Category Archives: South Dakota

DOR decides against forcing farmers market in Sioux Falls to collect tourism tax

Farmers market

Two days ago I published a post about the SD Department of Revenue (DOR) trying to force the farmers marking in Sioux Falls into collecting an additional 1.5% tourism tax. Actually I think just about every media organization in South Dakota did at least some coverage of the story. Apparently that caused enough of a backlash that the Department of Revenue has changed its mind. Here is what KELO is reporting:

However, Secretary of Revenue Andy Gerlach reviewed the case and determined the tax wasn’t applicable. He says the majority of people going to the market are consumers, not necessarily tourists.

He says any money the vendors have collected will be refunded back.

Gerlach calls the situation unique, but they will look at other cases in the state, and will talk with legislators about potential changes if the department sees a need.

It is good Gerlach decided to reverse the decision made by the DOR.  But this is not the first time the DOR has suddenly decided a sales tax should be collected in new ways. A few years ago the DOR suddenly decided that baseball coaches paid by the American Legion should be paying sales tax. This was due to a sudden reinterpretation of law by the DOR. To his credit Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) tried to fight the the DOR on the sudden reinterpretation of sales tax law; and tried to bring forth legislation to reverse the DOR’s decision a couple of times. Greenfield was even able to get SB 159 (SoDakLiberty Posts) passed through both chambers in 2015 to exempt American Legion and VFW coaches from sales and use tax. But the bill was vetoed by Governor Dennis Daugaard; who also happens the be the top elected official above the DOR.

As I said earlier this week, I think something needs to be done to keep state agencies from arbitrarily changing how the laws are interpreted. State departments should have to go through some sort of public and legislative review process before doing so. Doing so might prevent more state agency overreaches in the future.

A farmers market tourism tax? Should state agencies have to hold a hearing before reinterpreting rules?

Farmers Market

The Argus Leader has an interesting story about the SD Department of Revenue (DOR) forcing a farmers market in Sioux Falls to collect an additional 1.5% tourism sales tax on the goods sold. There apparently has been a battle between the farmers market and the DOR over whether the farmers market should be subject to the tax. Here is what the article says about the DOR’s stance:

The state says because the market is held at Falls Park, a major tourist destination for the city of Sioux Falls, it is subject to the state’s tourism tax and could be subject to three-year’s worth of back taxes.

To keep the vendors from having to owe three years of back taxes a deal was worked out “allowing” vendors to collect the extra tax going forward. Doing so the DOR said the state agency will not go after the back taxes they say are due to the state. The article goes on to state the vendors are not happy about the agreement, but they will do so in order to keep operating; especially since the DOR could find a way to impose the tourism tax if they moved to a new location.

The reasoning behind the DOR’s move is that the farmers market is held in Falls Park, which is a tourism destination for Sioux Falls. As such sales made at the park are subject to the tourism tax. But the farmers market is not a tourism draw, and according to the vendors few sales are actually made to non-residents.

As I read the DOR’s publication on the tourism tax I see Falls Park likely falls under the “Visitor Attraction” purpose of the tourism tax. So, since the farmers market is being held on a site that could be classified as a visitors attraction, the DOR wants to treat the farmers market as subject to the tourism tax. Previously the farmers market has not been subject to the tourism tax. It is only now, after the Daugaard administration is looking for more revenue sources due to declining sales tax income for the state, that the DOR seems to be finding new areas to collect taxes.

Personally I believe this use of tourism tax goes against the intent of the law. Using the same reasoning as the DOR I could see many other farmers markets in the state being forced to pay the tourism tax. For instance, here in Aberdeen the farmers market is held at Central Park. This park also occasionally hosts special events such as concerts, which are subject to the tourism tax. Is the DOR now going to go after the vendors at the farmers market in Aberdeen and tell them they must pay three years worth of back taxes? By their reasoning with Falls Park I could see the DOR making the same case for Central Park.

But to me the more important question is whether the DOR should be allowed to reinterpret current laws and regulations without a public hearing. Currently state agencies must go through a public rules review process anytime they create a new regulation or change and existing regulation. Yet there is no process in place for when state agencies decided to reinterpret current laws and regulations. In fact state agencies don’t even have to notify the public. State agencies can simply mail threatening letters to people they believe are breaking their new reinterpretation of the law; as they did in this case.

Perhaps it is time for the legislature to change the rules review process. A legislator could bring forth a bill in the 2018 session requiring state agencies to follow the same rules review process for reinterpretations of rules that must be followed for rule additions or changes. This would ensure the public is able to get their say on the new reinterpretation of rules and the legislative rules review committee can possibly stop rule reinterpretations before they are implemented.  In this case the DOR will simply try to state they are not reinterpreting a law or regulation, but they are instead enforcing a law that had not been previously enforced. But I would contend that would fall within the definition of a rule reinterpretation. Making state agencies answer to the public about reinterpretations in rules would at least add some transparency and accountability to those same state agencies.

PS. It will be interesting to see if the SDDP decry’s the DOR’s move to add more tax to food. The SDDP legislators in Pierre have tried many times to repeal any sales tax on food; and here we have the DOR trying to add a 1.5% sales tax on healthy food.

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.

Fall back 1 hour on Sunday, legislative attempts to exit daylight saving in South Dakota

5815401This upcoming Sunday at 2:00 am the State of South Dakota will join most of the nation in setting clocks back an hour. It is at that time that daylight saving time (also known as summer time) ends. Over the last few years there have been legislative attempts to remove states from daylight saving time and South Dakota is no exception.

Just this year Sen Betty Olson (R, Dist 28) brought forth SB 60 (SoDakLiberty Posts) in order to keep South Dakota on daylight saving time year round. That would have meant South Dakota residents no longer would have to worry about changing their clocks twice a year. Actually, Sen Olson said she didn’t really care if it stayed on daylight saving time or standard time; she had just aimed to get rid of the semi-annual time change. The bill failed to get the 18 required on the Senate floor by getting a vote of 17-16.

In 2015 Rep Dan Kaiser (R, Dist 3) brought forth HB 1127 (SoDakLiberty Posts). Kaiser’s original bill would have kept South Dakota on standard time all year round. It was amended in committee to keep South Dakota on daylight saving time; but then the committee killed the bill. The final version of this bill appears to be what Sen Olson brought forth in 2016.

I haven’t heard if any legislators are going to bring daylight saving time legislation forth in 2017, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did. A recent FEE article notes there have been many attempts nationwide to get rid of the semi-annual time changing ritual. Even though the FEE article includes click-bait type information about deaths, the article does a good job of noting there is no evidence to show that daylight savings time is actually saving any energy. Actually the results are mixed at best, and at worse slightly more energy is consumed yearly due to daylight saving time.

I don’t really see a reason for South Dakota, or the rest of the nation, to participate in daylight saving time. There are some arguments about children going to and from school, but I’m not sure even those arguments are too big of a factor in the modern world. As time goes on I expect states are going to start withdrawing from this odd semi-annual ritual. When that happens perhaps the South Dakota legislature will be ready to follow suite. Since there really isn’t a good reason to keep switching clocks, it really doesn’t make sense for the state to participate in the ritual. Yes, there are some people and politicians that like switching times. But I think this sentence from the FEE article sums up that argument quite well: “politicians’ whims are not a good basis for policy choices.”

Backlog of rape kits cleared out

20307615Last year South Dakota was identified as one of many states with a backlog of rape kits needing to be tested; many of which were sitting on shelves instead of being sent to a lab. The Attorney Generals Office has worked to get this backlog cleared out, and has done so as reported by the Argus Leader.

This from the Argus article:

A spokeswoman for the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation said Wednesday that its crime lab has cleared the backlog of 565 rape kits. Samples were checked against a national database of known sexual offenders and previously unknown DNA was added to the system.

To get this achieved the Attorney Generals Office had assigned an additional DNA examiner to help with the backlog of rape kits. This was done back in 2015 by Attorney General Marty Jackley.

Theoretically from here on out South Dakota should not experience another backlog of rape kits. During the 2016 legislative session HB 1132 (SoDakLiberty Posts) was signed into law. HB 1132 lays out in law the steps to get these kits tested and has deadlines codified to speed up the process. Provided law enforcement is following this new law, there really is no reason for South Dakota to have another backlog of rape kits.

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.

Video of the Americans First, Task Force, refugee meeting held on September 22

Earlier this week I noted the Aberdeen chapter of Americans First, Task Force, would be holding a refugee public meeting on September 22. I was in attendance at the event. I would say it was well attended; while I don’t know the official headcount, I would say there were probably around 300 people in attendance. As I’ve done with other events of this type I will simply post the video footage and let people decide for themselves what they think about the content of the meeting.

My footage of the event is split into four separate videos. I have all of the videos embedded at the end of this post; including one at the very end which is a playlist including all four videos.

  • Video 1 is about 23 mins long and has what could be called the opening acts. There are two speakers from Minnesota that briefly speak. And Aberdeen local Rich Hilgemann officially opens the event.
  • Video 2 is almost 1 1/2 hour long and has the presentation from Ron Branstner.
  • Video 3 is 40 mins long and has the presentation from Bob Enos.
  • Video 4 is an hour long and has the question and answers session.
  • Playlist includes all four videos.

Part 1: Opening Speakers

Part 2: Presentation by Ron Branstner

Part 3: Presentation by Bob Enos

Part 4: Questions & Answers

Playlist including all four videos:

Americans First, Task Force, has another meeting about refugees on Thurs Sept 22

This Thursday, September 22, there will be another public meeting hosted by Americans First, Task Force, regarding refugees. The event will be held at the Eagles Club and being at 6:30 PM. Guest speakers at this event will be Ron Branstner and Bob Enos.

The previous (and I believe first) meeting hosted by Americans First, Task Force, was about a month ago and also featured Ron Branstner. I have a video of that event posted here and a few photos posted here. Personally I think the previous meeting was great for one reason: it forced the community to talk about immigration and refugees. Hopefully the discussion will continue within the community for people with various opinions.

At the event this Thursday Branstner will be speaking about how the US Constitution and foreign laws are not compatible with each other. Enos will be speaking about how refugees have impacted the community of Willmar, MN; which is where he is from.

I believe there are some people who were dissatisfied with the previous meeting because they misunderstood the intention of the meeting. These are public meetings; which means the public is invited to attend. These meetings are not however set up as town halls or debates. The meetings are meant to be informational from one point of view and not meant as a community discussion. Attendees may or may not agree with the speakers. There is time at the end of the event for questions, but not necessarily for debate. This is but one of many ways the community informs itself on different opinions in regards to immigration and refugees. If any Aberdeen groups have events highlighting different viewpoints on immigration or refugees please let me know! I will bring attention to those events and even record them if you wish! Distributing  information about and recording political events is one of my highest priorities on this blog!

Here is an image of the flier being distributed for this event:

September Flier

PS. People have been asking me the last few weeks why I haven’t written opinion pieces on immigration and refugees. For the last couple of years I have recorded or written blog posts on many political events without adding opinions. I usually wait until there is actual legislation to write about before I blog my stances.

Questions arise from the Obligation Recovery Center’s new basic website

Business man and spark DEBT bombI was browsing the minutes from the July 22 meeting on the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and noticed the Bureau of Administration (BOA) had mentioned creating a “very basic website” for the Obligation Recovery Center (ORC). The ORC had just been online for about a week at the time of that meeting. The website created by BOA for the ORC can be found at http://boa.sd.gov/divisions/obligation/

I have to agree completely with the description of “very basic website”. There are links on this page both to do a payment portal and to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

One of the questions/answers is something that might have to be looking into further:

What if I want to pay at the Agency or County Treasurer’s Office after I have received a notice from the Recovery Center?
Once a debt is referred to the Center, the Center takes over the responsibility for all payment activity for the debt. The agency or the County Treasurer’s Office will instruct you to contact the Obligation Recovery Center to arrange payment of your debt.

I’ll have to dig deeper into this particular part of the FAQ. I don’t remember seeing anything that forbids debtors from working directly with departments. Actually earlier today I mentioned an upcoming public review of new rules for the ORC. One of the proposed rules is this:

10:11:03:03. Change in status of debt or debtor circumstances. A referring entity which has referred debt to the center must immediately notify the center of any change in the status of the debt or circumstances of the debtor, which may come from payment of the debt or liability, payment offset, invalidation of the liability, alternate payment arrangements with the debtor, bankruptcy, death, or other factors.

The very fact there is a rule setup for the agency to notify the ORC in the change of the status of a debt shows there is an understanding this will occur. Directly in this rule it includes “which may come from payment of the debt or liability”. Is this the ORC or the BOA going beyond its authority? Or is this just a scare tactic so people don’t realize they can still pay at the agency where the debt is owed and avoid the 20% markup they will experience through the ORC? Actually technically the above rule hasn’t been enacted yet, so it would be interesting to find out what authority is currently being used for agencies to deny a debt owed to them.

There are a couple more questions along the same lines with basically the same answers. This is something I will have to look into.

Another area of concern from the FAQ is question 7:

My spouse and I are both listed on a motor vehicle title. I am the only one that has a debt referred to the Center. Will the State permit my spouse to obtain, renew, or maintain the registration?
No. If your name is on the title, no other person on the title will be able to obtain, renew or maintain the registration until you have satisfied your obligation.

If your registration has been affected you should contact the Center at 1-888-980-1194 to make payment arrangements for the associated debt.

Wow, I don’t think I’m the only one that can see problems of a deadbeat ex keeping someone from renewing their license due to a debt that is completely unrelated to them. The debt in question could ironically come from a divorce proceeding…

There really isn’t much more to learn off this basic website. I will likely blog again about the ORC very soon!

Obligation Recovery Center rules hearing on September 21

23253423On September 21, 2016, the South Dakota Bureau of Administration (BOA) will have a rules hearing regarding the Obligation Recovery Center (ORC). The proposed rules can be found on rules.sd.gov. The rules seem somewhat based upon the draft collection policy I blogged about back in June. This rules meeting will be held at the Foss Building in Pierre. This meeting was originally scheduled for September 1, but it has since been rescheduled for September 21.

Since I’ve already blogged about the collection policy these rules are based on I will refrain from blogging more about them at this time. I just thought it was worth letting anyone who is curious/worried about the implementation of the ORC to know about these new proposed rules.