The GOAC meeting on Tues, April 25, is one to keep an eye on!

Non-meandered lakes will be THE topic to keep an eye on!

On Tuesday, April 25, the legislative Government Operations & Audit Committee (GOAC) will meet in Pierre for its second meeting of the year. This is a meeting worth keeping an eye on for many reasons; I’ll go into some of those reasons as I list the agenda items below. Due to this meeting have so many big-ticket topic I plan to be in Pierre on Tuesday in order to record a video of the proceedings. Hopefully that will allow more people to see what GOAC does or doesn’t do.

The previous GOAC meeting was held on March 28 in Pierre. The minutes from that meeting can be read here.

The agenda for the upcoming April 25 meeting can be viewed here.  For this post I will briefly list each agenda items. Additionally I will add some notes pertaining to each agenda item.

Item 1 – Department of Legislative Audit to review the Single Audit Report for the State of South Dakota for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016

This agenda item has the two following documents posted online:

I haven’t had a chance to actually browse through either file yet.

Item 2 – Brand Board to review the 2016 annual report

The two documents available for this agenda item are:

Over the last few years I’ve learned the branding board is VERY important to ranchers. Cattle stealing still happens and the Brand Board is one tool used to keep rustling under control.

Item 3 – Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services to discuss Federal Communication Commission Direct Video Calling

For this agenda item the Department of Human Services (DHS) will give a presentation on Telecommunication Relay Services (TRS). The documents available for this meeting are:

Item 4 – Department of Game, Fish and Parks to discuss the discontinued access to non-meandering waters in South Dakota

Now we are up to what I think will be one of the, if not the, biggest item of the 2018 legislative session: non-meandered waters! This is a top that pits sportsmen against landowners against GFP. It is a topic I will spend more time blogging about this summer, so I will keep this particular blurb short. But I will say this is a topic everyone should be paying attention to. GFP’s move to close access to certain non-meandered lakes after a recent SD Supreme Court decision is getting a lot of attention. My next blog about this topic will be going over some of terminology and history around the topic.

Item 5 – Auditor General to provide an update on the Mid Central Educational Cooperative Special Review Report and the fiscal year 2015 Single Audit – final report to be reviewed at a future GOAC meeting

This is an ongoing issue and will continue to be HUGE. A lot of pressure is being placed on GOAC to find out everything about the GEAR-UP scandals, especially with MCEC. Recently Sen Stace Nelson (R, Dist 19) called out Rep Kyle Schoenfish (R, Dist 19)  for his firms part in auditing certain entities involved in these scandals. That will likely come up during the meeting as well. Unfortunately the Auditor General has not posted a copy of the audit update. People are demanding answers and hopefully this meeting will start to provide some of them.

Item 6 – Bureau of Human Resources to discuss:
• The length of time needed between the employment application and
the job offer
• Performance management indicators

I haven’t really looked into this agenda item….

Item 7 – Future meeting topics:

Finally, here is a list of what GOAC hopes to accomplish later in the year:

  • Juvenile Corrections Reports
  • Review the Mid Central Educational Cooperative Special Review Report
  • Department of Revenue review of performance indicators
  • Bureau of Information and Telecommunications review of performance indicators
  • University Centers financial review
  • Board of Regents application and acceptance process
  • Annual report from the Obligation Recovery Center
  • Annual reports from agencies receiving funds from the Building South Dakota Fund
  • Report from Bureau of Human Resources on compiled authorizations to derive a direct benefit from a contract
  • Report from the Auditor General on compiled authorizations to derive a direct benefit from a contract
  • Annual report from the South Dakota 911 Coordination Board
  • Review the annual work plan and report of the State Board of Internal Control
  • Annual report from the South Dakota High School Activities Association

Many of those topics will likely be blog-worthy. And all of the topics are worth keeping an eye on!

Video of Clare Lopez speaking at the Americans First, Task Force, event

On Thursday, April 6, the Americans First, Task Force, hosted an event at the DEC in Aberdeen to address refugees in Aberdeen from a conservative viewpoint. The speaker at this event was Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. Earlier I posted about the protesters of this event. This post will focus on the video I shot at this event. As with most of these events I record, I will post these videos unedited (mostly, more on that below) and without commentary. If I find time I will blog separately about what I agree/disagree with from the event.

I have the event split into three separate YouTube videos to make it easier for people to view the portions of the event they wish. I have also included a fourth video below, which is actually a playlist including all three videos playing back to back.

The first video is the opening of the meeting and some remarks from Amy Willson, Chapter leader for Act for America SD. This video is just under nineteen minutes long.

The second video is the main presentation from Clare Lopez. It is completely unedited. It is interesting to note that she brought some things about Aberdeen specifically into her presentation. This is something many out-of-town speakers often fail to do. The video is just under one hour and eight minutes long.

The third and final video is the question and answer session with Clare Lopez. The video is just over thirty-six minutes long. I had somewhat of a technical issue filming this portion of the event. During the middle of the Q&A session I lost the video feed due to a technical issue with my camera. As always I was also recording the audio; so the audio from that portion of the Q&A session has been inserted to make the recording complete. That is the only edit to this video; no portion of this was edited for content.

Finally I will include this playlist which includes all of the three videos.

Pictures of protesters at the Americans First, Task Force meeting, plus video of organizer

On Thursday, April 6, the Americans First, Task Force, held another event in Aberdeen revolving around the whole refugee issue. The speaker at this event was Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. I will have a blog post up shortly with video I shot of her presentation. But for this post I want to focus on the protesters outside the event.

Up first is this video of a short interview with Briggs Tople. Tople is the Chair of the Aberdeen High School Democrats and spearheaded this protest effort. The video below allows Tople to explain in his own words why he felt this protest was necessary:

I think Tople should be commended for organizing this protest. Even people who do not agree with Tople should acknowledge that this young man is proactively doing something about an issue which resonates deeply.

I didn’t get a chance to get video interviews with other protesters; mostly because I wanted to get into the event and pick a good spot to record the meeting (it was a packed house). Over at Dakota Free Press there are a few videos of what other protesters had to say. I was able to get a few pictures of the protesters before the meeting started. Here are a few of those pictures:

Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.
Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.
Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.
Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.
Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.
Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.

Up next I’ll have the video footage I shot from within the event.

Blogging to resume and other quick notes

After a few months off blogging will resume on SoDakLiberty.com. I appreciate all the messages I received asking if everything was OK. This break from blogging had to do with working massive hours at the office and trying to complete some sections for a book. Now that tax season is basically done I will have time for some blogging once again.

On that note…

Earlier this week I attended the Americans First, Task Force meeting featuring Clare Lopez speaking about refugees. Before the meeting I was able to take some pictures of the protesters of this event and record a video with the young man who organized the event. I will have that post up later today. Additionally I was able to record the event with Clare Lopez. I will share that as well later today so the community of Aberdeen can hear what she has to say.

Going forward I am likely to do only a post or two a week on SoDakLiberty. There simply isn’t enough time to keep up with the amount of posting I used to do. 2018 already has a couple of races lining up that might be interesting. Additionally some of the possible ballot questions deserve a lot of blog space.

One final note. I am currently running for school board in Aberdeen. If you live in the Aberdeen school district I would appreciate your vote in June. As the campaign moves along I will post more information about that on my campaign Facebook page.

PS. It feels odd, yet satisfying, to be blogging again!

SD State Legislators list updated with leadership positions

I’ve updated the SD State Legislators list (available in the menu above) with the results from the leadership elections recently held.

I believe these results have already been reported by other political blogs in the state. But, for anyone that wants to know who was elected to legislative leadership positions, here are the results of the caucus meetings:

2017-2018 Senate Majority Leadership

If I understand the President Pro Tempore correctly, this is not actually elected until the full Senate is in session and the Democrats get their votes. It is unlikely to change though.

Sen Brock Greenfield speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.
Sen Brock Greenfield speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.

President Pro Tempore: Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2)

Majority Leader: Sen Blake Curd (R, Dist 12)

Assistant Majority Leader: Sen Ryan Maher (R, Dist 28)

Majority Whip: Sen Kris Langer (R, Dist 25)

Majority Whip: Sen Al Novstrup (R, Dist 3)

Majority Whip: Sen Bob Ewing (R, Dist 31)

2017-2018 Senate Minority Leadership

Sen Billie Sutton speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/19/16.
Sen Billie Sutton speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/19/16.

Minority Leader: Sen Billie Sutton (D, Dist 21)

Assistant Minority Leader: Sen Troy Heinert (D, Dist 26)

Minority Whip: Sen Jason Frerichs (D, Dist 1)

2017-2018 House Majority Leadership

If I understand the two Speaker positions correctly, these are not actually elected until the full House is in session and the Democrats get their votes. It is unlikely to change though.

Rep Mark Mickelson at the front the SD House. Photo by Ken Santema 2/17/16.
Rep Mark Mickelson at the front the SD House. Photo by Ken Santema 2/17/16.

Speaker of the House: Rep Mark Mickelson (R, Dist 13)

Speaker Pro Tempore: Rep Don Haggar (R, Dist 10)

Majority Leader: Rep Lee Qualm (R, Dist 21)

Assistant Majority Leader: Rep Kent Peterson (R, Dist 19)

Majority Whip: Rep Arch Beal (R, Dist 12)

Majority Whip: Rep Larry Rhoden (R, Dist 29)

Majority Whip: Rep Leslie Heinemann (R, Dist 8)

Majority Whip: Rep Lynne DiSanto (R, Dist 35)

Majority Whip: Rep Isaac Latterell (R, Dist 6)

2017-2018 House Minority Leadership

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

Minority Leader: Rep Spencer Hawley (D, Dist 7)

Assistant Minority Leader: Rep Julie Bartling (D, Dist 21)

Minority Whip: Rep Karen Soli (D, Dist 15)

Minority Whip: Rep Susan Wismer (D, Dist 1)

November has a lot of SD Executive Appointments

1664437I was just reviewing the October and November SD LRC Registers and see there are a lot of executive appointments and reappointments Governor Daugaard had to make. These are listed in the November 7, November 14, and November 21 registers. In this post I will list the executive appointments/reappointments and add any additional information I may have about the appointee.

Looking at this list it reminds of just how many boards and commissions the the State of South Dakota has.

*** I should also note that many of these appointments actually appear to be reappointments that were improperly listed as appointments. Some of these I’ve noted a correction on, some I haven’t.

Executive Appointments

Secretary Steve Emery, Pierre, was appointed on October 19, 2016, to the South Dakota Board on Geographic Names, to replace LeRoy LaPlante, effective immediately.

Emery fills this position as the Secretary of Tribal Relations. LaPlante was the previous (and first) Secretary of the Department of Tribal Relations before retiring from that position in 2014.

Alissa Matt, Sioux Falls, was appointed on October 20, 2016, to the Board of Technical Professions, to replace Drake T. Olson, effective immediately and shall continue until April 14, 2019.

Olson had just been appointed to this position in April of this year. Matt fills a Public Member position on the board.

Darlene Bergeleen, Wessington Springs, was appointed on November 2, 2016, to the South Dakota Board of Nursing, to replace Teresa Disburg, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Bergeleen fills a RN position on the board.

Carla J. Borchardt, Sioux Falls, was appointed on November 2, 2016, to the South Dakota Board of Nursing, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

This probably should have been listed as a reappointment. Borchardt was appointed to this board back in August to fill a new position. The term for that appointment was until October 30, 2016. Borchardt fills a RN position on the board.

Doneen Hollingsworth, Pierre, was appointed on November 2, 2016, to the South Dakota Board of Nursing, to replace Betty Oldenkamp, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Hollingsworth fills a Lay Member position on the board.

Kristin L. Possehl, Brookings, was appointed on November 2, 2016, to the South Dakota Board of Nursing, to replace Robin York, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Possehl fills a RN/LPN Educator position on the board.

Dr. Harold Doerr, Rapid City, was appointed on November 2, 2016, to the State Board of Dentistry, to replace Dr. Robin Hattervig, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2018.

Doerr fills a Dentist position on the board.

Dr. Nick Renemans, Pierre, was appointed on November 2, 2016, to the State Board of Dentistry, to replace Dr. Roger Wilson, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Renemans fills a Dentist position on the board.

Trista Friman, Parkston, was appointed on November 2, 2016, to the State Library Board, to replace Carol Rosenthal, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Monte Loos, Rapid City, was appointed on November 2, 2016, to the State Library Board, to replace Roy Burr, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Quentin L. Riggins, Rapid City, was appointed on November 2, 2016, to the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority, to replace David Lust, effective immediately and shall continue until January 18, 2020.

Lust shows up later in this post…

Diedre Budahl, Rapid City, was appointed on November 3, 2016, to the South Dakota Board of Accountancy, to replace John Linn, Jr., effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Budahl fills a CPA position on this board. This board has been going after small businesses that use the word “accounting” or any form of it. They are definitely out of control, more on that in a different post some time in the future.

Jeff Strand, Sioux Falls, was appointed on November 3, 2016, to the South Dakota Board of Accountancy, to replace John Mitchell, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Strand fills a CPA position on the board.

Lynell M. Rice-Brinkworth, Rapid City, was appointed on November 3, 2016, to the Board of Examiners for Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists, to replace Cyndi C. Smit, effective immediately and shall continue until October 31, 2019.

Rice-Brinkworth fills a Professional, LMFT position on the board.

Tiffany Butler, Lennox, was appointed on November 10, 2016, to the Board of Examiners for Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists, to replace Mary Guth, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Butler fills a Licensed Professional – LPC position on the board.

Richard Westra, Aberdeen, was appointed on November 3, 2016, to the State Banking Commission, to replace Arthur Russo, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Westra fills a State Bank position on the board.

Randy Brennick, Sturgis, was appointed on November 9, 2016, to the State Board of Funeral Service, to replace Susan Bentsen, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Matthew Christiansen, Mitchell, was appointed on November 9, 2016, to the Board of Examiners of Psychologists, to replace Dr. Bradley Woldt, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Trisha Miller, Rapid City, was appointed on November 9, 2016, to the Board of Examiners of Psychologists, to replace Dr. Magnavito, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Miskoo Petite, Sr., Okreek, was appointed on November 9, 2016, to the Council of Juvenile Services, to replace Judge Karen Jeffries, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Dr. Denette Eisnach, Pierre, was appointed on November 14, 2016, to the State Board of Examiners in Optometry, to replace Dr. Jill Hart, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2019.

Laurie Feiler, Pierre, was appointed on November 14, 2016, to the Oversight Council (Public Safety Improvement Act PSIA), to replace Jim Seward, effective immediately.

Patrick Weber, Pierre, was appointed on November 14, 2016, to the Oversight Council (Public Safety Improvement Act PSIA), to replace Laurie Feiler, effective immediately.

This is an interesting one because it has another appointee being replaced. Somehow I think there is an error here. Or some shuffling going on.

Dr. Jennifer May, Rapid City, was appointed on November 15, 2016, to the State Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners, to replace Dr. Mary Carpenter, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

May fills a Physician position on the board.

Richard Hainje, Hill City, was appointed on November 16, 2016, to the State Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners, to replace David Lust, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2018.

Hainje fills a Lay member position on the board. Lust shows up later in the post…

Dave Mickelson, Sioux Falls, was appointed on November 15, 2016, to the South Dakota Lottery Commission, to replace Robert Hartford, effective January 2, 2017, and shall continue until January 1, 2020.

Russ Hohn, Blunt, was appointed on November 16, 2016, to the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, to replace Glen Barber, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Hohn fills an Employer position on the board.

Jean Murphy, Sioux Falls, was appointed on November 16, 2016, to the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, to replace Connie Halverson, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2018.

Murphy fills an Employer position on the board.

Rick Larson, Huron, was appointed on November 16, 2016, to the South Dakota Workforce Development Council, to replace Randy Hanson, effective immediately and shall continue until June 30, 2017.

Dan Somsen, Yankton, was appointed on November 16, 2016, to the State Board of Pharmacy, to replace Jeff Nielsen, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

David Lust, District 34, was appointed on November 18, 2016, to the South Dakota House, to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Representative Dan Dryden, effective immediately.

This is technically the second time Lust has been appointed to replace Dryden. Dryden passed away earlier this year. At that time Governor Daugaard appointed Lust to fill out the remainder of Dryden’s term. Dryden died too late for a new candidate to be placed on the ballot. After Dryden won the election Daugaard then appointed Lust once again to serve Dryden’s newly elected term.

Executive Reappointments

Lynn D. Boadwine, Baltic, was reappointed on November 3, 2016, to the Animal Industry Board, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Steven R. Rommereim, Alcester, was reappointed on November 3, 2016, to the Animal Industry Board, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Arlen L. Hauge, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on November 3, 2016, to the South Dakota Aeronautics Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Travis W. Lantis, Spearfish, was reappointed on November 3, 2016, to the South Dakota Aeronautics Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Dave Luers, Pierre, was reappointed on November 3, 2016, to the South Dakota Aeronautics Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Roswitha M. Konz, Mitchell, was reappointed on November 3, 2016, to the Board of Examiners for Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists, effective immediately and shall continue until October 31, 2019.

Konz fills a Professional, LPC position on the board.

Jill Schoen, Mansfield, was reappointed on November 3, 2016, to the Board of Examiners for Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Schoen fills a Licensed Professional on the board.

Lisa M. Rave, Baltic, was reappointed on November 3, 2016, to the State Board of Pharmacy, effective immediately and shall continue until October 1, 2019.

Annelies Seffrood, Summit, was reappointed on November 3, 2016, to the American Dairy Association of South Dakota, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Scott A. Vance, Faith, was reappointed on November 3, 2016, to the State Brand Board, effective January 2, 2017, and shall continue until January 6, 2020.

David Volk, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on November 4, 2016, to the State Board of Funeral Service, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Daniele L. Dosch, Rapid City, was reappointed on November 7, 2016, to the Behavioral Health Advisory Council, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

LeLewis Gipp, Aberdeen, was reappointed on November 7, 2016, to the Behavioral Health Advisory Council, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Katherine Jaeger, Dakota Dunes, was reappointed on November 7, 2016, to the Behavioral Health Advisory Council, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019

Sheila Weber, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on November 7, 2016, to the Behavioral Health Advisory Council, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Jane York, Yankton, was reappointed on November 7, 2016, to the Behavioral Health Advisory Council, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Susan R. Sandgren, Lemmon, was reappointed on November 8, 2016, to the Behavioral Health Advisory Council, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Taniah Apple, Martin, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the Council of Juvenile Services, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Kimberly J. Cournoyer, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the Council of Juvenile Services, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Sara McGregor-Okroi, Sisseton, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the Council of Juvenile Services, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Elizabeth O’Toole, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the Council of Juvenile Services, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Karen S. Chesley, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the Board of Social Work Examiners, effective immediately and shall continue until October 31, 2019.

Jennifer B. Gray, Pierre, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the Board of Social Work Examiners, effective immediately and shall continue until October 31, 2019.

David Nielsen, Lead, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the Board of Social Work Examiners, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Chet Edinger, Mitchell, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the Wheat Utilization Research and Marketing Development Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Clint Vanneman, Ideal, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the Wheat Utilization Research and Marketing Development Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the South Dakota Crime Victims’ Compensation Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Sgt. Loren McManus, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the South Dakota Crime Victims’ Compensation Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Floyd L. Munterfering, Parkston, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the South Dakota Weed and Pest Control Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until December 31, 2020.

Daryl (KC) Russell, Aberdeen, was reappointed on November 9, 2016, to the Veterans Commission, effective immediately and shall continue until October 1, 2019.

Carolyn K. Stansberry, St. Onge, was reappointed on November 10, 2016, to the State Board of Podiatry Examiners, effective immediately and shall continue until October 31, 2019.

Jerry Cope, Rapid City, was reappointed on November 15, 2016, to the South Dakota State Railroad Board, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Harlan J. Quenzer, Mitchell, was reappointed on November 15, 2016, to the South Dakota State Railroad Board, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Joseph F. Kafka, Valley Springs, was reappointed on November 15, 2016, to the South Dakota Lottery Commission, effective January 2, 2017, and shall continue until January 1, 2020.

Kafka was appointed to this position back in June.

Dr. Laurie Landeen, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on November 15, 2016, to the State Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Landeen fills a Physician position on the board.

Christine A. Ellwein, Pierre, was reappointed on November 16, 2016, to the Board of Massage Therapy, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Bridget J. Myers, Sioux Falls, was reappointed on November 16, 2016, to the Board of Massage Therapy, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Randy Stainbrook, Rapid City, was reappointed on November 16, 2016, to the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, effective immediately and shall continue until October 30, 2019.

Stainbrook fills a Employee-AFL – Union position on the board.

Blogging will be light on SoDakLiberty for a while, no coverage of all bills in the 2017 legislative session

Business itemsFor the last couple of years I have been trying to provide coverage of every legislative committee meeting, every legislative bill, plus anything else I think the voters of SD should know about. I am very happy with the way my blogging has been received while covering the South Dakota legislature. Now, I must put this blog on the back-burner as a new writing opportunity has arisen which will keep me quite busy for the next year. Between this new project and my other two businesses I simply won’t have time devote to the legislature.

SoDakLiberty will continue, and I will do the occasional post for political matters I find interesting. This most likely won’t happen more than once or twice per week. I also plan to record various public events and posting them for people to see. My biggest objective on this blog has always to get more information out to people; and I believe recording certain events and sharing them on this blog is a great medium for doing so. If anyone in the Aberdeen area has a politically related event they want recorded and shared online let me know. It doesn’t even matter if I agree with you politically, I will share the event so people can discuss issues and know what others in the community believe.

Believe it or not I will very much miss covering every aspect of the legislative session. I do plan on once again covering the SD legislature, but that won’t happen for the 2017 session and likely won’t happen for the 2018 session either. I want to thank the readers of this blog for their support and look forward to continuing to blog about South Dakota politics, even if it is greatly reduced from what it was.

Looking at the SD State Senate general election results

As I continue to look at results from the 2016 South Dakota general election it is time to look at the State Senate races. I’ve updated the page I used to track the legislative general election races. I’ve also updated the SD State Legislators tab above to reflect the new office holders; yes, technically it is just under two months early, but I am gearing up for the 2017 legislative session already. The big story on the state Senate side is that Republicans picked up two seats and seemed to shift further to the right. There is also one race which has a possible recount.

Below is a brief recap of who won each general election State Senate seat, and maybe some comments if a race warrants it. This list does not include any State Senate races where there was not a general election opponent, those races were already recapped back in July. These results are all unofficial until the state canvassing board certifies them next week.

District 3 State Senate

Up first is the race between Republican Rep Al Novstrup and Democrat Cory Heidelberger. They were going after the seat being vacated by Republican Sen David Novstrup.

District 3 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 3 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

This is a race that many expected to be much closer. Getting almost 40% of the vote as a newcomer is actually pretty good. But I do think this race was winnable for Heidelberger, or at least could have come much closer. I know both candidates, and have respect for both of them. Each of them has their good and bad policy standpoints in my opinion.

Looking a back I think Heidelberger was doing everything he could to get votes. Heidelberger was speaking to local groups about his candidacy and the ballot questions. He spent massive amounts of time going door to door. For a state legislative race he actually raised some pretty good funds. If Heidelberger had stuck to just these activities I believe this race would have been the tight race many expected. That may or may not have been enough to win, but it would have been close in my opinion.

Some will say the negative attack ads sent out by the SD GOP against Heidelberger tipped the balance towards Novstrup. Personally I don’t think the postcards did much, if anything. I believe what kept this from being a tight race is the same thing that caused Hillary Clinton to lose some support: social justice warriors. Heidelberger is a social justice warrior and is not afraid to use political correctness as a tool while blogging or speaking to groups. I believe this cost him a lot of votes. I’ve actually spoken with a handful of long-time Democrats in Aberdeen who were turned away from Heidelberger for often throwing out words such as bigoted, racists, misogynist, sexists, etc… Using those terms to label opponents does a great job of getting his base supporters excited, but it pushes people away who might have otherwise listened to his message. I think if the 2016 election proves anything it is that people on the whole are sick of political correctness being used to shut down discussions.

That is enough about this race. Time to move on.

District 4 State Senate

Republican Rep John Wiik and Democrat Kathy Tyler were up next for this election. The were going after the seat being left by Democrat Sen Jim Peterson.

District 4 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 4 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

This was another race I thought would be much closer. Both candidates have name recognition in the district and both candidates were out working hard. I’m not sure if the negative ads against Tyler gave Wiik the advantage, or if the voters of District 4 could relate to Wiik’s conservative message. Either way this was a big loss for the Democrats as this seat in the State Senate was flipped to the Republicans.

District 6 State Senate

Up next is Republican Sen Ernie Otten defending his seat against Democrat challenger Kyle Boese.

District 6 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 6 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 7 State Senate

In District 7 Republican Sen Larry Tidemann defended his seat against Democrat Mary Perpich.

District 7 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 7 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 8 State Senate

District 8 has Democrat Sen Scott Parsley defending his seat against Republican challenger Jordan Youngberg.

District 8 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 8 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

This was an exciting race to watch on Tuesday night. The two candidates were going back and forth for first place as the precincts came in. And it ended within recount range. I haven’t heard yet if Parsley has asked for a recount. 94 votes is very close, but I’m not sure it is close enough for a recount to change the results. This is a hard loss for the Democrats in the State Senate. Going into this I thought Youngberg would get close, but didn’t really think he had a chance of unseating Parsley. This race does show incumbents can be defeated in South Dakota.

District 9 State Senate

District 9 had incumbent Republican Sen Deb Peters defending her seat against Democrat John Koch.

District 9 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 9 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 10 State Senate

District 10 had Republican incumbent Sen Jenna Haggar defending her seat against Democrat Jim Powers.

District 10 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 10 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 11 State Senate

Republican Rep Jim Stalzer and Democrat Tom Cool faced each other for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen David Omdahl.

District 11 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 11 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 12 State Senate

In District 12 incumbent Republican Sen Blake Curd defended his seat against Democrat Jim Sanden.

District 12 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 12 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 13 State Senate

In District 13 Republican Jack Kolbeck and Democrat Denny Pierson faced off for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen Phyllis Heineman.

District 13 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 13 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

I actually thought this race would be closer, with Kolbeck barely winning over Pierson. But I guess that is why I write about politics, instead of trying to predict politics…

District 14 State Senate

District 14 had Republican Sen Deb Soholt defending her seat against Independent Tyler Swanger.

District 14 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 14 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

This is another race I thought would be closer. I thought Soholt would win, but with Swanger within 10 points.

District 16 State Senate

Republican Rep Jim Bolin and Democrat Chad Skiles faced off for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen William Shorma.

District 16 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 16 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 17 State Senate

District 17 had incumbent Republican Sen Arthur Rusch defending his seat against Democrat Shane Merrill.

District 17 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 17 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

This is a race I didn’t think would be close. But wow, this was a fun race to watch on Tuesday night. At times it looked as if Rusch could lose his seat. In then end Rusch gained back a good lead. But it was a pretty tough race for an incumbent. This might be a district to keep an eye on in the 2018 election.

District 19 State Senate

District 19 had Republican Stace Nelson and Democrat Russell Graeff facing off for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen Bill Van Gerpen.

District 19 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 19 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

As is his way, Nelson completely dominated this race.

District 20 State Senate

In District 20 Republican Rep Joshua Klumb and Democrat Quinten Burg were trying for the seat of term-limited Republican Sen Mike Vehle.

District 20 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 20 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 22 State Senate

District 22 had Republican incumbent Sen Jim White defending his seat from Democrat challenger Eric Bliss.

District 22 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 22 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 25 State Senate

District 25 had Republican Rep Kris Langer and Democrat Jeff Barth facing off for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen Scott Fiegen.

District 25 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 25 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

Before the election I had given Barth good odds of making this a competitive race. Another one I was wrong on…

District 29 State Senate

District 29 Senate had Republican incumbent Sen Gary Cammack defending his seat against Independent LeRoy Kindler.

District 29 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 29 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 30 State Senate

District 30 had Republican Rep Lance Russell, who beat out incumbent Republican Sen Bruce Rampelberg in the primary election, face off against Democrat Karla LaRive.

District 30 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 30 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 32 State Senate

District 32 had Republican incumbent Sen Alan Solano  defend his seat from Democrat David Hubbard.

District 32 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 32 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 33 State Senate

District 33 had Republican incumbent Sen Phil Jensen defend his seat against Democrat challenger Haven Stuck.

District 33 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 33 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 34 State Senate

District 34 had Republican Rep Jeff Partridge and Democrat Jay Shultz facing off for the seat being vacated by term-limited Republican Sen Craig Tieszen.

District 34 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 34 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

A brief final look at the 6 failed ballot questions

Yesterday I posted  a look at the four ballot questions which the voters of South Dakota approved. In this post I will look at the six ballot questions that didn’t make it. Hopefully this will be the last time I have to blog about any of these (except maybe a clean attempt at the legislation which was destroyed and became RL 19). These numbers are based upon the unofficial results. Next week the canvassing board will certify the results, then they can become official (unless something has to be changed).

Amendment T – legislative redistricting

My original post on Amendment T can be viewed here.

Proponents of this amendment called it an anti-gerrymandering law. Republicans fought hard against this particular amendment. I personally supported the amendment, but I don’t think it would have done much to change the makeup of elected officials in Pierre.

Here are the unofficial results of Amendment T:

Unofficial election results for Amendment T. Screen shot from SD SOS website.
Unofficial election results for Amendment T. Screen shot from SD SOS website.

Amendment T died pretty hard. A big part of the problem proponents had trying to get this amendment passed is the fact people don’t know, or generally care, how legislative redistricting is done. From an open government standpoint Amendment V was probably a good change, but in the end I don’t think it really matter whether it passed or not.

Amendment U – Prevent payday loan interest caps

My original post on Amendment U can be viewed here.

Amendment U was created by the payday industry to protect itself from Initiated Measure 21 (which passed and caps payday loans at 36%). The important part of U would have placed in the SD Constitution that payday loan interest rates cannot be capped if there is a written contract. Of course all payday loans have written contracts.

Here are the unofficial results of Amendment U:

Unofficial election results for Amendment U. Screen shot from SD SOS website.
Unofficial election results for Amendment U. Screen shot from SD SOS website.

U didn’t get defeated quite as soundly as I thought it would. But I do think the payday loan industry bringing U forward might have tipped the scale on IM 21 passing. Hopefully this is the last we see of this amendment.

Amendment V – Nonpartisan elections

My original post on Amendment V can be viewed here. My post changing my mind on Amendment V can be viewed here.

Amendment V was touted as a way to have nonpartisan elections in South Dakota. I believe the original proponents of the amendment were doing so to help more Democrats get elected in South Dakota. At first I supported the measure, mostly because I am annoyed taxpayer dollars are being used to pay for private party elections. But I did change my mind and went against V. The main reason for going against V is that I believe it would have done the opposite of what proponents believe, and would have made it even harder for non-establishment candidates to even get to the general election.

Here are the unofficial results of Amendment V

Unofficial results of Amendment V. Screen shot form SD SOS website.
Unofficial results of Amendment V. Screen shot form SD SOS website.

I actually thought this one would finish much closer than it did. But just like with Amendment T, proponents of the law have to take time to explain how the current system works before trying to sell the change in Amendment V. Plus of all the measures I think the Republican party fought the hardest against Amendment V.

Personally I would have preferred an Amendment to just get taxpayer dollars out of the primary election altogether. Let the parties fund their own partisan elections.

Initiated Measure 23 – Union dues for non-union members

My original post on IM 23 can be viewed here.

I had a feeling IM 23 would be soundly defeated. It died even harder than I thought it would. Here are the unofficial results:

Unofficial results for IM 23. Screen shot from SD SOS website.
Unofficial results for IM 23. Screen shot from SD SOS website.

Almost 80% of the voters saying no sends a pretty sound message. I never thought SD would undo right-to-work by allowing unions to charge dues to non-members. Personally I see a lot of value in unions in certain cases; but it is up to those unions to provide value to their members and make the case that everyone should want to pay dues.

Referred Law 19 – Election reform destroyed by the legislative process

My original post on RL 19 can be viewed here.

I was happy to see RL 19 fail. The original bill Secretary of State Shantel Krebs brought forth was a good one. There were a couple of tweaks that probably should have been made to make it a better law. But then the legislative process went awry and turned a good bill to streamline the petition process into a bill aimed at making it harder for people to run for office. Hopefully Secretary Krebs tries her original idea again; and more importantly, hopefully the legislature doesn’t destroy that idea once again.

Here are the unofficial results of RL 19:

Unofficial results for RL 19. Screen shot from SD SOS website.
Unofficial results for RL 19. Screen shot from SD SOS website.

RL 19 was a hard one to explain the mechanics of to voters. I think that fact alone meant the death of RL 19.

Referred Law 20 – Youth minimum wage

My original post on RL 20 can be viewed here.

I never thought RL 20 would pass. When the voters set the minimum wage two years ago it included that increase for everyone. The legislature decided to exempt the youth from that minimum wage increase. In the end the voters decided the minimum wage increase should be applied equally to all workers.

Here are the final results for RL 20:

Unofficial results for RL 20. Screen shot from SD SOS website.
Unofficial results for RL 20. Screen shot from SD SOS website.

Actually the youth having a higher minimum wage may have helped some teenagers. Many people who hire temp labor during the summer for odd jobs will now just pay cash in the grey market. This leaves more money in the pocket of the teenager, while letting the person doing the hiring avoid having to file and pay wage earning taxes.

4 ballot questions passed in South Dakota: R, S, 21, and 22

South Dakota voters had ten ballot questions to vote on this election cycle. The ballot questions which passed a majority vote were Amendment R, Amendment S, Initiated Measure 21, and Initiated Measure 22. In this post I will look briefly at those four ballot questions. The other six ballot measures I’ll cover in a post later today.

Amendment R – New governing board for the Tech Schools

Of all the ballot questions this was the hardest for me to call ahead of time. There really wasn’t any organized effort to stop this ballot question, but then at the same time the effort to pass it wasn’t that great either. Here is my post originally looking at Amendment R.

Before speaking about the amendment it is worth looking at the election results:

Election results for Amendment R on the South Dakota ballot. Screen shot from the SD SOS website.
Election results for Amendment R on the South Dakota ballot. Screen shot from the SD SOS website.

Amendment R won, but just barely. Now that Amendment R is signed into law the legislature will have to decide what to do with this modification to the SD State Constitution.

Currently the SD State Constitution puts higher education under the Board of Regents, which manages the state’s Universities. But the Tech Schools are currently managed by local school boards. This has created a situation where many, including myself, believe the Tech Schools should have been placed under the Board of Regents. Another part of the current problem for the Tech Schools is funding. Since the Tech Schools fall under K-12, the Tech Schools feel they do not get a seat at the table during the budgetary process. And thus they feel like they are getting table scraps. That was a big part of the proponent push for Amendment, to allow the Tech Schools to get a seat at the budgetary table and grow the Tech Schools in a way that can compliment the workforce needs in South Dakota.

With Amendment R passed there is no longer a constitutional question about whether the Board of Regents should have control over the Tech Schools. It is now up to the legislature to decide what to do. The legislature may decide to create a new board to direct the Tech Schools; that is the most likely outcome. The big question there is how many resources (dollars) will be given to this board and will it be allowed to become as bloated as the Board of Regents. It is also possible the legislature could decide to place the Tech Schools under the Board of Regents and force that same Board of Regents to reorganize to accommodate this change. This second option is unlikely to happen. Perhaps the legislature will create a new board to direct the future of the Tech Schools, but still leave them under the Board of Education and share a budget with K-12 education.

No matter which solution the legislature comes up with I think the biggest question is how budgeting will work. How much money will be needed to implement whatever solution the legislature comes with? Will money be taken from the Department of Education or Board of Regents to help create this new future for the Tech Schools? Will the legislature have to look for new revenue streams to fund a new direction for the Tech Schools? Amendment R passing created just the first step in changing the direction of Tech Schools in South Dakota. It should be interesting following what happens with Tech Schools in the legislature.

Amendment S – Marsy’s Law

Amendment S, also known as Marsy’s Law, won pretty soundly. Here is my post originally looking at Amendment S. Below are the final results of the election:

Marsy's Law final vote counts. Screen shot from SD SOS website.
Marsy’s Law final vote counts. Screen shot from SD SOS website.

I’m not really surprised by this. Voting to create constitutionally protected rights for crime victims sounds good. Just like with Amendment R, Amendment S really didn’t have any organized opposition. There are many, such as myself, who felt there might be some unintended consequences with Amendment S. But even that opposition was soft. It should be interesting to see how, if at all, the passage of Amendment S will impact the justice system in South Dakota. Even though I was opposed to Marsy’s Law, I truly hope it will do what proponents of the law say it will do. It is an issue I would be happy to say I was wrong on! Now the legislature needs to get to work ensuring codified law aligns with the provisions of this Constitutional Amendment.

Initiated Measure 21 – Cap payday loans at 36%

I actually thought IM 21 would pass, but just barely. Boy was I wrong on this one. Here is my original post looking at IM 21. Below are the election results:

Final results of the IM 21 vote in South Dakota. Screen shot from SD SOS website.
Final results of the IM 21 vote in South Dakota. Screen shot from SD SOS website.

With 75% of the people voting for IM 21 there was a strong message sent to the payday loan industry that people don’t like their current interest rates. IM 21 will cap the interest rates at 36%. IM 21 also has a provision to prevent payday lenders from trying disguise payday loans as something else in order to get around that 36% interest cap. The big question now is whether IM 21 will in fact kill the payday loan industry in South Dakota as many people believed. It is also worth watching to see if the industry finds a way around IM 21 to continue operating as normal in South Dakota. If the industry is not able to do so, I predict IM 21 passing will be a boon for the pawn industry.

Initiated Measure 22 – Campaign finance reform

Finally, IM 22 had enough votes to pass. My post looking at IM22 can be found here. Below are the final results for IM 22:

Final results for IM 22 on the South Dakota ballot. Screen shot from SD SOS website.
Final results for IM 22 on the South Dakota ballot. Screen shot from SD SOS website.

IM 22 just barely passed. I actually thought this was going to fail, and still wish it would have. The title of the bill does sound good, who wants to be against revising campaign finance, holding lobbyists accountable, and creating an ethics commission. But that isn’t all there is to IM 22. Read my original post about IM 22 to learn more about it. I really though the “publicly funded campaign finance program” would kill this. Giving taxpayer dollars directly to politicians for campaigning just doesn’t seem like something I expected South Dakota voters to pass.

Now that IM 22 has been signed into law the legislature will have to find $12,000,000 during the budgetary process to appropriate towards “democracy credits”. That will be interesting to watch as the current fiscal year already has lower than expected revues. This is a topic I expect to blog more about as time goes on, so I’ll cut this post short…

South Dakota political blogging from a libertarian-leaning individual

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