As I continue my posts about short chats with SD state legislators at the Brown County Fair I’ll now focus on Rep Lana Greenfield (R, Dist 2). Rep Greenfield is a freshmen legislator, who won the seat previously held by her son Brock Greenfield (Brock switched over to the state Senate). Like all posts in this series it will be short; these posts are more of a mid-term chat with the legislators I meet and not truly an interview.
Going into her freshman year, Rep Greenfield said the experience was quite enlightening. She felt at times that the whole process was setup in a way to push what the Governors office wanted. I’ve heard this from quite a few legislators actually, and it is an issue I wish would come to the forefront. At times it seems there is no true balance of power between the legislative and executive branches in Pierre.
Rep Greenfield was one of those that called for a special session of the legislature for education funding. Greenfield believes Rep Elizabeth May (R, Dist 27) is someone who is fiscally conservative enough that she would not call a special session unless there was a reason. Rep Greenfield feels it was prudent to support Rep May and for the legislature to meet and hear her proposal. In particular Greenfield felt the $21 million dollar surplus could have been immediately given to education in order to help the teacher shortage. Without the special session that will not happen. When talking about the special session, Rep Greenfield was very disappointed that so many legislators would not even open the certified letter.
When talking about the good of the 2015 legislative session, Rep Greenfield is glad the legislature didn’t wait another five or so years to start funding infrastructure maintenance and repair (SB 1, SoDakLiberty Posts).
Going into 2016 Rep Greenfield believes elderly abuse should be a priority for the legislature. She feels that elderly people are being taken advantage of. During this previous session there was a task-force created to look into the issue (SB 168, SoDakLiberty Posts).
Jail population is an other issue Rep Greenfield believes needs to be looked into. She understands that many people are against building bigger jails, but she says many of the smaller towns are having problems because the bigger towns cannot always hold prisoners for smaller towns. Personally I think the legislature should look at way to reduce the amount of prisoners by getting rid of victim-less crimes…
Finally, Rep Greenfield believes the shortage of teachers will be a huge topic in the 2016 session. She says there is a national shortage, and hopes the conversation doesn’t ignore that fact. Going into the session she hopes this topic doesn’t become an “over-sized out of proportion political agenda on the part of a few”. Personally I feel that will happen. Additionally she would like to make sure teachers are treated with the respect such a caring profession deserves.
That was about all I spoke with Rep Lana Greenfield about. Like I said these posts were not meant to be in-depth interviews. They were just a chance to catch up with some elected representatives.