Erwin, Hetland, Hitchcock, Huron, Iroquois, Lake Preston, Oldham, Virgil, Wessington, Wolsey, and Yale.

The Republican incumbent Sen Jim White is seeking reelection to his third term as State Senator. Challenging him is Democrat Eric Bliss. Originally Chuck Groth had his name in to be the Democrat candidate, but Groth withdrew his petition and was replaced by the party with Bliss.

Here is a brief look at both candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the general election ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate. For candidates with a legislative history I look at a few pieces of legislation prime sponsored. For candidates with no legislative history I look at the issues I find for them online.

*** It should be noted this is NOT a scorecard. This post only looks at some of the legislative priorities of these candidates. These legislative priorities may or may not have any bearing on how the candidates actually vote on legislation.

Jim White

Sen Jim White speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/10/15.
Sen Jim White speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/10/15.

Sen Jim White (R, Dist 22) – incumbent
Website – Facebook – BallotpediaVoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: Senate 2016 2015 2014 2013 House 2012 2011
SDPB Video: 2014 2012

Jim White is seeking reelection to his third term as District 22 State Senator. Since White is a sitting legislator I will look at a few pieces of legislation from him to get an idea of his legislative priorities. I should note White does not prime sponsor a lot of legislation.

First up for White is this bill he prime sponsored in 2016:

SB 57 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Redefine the term, written agreement, relating to contracts between a debtor and creditor.

I actually already looked at this bill when I did a post about Rep Mark Willadsen‘s general election race in District 11. Here is what said then, and applies in this post looking at White as well:

This is another bill that easily passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor. SB 57 is simply a bill to modernize the banking industry to include electronic contracts. Currently loan contracts used by bankers must be physically signed. This change in law will allow South Dakota banks to move into the future (or perhaps catch up with other industries) and utilize electronic contracts. This appeared to be a good change.

Up next for White is another bill from 2016:

SB 71 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise the provisions regarding the issuance of small game licenses and fishing licenses to certain veterans at reduced fees and to authorize certain nonresident veterans to get nonresident small game licenses at a reduced fee.

White brought this bill forth to allow a disabled veteran to apply for a special reduced price hunting and fishing license. This bill is based on a bill in Wyoming, with some slight changes. SB 71 easily flew through both house and was signed by Governor Daugaard. White showed a priority of doing something for veterans with this bill.

Finally, there is this bill from White in 2013:

SB 158 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Provide for the funding of educational programs for children in residential treatment centers, intensive residential treatment centers, or licensed group care centers.

White brought this bill forth on behalf of a task force that took place in 2012. There are children in South Dakota with behavioral issues that are having problems at home and need to be placed in a  residential treatment centers. Medicaid pays for the stay of these children. But Medicaid does not pay for the schooling of these children in treatment centers and the school districts have to pay for it. This bill was signed into law and changed the law so that the school district for the treatment center could receive funds for those children in a treatment center. The topic is much more complex than I will go into in this short post; but White definitively took on a large topic by prime sponsoring this bill and getting it signed into law.

Eric Bliss

Eric Bliss (D)
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

Eric Bliss doesn’t have much of an online presence for people to research him. But there is a Huron Plainsman article from September 19 featuring Bliss. I will focus on a couple of sections from that article to get an idea of his legislative priorities.

Legislative programs to hep the poor seem to be a priority. This from the article:

People in power who make the laws need to remember the hidden costs when families don’t have health insurance — expensive emergency room trips that all taxpayers must pay for when a visit to the clinic, when the problem was not as serious, makes more sense.

Heating assistance and conservation programs can save money and prevent people from getting sick when their homes are cold in the winter, he said.

It appears one of the main thing Bliss is running on is the fact he is not a Republican. This from the article:

Eric Bliss thinks it’s time South Dakota voters send people to Pierre who better reflect the demographics of the electorate and have new ideas that bring communities together to solve problems like empty downtown storefronts and too many families with no health insurance and little food.

A lot of Democrats are taking this approach this year. It will be interesting to see if Bliss and company can make any headway by trying to bring diversity to Pierre. The above paragraph also reiterates helping the poor appears to be a legislative priority for Bliss.

Pictures from the September 24 Candidate Forum in Aberdeen

On Saturday, September 24, the Aberdeen League of Women Voters and the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a candidate forum in Aberdeen. South Dakota. Legislative candidates for Districts 1, 2, and 3 were invited to attend. County Commissioner candidates from Brown County were also invited to attend. I will have video up later today and tomorrow so everyone can hear from the candidates (there acoustics in that room were horrible, its taken me a few days to get the audio cleaned up). But in the mean time here are some pictures from the event.

You can click on any picture to make it bigger.

Carl Perry, Chair of the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce, moderated the event.

Carl Perry moderating a candidate forum in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
Carl Perry moderating a candidate forum in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

Drew Dennert is seeking one of the District 3 State House seats.

Drew Dennert speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
Drew Dennert speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

Rep Al Novstrup is seeking the District 3 Senate Seat being vacated by Sen David Novstrup.

Rep Al Novstrup speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
Rep Al Novstrup speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

Rep Dan Kaiser is seeking reelection for a District 3 House seat.

Rep Dan Kaiser speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
Rep Dan Kaiser speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

Nikki Bootz is seeking out one of the District 3 House Seats.

Nikki Bootz speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
Nikki Bootz speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

Cory Heidelberger is seeking the District 3 State Senate seat.

Cory Heidelberger speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
Cory Heidelberger speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

Brooks Briscoe is seeking one of the District 3 House seats.

Brooks Briscoe speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
Brooks Briscoe speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

District 3 Candidates lined up with a representative of the League of Women Voters.

District 3 Candidates lined up with a representative of the League of Women Voters. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
District 3 Candidates lined up with a representative of the League of Women Voters. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

Rachel Kippley is seeking reelection as a Brown County Commissioner.

Rachel Kippley speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
Rachel Kippley speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

Duane Sutton is seeking reelection as a Brown County Commissioner.

Duane Sutton speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
Duane Sutton speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

League of Women Voters and Chamber of Commerce members lined up with the District 2 House candidate John Graham (2nd from left) and the two Brown County Commissioner candidates in attendance.

Event sponsors lined up with Dist 2 candidate and Brown County Commission candidates. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.
Event sponsors lined up with Dist 2 candidate and Brown County Commission candidates. Photo by Ken Santema 9/24/16.

SD Dist 21 State House Gen Election: Qualm, Burrus, and Bartling

SD Legislative District 21
SD Legislative District 21

South Dakota legislative District 21 has  a general election for State Representative. District 21 is on the South edge of the state, just on the east side. It includes the towns of Avon, Bonesteel, Burke, Colome, Dallas, Dante, Fairfax, Geddes, Gregory, Herrick, Lake Andes, New Witten, Pickstown, Platte, Ravinia, Springfield, Wagner, and Winner.

Both incumbents are seeking reelection for this seat. Those incumbents are Republican Rep Lee Qualm and Democrat Rep Julie Bartling. There is not a second Republican in this race, but the Democrats do have Gary Burrus joining the race to try for one of the two House seats.

Here is a brief look at all three candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the general election ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate. For candidates with a legislative history I look at a few pieces of legislation prime sponsored. For candidates with no legislative history I look at the issues I find for them online.

*** It should be noted this is NOT a scorecard. This post only looks at some of the legislative priorities of these candidates. These legislative priorities may or may not have any bearing on how the candidates actually vote on legislation.

Lee Qualm

Rep Lee Qualm speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/29/16.
Rep Lee Qualm speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/29/16.

Rep Lee Qualm (R, Dist 21) – Incumbent
Facebook – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates –SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015 2014 2013

Lee Qualm is seeking reelection for his third term in Pierre. Since Qualm is a sitting legislator I will look at a few bills prime sponsored by him to get an idea of his legislative priorities.

Up first for Qualm is this bill from 2016:

HB 1094 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Increase the commercial fertilizer inspection fee for purposes of fertilizer-related research and education and to create the Nutrient Research and Education Council to promote such research and education.

This bill as signed into law increases the commercial fertilizer inspection fee. This increased fee will be used to create a Nutrient Research and Education Council. HB 1094 was amended to add research for water quality and creates a nutrient research and education fund. This bill was tried in 2013 as SB 115 (SoDakLiberty Posts). The 2013 attempt was vetoed by the Governor. Daugaard did not attempt to veto the bill this year. The commercial fertilizer industry wanted this new fee.

Up next for Qualm is another 2016 bill:

HB 1115 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise the number of special nonresident waterfowl licenses that may be issued for certain open units.

The core of the bill would have moved 50 special nonresident waterfowl licenses from one Unit that always has free licenses, and put them in another Unit that uses up its licenses. My post on this bill has maps of the two Units. It was interesting Qualm brought this bill forth. The legislature as a whole seems tired of debating hunting licenses, which is why they have delegated that power to GFP. Probably for that reason the bill did not make it through the House floor. This bill does show that Qualm is willing to take the lead on licensing issues, instead of outsourcing it completely to GFP.

Finally there is a third bill to look at from Qualm in 2016:

HB 1129 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Allow a concealed pistol in the capitol and any county courthouse with an enhanced concealed pistol permit.

Gary Burrus

Gary Burrus. Photo from Burrus' campaign Facebook page.
Gary Burrus. Photo from Burrus’ campaign Facebook page.

Gary Burrus (D)
Facebook – Twitter – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty
SDPB Audio: 2016

Gary Burrus has been very active on his campaign Facebook page. Burrus is up to number 59 on his Facebook page as to reasons to vote for him. I will focus on a few of those posts to get an idea of some of his legislative priorities.

Road Hunting

Up first for Burrus is this interesting post:

Reason #51 with 49 days left until elections!
Hunting season is upon us, and with that, the debate over road hunting.
While I love to be out hunting, one thing that always makes me uneasy is road hunting. With the availability of public access on the rise, we need to make some changes to regulations and licensing.
We have many families that make a living as hunting guides and lodge owners. By allowing road hunting, this creates tension among the landowners and the hunter. It also creates that temptation for a road hunter to overstep their boundaries. Every year, I hear of landowners that deal with trespassing, illegal hunting, etc… If the temptation is removed, the problems associated with it will lessen. They won’t go away, but they won’t be as prevalent.
That said, I feel that there should be a change in licensing. I feel that landowners should be allowed a certain number of licenses to apply for that can be used for themselves, family members, and people that lease their land. By doing this, there should be a separate licensing system for public and leased ground that Game Fish and Parks manages. This will move hunters into the public areas more, and away from lodges and outfitters.
There will be a large push back on this, mainly from the Sioux Falls and Rapid City regions. Those regions also need to remember that there are areas in our state that make our living doing this, and by making these changes, everyone would benefit.

The above was kind of longer than I copy/paste into these posts. But this is an issue that doesn’t come up very often for legislative races and I think it is worth getting out there. I would actually like to see this brought up as a bill in the legislature and debated (personally I’m not sure if it’s a good idea yet or not).

Drug Money

I’ve blogged a few times about civil asset forfeiture on this site a few times. Burrus brings up some possible legislation regarding drug related forfeitures:

Reason #37 for tonight touches on the drug problems that our counties are starting to see more and more often.
Over the weekend, there were nine arrests in Wagner over a 48-hour period that were all meth related. Drugs are a problem all over our country, but I feel that our district does an outstanding job trying to prevent trafficking and use of drugs. Highways 18 and 44 go through our entire district, and our city and county law enforcement has a lot of ground to cover.
We need to do our part as responsible citizens and keep a watchful eye on suspicious activity, as well as help our law enforcement any way that we can.
As an elected official, I feel that my responsibility would be to change the current law so that the county that performs the drug bust keeps at least 50% of the money recovered. The reason for this is because currently, that money goes into a special account in Pierre. This leaves the county that performed the bust responsible for all associated court costs, fees, vehicle repairs, etc…

Burrus brings up legislation the counties would probably back him on, and possibly the municipalities if he is willing to amend the bill to include them.

Rural Technology

Finally here is an issue which been coming up in Pierre:

#22 is going to focus on rural technology, and more specifically, fiber and high-speed data.
South Dakota has a great backbone built for high-speed data, and this was done by hard-working telcos and co-op’s.
I feel that for South Dakota to remain in that top-tier for data services, we need people in Pierre that understand how important this is to today’s world, and the citizens of our state. Doing this also creates opportunities for businesses to come in and provide services that other states won’t have simply because they don’t have the infrastructure in place.
Being in the technology industry, I understand how important this is to every person, producer, and business in our state.

This is a debate that is likely to come up more often in Pierre in the next few sessions. It is clear Burrus has this as a legislative priority.

Voters in District 21 should check out the Burrus campaign Facebook. Burrus takes a stance on a number of issues, making it easier for voters to decide if he is the right candidate for them.

Julie Bartling

Rep Julie Bartling speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/29/16.
Rep Julie Bartling speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/29/16.

Rep Julie Bartling (D, Dist 21) – Incumbent
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015 2014 2013 Senate 20102009 2008 2007 2006 2005 House 2004 2003 2002 2001
SDPB Audio: 2016

Julie Bartling has served in Pierre for quite a while. Since Bartling is a sitting legislator I will look at three pieces of legislation prime sponsored by here to get an idea of her legislative priorities.

First up from Bartling is this bill from 2016:

HB 1141 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – License persons offering applied behavior analysis services to the public.

Governor Daugaard signed this bill into law and even had a press release about it. HB 1141  basically will allow for the licensing and oversight of applied behavior analysts in South Dakota. This is to help expand the use of applied behavior analysis (ABA) for the many kids with autism in the state. Using ABA to help kids with autism has been a legislative issue for a couple of years. Bartling’s bill is a result of those efforts.

Up next is another bill from Bartling in 2016:

HB 1220 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Direct the secretary of education to reinstate scholarship funding under the GEAR UP grant program.

This bill came about as a result of the GEAR UP scandals. The bill originally submitted by Bartling would have directed the secretary of education to rescind a GEAR UP grant waiver. That would have effectively stopped the program and would have made it so the state would have to start over if they wanted to participate again; and hopefully correctly this time. HB 1220 was amended in House Education to have “the secretary of education shall reinstate the scholarship funding under the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), as part of the 2011 application for a state grant.” Of course as amended the bill did nothing, since the Department of Education already has that power. it was then killed on the House floor. This bill from Bartling was one of a few such bills from Democrats to fight against the corruption they believe exists in certain state programs.

Finally here is a bill from Bartling in 2014:

HB 1216 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Compensate school districts for funding shortfalls by increasing the per student allocation in the state aid to general education formula over the next three years.

Bartling had the same bill in 2013 as HB 1201 (SoDakLiberty Posts). The Democrats have tried to increase education funding after the large cuts in 2010. This would have been a way to increase the formula over a three-year period. Neither year was the bill able to make it out of committee. It does however show a commitment by Bartling to at least restoring some of the previous money to k-12 education.

SD Dist 20 State Senate Gen Election: Klumb and Burg

SD Legislative District 20
SD Legislative District 20

South Dakota legislative District 20 has  a general election for State Senate. District 20 includes Mitchell and goes west and northwest from Mitchell. It includes the towns of Alpena, Ethan, Lane, Mitchell, Mount Vernon, Plankinton, Stickney, Wessington Springs, and White Lake.

The Republican incumbent Sen Mike Vehle is term-limited. Fellow Republican Rep Joshua Klumb is not seeking reelection for House and is instead going to try for the State Senate seat. The Democrats have former legislator Quinten Burg also trying for this seat. Burg served in Pierre for a good number of years. It will be interesting to see how a single-term legislator like Klumb will be able to compete with a veteran former legislator such as Burg.

Here is a brief look at both candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the general election ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate. For candidates with a legislative history I look at a few pieces of legislation prime sponsored. For candidates with no legislative history I look at the issues I find for them online.

*** It should be noted this is NOT a scorecard. This post only looks at some of the legislative priorities of these candidates. These legislative priorities may or may not have any bearing on how the candidates actually vote on legislation.

Joshua Klumb

Rep Joshua Klumb speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.
Rep Joshua Klumb speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.

Rep Joshua Klumb (R, Dist 20)
Website – Facebook – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015
SDPB Video: 2014

Rep Joshua Klumb is currently in his first term as State Representative and hoping to move over to the State Senate. Klumb does have an issues page on his website. But since Klumb is a sitting legislator I would rather look at legislation he has prime sponsored to get an idea of his legislative priorities.

Up first for Klumb is this bill from 2016:

HB 1003 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise certain administrative functions regarding county government.

Klumb brought this bill on behalf of the Interim Committee on County Government. Most of the bill was cleanup. There was one part of the bill that would have raised the $5 contempt fine County Commissioners could impose on someone to $25. The bill was amended to remove the fine altogether along with the 1 day jail commissioners could impose. With that change this was a nice little cleanup bill that should help county governments by getting rid unneeded statutes.

Up next for Klumb is another bill from 2016:

HB 1236 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Define a halfway house.

Here is what I said about the bill before:

There has been a concern that halfway house is not defined in statute to match what these facilities do. The concern was that a halfway house would be put up and a new park or something would go up and prevent the halfway house from being utilized anymore. Having this defined would grandfather those halfway houses in.

This was an interesting bill; one that could be seen as a way to fix possible problems before they arise.

Finally here is a bill from Klumb in 2015:

HB 1117 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Provide for the approval of postsecondary courses for certain nonpublic school students and students receiving alternative instruction.

Klumb was easily able to get this bill passed into law, with only one no vote on House side. The current dual-credit enrollment policy says all students can utilize these courses. But state law did not reflect the actual policy. This would impact alternative school choices and tribal schools.

Klumb definitely seems to be the type of legislator that only brings legislation forth that are directed at fixing certain situations.

Quinten L. Burg

Quinten Burg. Photo from Burg's campaign Facebook page.
Quinten Burg. Photo from Burg’s campaign Facebook page.

Quinten Burg (D)
Facebook – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates –SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2010 2009 2008 2007 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999
SDPB Video: 2012

Quinten Burg has previously served five terms as a State Representative. Since Burg is a previous legislator I will look at a couple pieces of legislation prime sponsored by him to get an idea of his legislative priorities. It might be worth noting Burg really didn’t prime sponsor a lot of legislation during his years in Pierre.

First up for Burg is this bill from 2008:

HB 1223 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Create the postsecondary technical institute auxiliary fund and to provide continuing funding from the future fund to the technical institutes for the cost of replacing old or outdated equipment to meet workforce development needs.

This bill came as one of a few bills on behalf of the Tech School Funding Task Force from 2007. I went back and listened to some of the testimony on the bills and these bills basically came about because of the odd way the Tech Schools are funded. This bill would have use money from the future fund. There was resistance to that approach, which is probably why Senate Appropriations tabled the bill. Other means were found to try getting these funds to the Tech Schools. Funding for Tech Schools is still an issue, which is part of why  Constitutional Amendment R is on the ballot this fall.

Next up for Burg is a bill from 2003:

HB 1217 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Authorize certain haulers of baled garbage to receive an oversize vehicle permit.

Burg worked with the Department of Transportation on this bill. When the DOT was trying to promulgate rules about haulers that moved visible garbage bales they found there was no statute that allowed permits to be given to these trucks. The bill was passed into law. Rules that came out of this statute change still had to go through the rules review process. There actually was a person impacted by this issue because he didn’t have the required permit, even though law didn’t allow for him to have a permit… Burg definitely found an issue that needed to be fixed.

Instead of looking at a third bill from Burg it might be worth passing on a legislative priority he announced to the Mitchell Daily Republic:

With Gov. Dennis Daugaard potentially bringing Medicaid expansion before the Legislature this year in a special session or in 2017, Burg said he would provide a voice in support of the measure.

“I just feel we need somebody we know is going to support these things, because they are so vital to our communities,” Burg said.

It would appear Medicaid Expansion is a legislative priority for Burg if he returns to the legislature.

SD Attorney General joins second lawsuit over Title IX funds being withheld because of transgender policies

Marty Jackley speaking at a press conference in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/1/16.
Marty Jackley speaking at a press conference in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/1/16.

Today South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced a second lawsuit the State has joined onto as an amicus or “friend of the court”. The press release can be found here. The case in question is Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., Mother Deirdre Grimm.

Here is what Jackley says about the case in the press release:

“President Obama’s directive that children of opposite sex must be required to share locker rooms and bathrooms under the threat of lawsuit and withholding of education funding has been halted by a nationwide federal preliminary injunction. Unfortunately, the federal government continues to act on its threat by forcing this extraordinary intrusion upon our schools. The Attorneys General are again stepping forward to protect children by asking the United States Supreme Court to allow school districts to avoid placing young children of opposite sex in the same bathroom or locker room,” said Jackley.

Last December I looked at Title IX. Here is something I wrote at that time:

Opponents of the new SDHSAA transgender policy say the Dept of Ed has overstepped its bounds and have reinterpreted Title IX in a way it was not intended. Proponents of the transgender policy that I’ve spoken with say the Dept of Ed is simply modernizing our understanding of Title IX.

This is a case worth watching. It is also a case that is causing some of us libertarian-leaning individuals to be seen as the enemy by both sides. Some of us libertarian-leaning folks really don’t care about bathroom policies, or if sexes/genders are mixed. That of course puts us at odds with many social conservatives.

But at the same time many of libertarian-leaning individuals believe the Department of Education has overstepped its legal authority by unilaterally changing federal law with a letter sent out to schools about the change. There was no change in the law, Title IX only talks specifically about sex. There was no change in the regulations used to enact that law. Such regulation changes would have required hearings and public input as per the Administrative Procedure Act. Simply put, the Department of Education took it upon themselves to change federal law and expects the states to follow this change or they won’t give them federal education dollars. Siding against the Department of Education on this issue has left some of us libertarian rule-of-law types ad odds with the social justice liberals.

It is odd, but I am glad Jackley has joined into this lawsuit. True, at its core Jackley seems to have a different reason that I would for joining the lawsuit. But in the end if SCOTUS actually rules against the Department of Education’s rewriting of federal law there is hope other federal agencies can also be reigned in; at least reigned in enough to follow the law. If social justice warriors really want to change Title IX to apply to gender that is a fight they should be taking to Congress and not through federal agencies.

SD Dist 19 State House Gen Election: Peterson, Schoenfish, and Mentele

SD Legislative District 19. Screenshot from LRC website 5/20/16.
SD Legislative District 19. Screenshot from LRC website 5/20/16.

South Dakota legislative District 19 has  a general election for State Representative. District 19 is in SE South Dakota. Towns in this district include Alexandria, Armour, Bridgewater, Canistota, Corsica, Delmont, Dimock, Emery, Farmer, Freeman, Fulton, Menno, Montrose, Olivet, Parkston, Salem, Scotland, Spencer, Tabor, Tripp, and Tyndall.

Both Republican incumbents, Rep Kent Peterson and Rep Kyle Schoenfish, are seeking reelection.  Peterson and Schoenfish survived a primary challenge from fellow Republican ReGina Osborn. The Democrats have a single candidate on the ballot trying for one of these two seats. Originally that candidate was Ardon Wek. But Wek had to withdraw his name and was replaced by Democrat party with local activist Melissa Mentele.

Here is a brief look at all three candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the general election ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate. For candidates with a legislative history I look at a few pieces of legislation prime sponsored. For candidates with no legislative history I look at the issues I find for them online.

*** It should be noted this is NOT a scorecard. This post only looks at some of the legislative priorities of these candidates. These legislative priorities may or may not have any bearing on how the candidates actually vote on legislation.

Kent S. Peterson

Rep Kent Peterson on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/21/15.
Rep Kent Peterson on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/21/15.

Rep Kent Peterson (R, Dist 19) – Incumbent
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015
SDPB Video: 2014
SDPB Audio: 2016

I already did a post looking at bills prime sponsored by Ken Peterson for the Republican Primary election. In this post I will simply copy/past what I wrote about him then:

Peterson has completed his first term as State Representative. He easily walked into the position without opposition in 2014 to fill the seat vacated by Stace Nelson. It will be interesting to see if he can win reelection.

Since Peterson has a legislative history (and a non-existent online presence) I will take some time to look at the bills he has prime-sponsored. He really hasn’t sponsored many bills, but even a couple of bills can show something about him as a legislator. [a lack of bills prime sponsored is not a bad thing in my opinion]

The first bill to highlight from Peterson is HB 1219 (SoDakLiberty Posts) during the 2015 legislative session. HB 1219 is and Act to “permit entities to voluntarily disclose ownership on filings with the Office of the Secretary of State and to establish a fee therefor.” The bill basically added the ability to submit the statement of voluntary disclosure of beneficial interests with the SOS office and added a $25 fee to amended annual reports. Peterson’s opponent may use this to show he is willing support a fee increase piece of legislation.

In 2016 Peterson was not the prime sponsor of any House bills, but he was the House Prime sponsor of SB 74 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 74 was an Act to “authorize members of certain governing bodies who are displaced by a natural disaster to continue their term of office.” Basically this bill would not force certain elected officials to resign if their house is destroyed by a natural disaster and are temporarily living outside of their district. This happened in Delmont. There were no problems there with the elected officials, but could have been. This legislation passed into law will give elected officials one less thing to worry about in emergency situations.

The two bills Peterson prime sponsored could show a pattern of wanting to ensure government works efficiently. HB 1219 might be used against him as a fee increase.

Kyle Schoenfish

Rep Kyle Schoenfish on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/11/15.
Rep Kyle Schoenfish on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/11/15.

Rep Kyle Schoenfish (R, Dist 19) – Incumbent
Facebook – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates –SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015 2014 2013
SDPB Video: 2012

Since I also wrote about Kyle Schoenfish for the Republican Primary election I will copy/paste what I wrote then into this post:

Schoenfish is currently on his second term as State Representative for District 19. Just like Peterson, Schoenfish’s online presence is virtually non-existent; making it very difficult for constituents to learn about him. He has only one post from 2016 on his campaign website, and it is basically someone on his campaign staff asking everyone to vote for Schoenfish and Peterson. It also asks people to vote for Caleb Finck on the Senate side.

Just like with Peterson above, I will now take a moment to look at a couple pieces of legislation prime sponsored by Schoenfish in 2016.

First in 2016 Schoenfish was the prime sponsor of HB 1230 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1230 was an Act to “require lights on certain animal-drawn vehicles while operating on a highway.” This bill basically came about because of an Amish community in District 19. Looking back it seems odd a law had to be passed in order to deal with one specific circumstance in one community; especially since one would think the Amish in question would want to stay alive and let others know they are on the road at night. But, on the other hand this is legislation that shows Schoenfish is paying attention to issues in his district.

The other bill prime sponsored by Schoenfish in 2016 was HB 1089 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1089 was an Act to “revise provisions for accumulation of funds for certain municipal enterprises.” Here is what I said about the bill after it was signed into law:

This would change the accumulation of funds from exceeding “an amount equivalent to ten dollars per thousand dollars of taxable valuation of all property within the municipality” and change it to “The governing body shall establish a maximum amount allowed to be accumulated in the fund.” In committee the proponent testimony noted the current limit was arbitrary. This change would make it more transparent for taxpayers and easier for cities to use their money in the ways the city finds necessary.

Since the LRC website lists Schoenfish as an accountant it makes sense this type of legislation would be prime sponsored by him. He does seem to prime sponsor legislation aimed at fixing specific problems.

Melissa R. Mentele

Melissa Mentele (left). Photo from Mentele's campaign Facebook page.
Melissa Mentele (left). Photo from Mentele’s campaign Facebook page.

Melissa Mentele (D)
Facebook – Twitter – BallotpediaVoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

Melissa Mentele may be a familiar name for those following politics in South Dakota. Mentele spearheaded the petition drive for New Approach South Dakota to legalize the use of medical marijuana within South Dakota. Mentele was not able to get enough good signatures to get that issue on the ballot for 2016. I think it can be safe to assume that medical marijuana is a legislative priority for Mentele.

To find out some of her issues and priorities I will look at her campaign Facebook page.

Abortion

Mentele has this to say about abortion and pro-life in a Facebook post:

As a candidate I receive lots of surveys from different organizations regarding my stance on a myriad of subjects. The most prevalent one being what is my stance on abortion. I find that a very personal question not just for me but for every woman in the world. Our bodies, our babies & our choice is just that ours. There is more focus on pro-life meaning we protect the unborn then there is on protecting & caring for the born.

As a woman I see how society & our lawmakers use this subject as a jump point for votes. It’s easy to convince people that you don’t support abortion & are protecting those poor innocent babies from death. I get it. It’s an issue that people vehemently use to garner feel good warm fuzzy votes. Sorry it doesn’t work for me.

The real issue is not abortion it is what are we as SD residents & lawmakers going to do to protect those children. What are we going to do to ensure they are clothed, fed, loved, educated & cared for?

This article really put things into perspective for me today. I hope you read it and can honestly answer the Pro-life question because I tell you what 75% of those who claim to be pro-life are not.

If you are ok with cutting SNAP, not expanding Medicaid, removing funding from programs like the backpack/summer meals/free school lunches & reducing TANF you are not pro-life. You are pro-vote and need a doctors appointment to have your heart checked.

https://medium.com/@t…/are-you-really-pro-life-ab5c5acbb293…

The above is interesting because more often it seems this is the approach being taken by candidates are labeled as pro-choice.

Teacher Pay

Mentele has this to say about the recent teacher pay raise:

Education is vital for our children. A good education comes from great teachers. In SD we have been dead last on teacher pay for awhile. Earlier this year a bill was passed to increase teacher pay. It took us out of being last in the nation but left us last in the region.

We can do better. I support additional funding for teachers. We need to pay teachers what they are worth. Their influence on our children’s lives is priceless. We as a state need to ensure that their wages reflect that.

Mentele definitely seems to have a legislative priority of getting more pay for teachers.

Medicaid Expansion

In the abortion section above Mentele notes support for Medicaid Expansion. Here is a longer bit on the subject of Medicaid expansion from Mentele:

I find it disturbing that the SDGOP passed a resolution to “reject and defeat” efforts for Medicaid expansion in South Dakota.
It is a blow to the many seniors, disabled and low income working families that fall into the no coverage gap. Many working families do not qualify for subsidized health care and cannot afford the high costs in the market for it. Medicaid expansion will help those families working 2 sometimes 3 jobs to obtain coverage.

Time to bring new faces, fresh ideas and common sense to Pierre in January.

Vote Mentele for House! I will push for Medicaid expansion so working families have health insurance. No family should work 2-3 jobs and still not have access to preventative health care. It is wrong. Those who think no expansion is the right option need to schedule a cardiology appointment for a heart check.

I will be interesting to see if Mentele can take her experience running a ballot question petition drive into a campaign to run for office. This might be a race to watch.

SD Executive Appointments listed in the Sept 26 register

22513590The September 26 South Dakota LRC Register includes a few executive appointments and reappointment made by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard in mid-September. There are also a few corrections listed for appointments made previously. Here are the new appointments and any additional information I find interesting about these appointments

Executive Appointments

Brian Gustafson, Pierre, was appointed on September 19, 2016, to the South Dakota Board on Geographic Names, to replace Bill Markley, effective immediately.

This position on the board is on behalf of the SD Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR). Gustafson is listed as a Engineer Manager III  in the Air Quality division of DENR.

Dr. Scott Schirber, Rapid City, was appointed on September 19, 2016, to the State Board of Examiners in Optometry, to replace Dr. Joseph Hartford, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Schirber fills a Prescribing Optometrist position on the board.

Executive Reappointments

Michael L. Harstad, Crooks, was reappointed on September 15, 2016, to the Fire Marshal’s Advisory Board, effective immediately and shall continue until April 12, 2020.

Harstad fills a position on behalf of the Fire equipment industry. Harstad as a Aerial Products Manager for Rosenbauer America.  He is also the Fire Chief for the  Crooks Volunteer Fire Department.

Corrections Filed

These three were shown as corrected in the Sept 26 register. All three of these appointments are for the Board of Social Work Examiners and I noted their appointments back in August. The ending date for terms were originally misreported. I have updated my original post to reflect these changes.

Dr. Vicki Isler, Sioux Falls, was appointed on August 5, 2016, to the Board of Social Work Examiners, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019 October 30, 2018.

Dr. Pamela Osnes, Burke, was appointed on August 5, 2016, to the Board of Social Work Examiners, effective immediately and shall continue until June October 30, 2019.

Lisa Stanley, Pierre, was appointed on August 5, 2016, to the Board of Social Work Examiners, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019 October 30, 2017.

South Dakota political blogging from a libertarian-leaning individual

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