Tag Archives: Deb Peters

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.

SD Dist 11 State House Gen Election: Karr, Willadsen, Wieland, and Schipper

SD Legislative District 11. Screenshot of map from SD LRC website on 5/13/16.
SD Legislative District 11. Screenshot of map from SD LRC website on 5/13/16.

South Dakota legislative District 11 has  a general election for State Representative. District 11 has part of West Sioux Falls and then some area west of Sioux Falls.

One of the Republican incumbents, Rep Jim Stalzer, is running for State Senate. The other Republican incumbent Rep Mark Willadsen survived a primary election. Fellow Republican Chris Karr also survived the primary election.  Dave Landry was the Republican candidate that did not make it through the primary election. On the Democrat side there was no primary election. Democrats are represented by Leona Wieland and Paul Schipper on the general election ballot for District 11 State House. Actually Mary Claus was originally supposed to be on the ballot, but withdrew her name and the Democrat party replaced her with Leona Wieland.

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

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

Chris Karr

Chris Karr. Photo from Karr's campaign website.
Chris Karr. Photo from Karr’s campaign website.

Chris Karr (R)
WebsiteFacebook – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

Karr didn’t have a lot of online activity for his primary election, and not much more now. On his website the following values are listed:

  • Small Localized Government
  • Fiscal Conservatism
  • Individual Liberty
  • Families First
  • Free Market Economics
  • Protecting the 2nd Amendment

He does also have this answer he gave to an Argus Leader questionnaire:

I believe in a small government, a free market, and leaving more dollars in the hands of taxpayers. I am running because I believe we need more representatives in Pierre that are economically conservative and are willing to examine what is best for our economy, not just what is popular. It is important that we have representatives with a business background that understand how a strong private sector is vital to a healthy economy.

Mark K Willadsen

Rep Mark Willadsen speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/18/16.
Rep Mark Willadsen speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/18/16.

Rep Mark Willadsen (R, Dist 11) – Incumbent
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015 2014(appointed) 2012 2011 2008 2007 2006 2005
SDPB Video: 2014

For Willadsen I will simply repost what I wrote about him in the primary election:

It is worth noting Willadsen lost alongside Chris Karr in a four-way primary in 2012 that was won by Christine Erickson and Jim Stalzer. In 2014 when Christine Erickson resigned from the legislature to be on the Sioux Falls City Council. Governor Daugaard then appointed Willadsen to serve out the remainder of Erickson’s term.

Willadsen also doesn’t seem to go out of his way to make information about himself available via social media or a website. But since he is an incumbent there is a legislative history to look at. The LRC website lists Willadsen’s occupation as a Farmers Insurance Agent. That makes sense looking at the legislation he prime sponsors, since most of it seems to be insurance related (a legislative topic the author of this blog is not very proficient with). For this post I will focus on a couple pieces of legislation Willadsen prime sponsored in 2016.

First up is HB 1091 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1091 is an Act to “establish certain requirements regarding insurance for vehicles used to provide rides for a transportation network company and to exempt vehicles used to provide these rides from certain commercial licensing requirements.” Put more simply, this is the bill that would allow ride-hailing companies, such as Uber, to operate in South Dakota. These “transportation network companies” allow a ride to be hailed easily via a smart phone app. And they use regular people as the drivers. It is a win-win for both the passenger and driver (and for companies such as Uber). HB 1091 creates a new set of laws that are focused on the insurance laws dealing with transportation network companies. This was a great law to bring forward and easily passed both houses and was signed into law by the governor. Without this enabling law in place it would have been difficult for companies such as Uber to operate in SD.

Willadsen was also the House prime sponsor for SB 57 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 57 is an Act to “redefine the term, written agreement, relating to contracts between a debtor and creditor.” This is another bill that easily passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor. SB 57 is simply a bill to modernize the banking industry to include electronic contracts. Currently loan contracts used by bankers must be physically signed. This change in law will allow South Dakota banks to move into the future (or perhaps catch up with other industries) and utilize electronic contracts. This appeared to be a good change.

Both of the above pieces of legislation seem to focus on enabling more business in South Dakota.

There was one bill in 2016 that was different however. Willadsen was the House prime sponsor of SB 160 (SoDakLiberty Posts). This bill basically would have given legislators a $4500 per year pay raise for “constituent services” and additional $4500 per year pay raise for those on the Appropriations Committee or in leadership positions. Here is what I said about the bill in a recent blog post about Sen Deb Peters (who is in her own primary race):

The final bill I will look at from Peters is SB 160 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 160 is titled and Act to “Provide for per diem for constituent service, leadership service, and service on certain standing committees and to declare an emergency.” Simply put, this was a roundabout way to give legislators a pay raise. It is a concept I agree with, but I don’t think this was the right solution.

SB 160 would have given each legislator an extra $4500 per year for most legislators. It would have given an additional $4500 per year to leadership positions and members of the Appropriations committee; that would have meant a total of $9,000 extra for certain legislators. Personally I think a pay raise will allow a greater variety of people to run for legislature. But adding per diem for “constituent services” and paying certain legislators more for “leadership services” just doesn’t seem the right way to do so.

Recently the SD legislature Executive Board decided it is worth looking into this topic further. Perhaps they can find a way to make the pay raise happen without trying to hide it as per diem. Peters in particular took some heat for this bill because she prime sponsored the bill that would give her as the chair of Senate Appropriations a greater pay raise than many other legislators.

If Willadsen is reelected perhaps he will move forward with the recommendations the Executive Board gives to the legislature and get legislators a pay raise.

Leona Wieland

Leona Wieland. Photo from Wieland's campaign Facebook page.
Leona Wieland. Photo from Wieland’s campaign Facebook page.

Leona Wieland (D)
FacebookBallotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

Leona Wieland is starting to get a little bit of activity on her campaign Facebook page. There isn’t a lot of activity, but she seemed a last-minute replacement for Mary Claus. On her campaign Facebook page there is a graphic with the three top issues she is committed to:

  • Eliminating Sales Tax on Food
  • Making Quality Health Care Accessible for All
  • Establishing Living Wages

She also has a comment about the proposed payday lender ballot questions:

I hope we get our message out there as voting day approaches: VOTE NO on U, YES on 21. It’s the passage of such laws that determines whether STRUCTURES that we ourselves create help or hurt people. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t ask for welfare–he said he wanted an end to poverty. We need to enact just laws.

There really isn’t much more activity from her, but then her candidacy is still relatively new.

Paul Schipper

Paul Schipper. Photo from Schipper's campaign Facebook Page.
Paul Schipper. Photo from Schipper’s campaign Facebook Page.

Paul Schipper (D)
Website – Facebook – Twitter – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

Paul Schipper actually has ten issues listed on his website. Here is a brief look at a few of those issues:

Teacher/Education

Here is part of what Schipper says in this section:

South Dakota won a long fought battle with the passing H.B.1182. The appropriation of taxes for teacher pay is the first step of many that are necessary to put South Dakota back on the map in regards to education. We often point to our low cost of living, as an excuse for our pitiable teacher pay. Educators grow up here only to move away for competitive pay, leaving us frequently with a teacher shortage.

Schipper goes on to note teachers are forced to find sources of additional employment and asks why teachers are so undervalued.

Transparency

Here is part of what Schipper says:

It is unfortunate that the efforts to re-establish an ethics commission in Pierre have been met with resistance. Refusing to be held accountable for their actions broadcasts a shaky message to South Dakotans. It is even more unfortunate that the malfeasance we have seen recently has led to the death of children in addition to the misappropriation of public funds.

He goes on I believe to endorse Initiated Measure 22 (IM 22) on this falls ballot. On of the many things IM 22 would do is create an ethics commission.

Family Values

Shipper hints at some possible areas of legislation he would support in this section:

We as a nation should seek more paid vacation time in order to spend it with the ones for which we care most. We should strive for paid maternity leave on par with other industrialized countries. We should endeavor to obtain more sick days so no one has send a loved one out of the home due to having to prioritize their work over their health.

Medicaid Expansion

Schipper supports Medicaid expansion:

And South Dakota overwhelmingly agrees with the idea that we should expand Medicaid. The expansion would dramatically improve the lives of 50,000 low income working South Dakotans. This issue doesn’t just affect that 6% of South Dakotans, when people have regular access to health services, the overall economy of the community sees improvement.

Schipper goes on to say that work mobility is possible after health care is no longer a concern.

LGBT Equality

Here is part of what Schipper says in this section:

South Dakota Codified Law does not protect the rights of the LGBTQIA community. Even with that specific coverage, being a “Right to Work” state, allows employers to terminate individuals without providing a cause. Employers can prop up any flimsy argument they wish as a reason for firing said employee. As if that weren’t enough, South Dakota housing law allows landlords to turn away people based on their sexual orientation.

Schipper was also able to take a stance on Right to Work and landlords in this section.

Ballot questions

Schipper also takes stances on the five following ballot questions:

Referred Law 19: Schipper would vote no and asks other to do so. He says “we should make it easier to run for office, not harder. I also don’t think we should make things more difficult for Independent candidates. Independents already face an incredible number of challenges for no other reason than not being ideologues.”

Referred Law 20: Schipper would vote no to the youth minimum wage. Minimum wage was also an issue he had listed separately.

Initiated Measure 21: Schipper would vote yes to the payday loan cap of 36%. Schipper put “freedom” in quotes when talking about the free market in this section.

Initiated Measure 22: Schipper would vote yes on this campaign finance lobbying reform because “This measure really clamps down on big money in politics, and installs a State Ethics Commission to oversee these provisions.”

Initiated Measure 23: Schipper plans to vote yes to this measure that would force non-union members to pay union dues. But he is open to hear the other side.

SD Dist 9 State Senate Gen Election: Peters and Koch

SD Legislative District 9. Screenshot of map from SD LRC website on 5/4/16.
SD Legislative District 9. Screenshot of map from SD LRC website on 5/4/16.

South Dakota legislative District 9 has  a general election for State Senate. District 9 is in NW Sioux Falls and then some area W and NW of Sioux Falls, including the towns of Hartford, Humbolt, and Crooks.

The Republican incumbent Sen Deb Peters survived a primary challenge from Lora Hubbel. To challenge her the Democrats originally had petitions in for Holly Boltjes. Boltjes withdrew her name and was replaced by the Democrat party with John Koch (which leads to an interesting side question, will the hatred for anything “Koch” by some Democrats hurt this Koch who happens to be a Democrat).

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

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

Deb Peters

Sen Deb Peters speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/17/16.
Sen Deb Peters speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/17/16.

Sen Deb Peters (R, Dist 9) – Incumbent.
Website – Facebook – Twitter – Ballotpedia  – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: Senate 2016 2015 2014 2013 20122011 House 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
SDPB Video: 2014 2012

Since Peters went through a primary election I will just copy/paste what I wrote about her legislative priorities from that election:

Peters has been a state legislator for just over a decade. She does have an issues page on her website. This page is mostly filled with the legislation she has passed and other accomplishments as a legislator. Peters appears to be focused on being fiscally conservative on her page, which is not surprising since she is a CPA.

Since Peters does have a legislative history. I will look at a few examples of legislation from the 2016 legislative session I feel are relevant. I’ve narrowed the list down to three in particular.

First for the good. This year Peters brought forth SB 69 (SoDakLiberty Posts), an Act to “require accredited schools to accept transfer credits for courses taken by students from other accredited schools during the summer and to declare an emergency.” This is a bill that sounded like a bad mandate at first. But looking deeper it doesn’t appear to be something that mandates cost on school districts. SB 69 died on the Senate floor, but was replaced with HB 1145 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1145 was a hoghouse vehicle bill that had been filled with a slightly amended version of SB 69. Here is part of what I had to say about the bill when it was signed into law:

Currently some schools are not allowing transfer credits from summer schools in certain cases. This seems odd because it is from an accredited school. There are quite a few students that like to take summer classes to get ahead on their education. West Central in Hartford apparently does not allow this, even though such classes are available in Sioux Falls. Any of these West Central students that wish to take summer classes in Sioux Falls would not receive credit for the class on their transcript.

This bill would force a school to accept summer school credits from another school. It would require the student to notify their school prior to taking courses in another school. The schools would also have to decide whether certain classes meet their rigor requirements; that is important to decide whether a class will be counted towards graduation requirements, or just as an elective.

It still seems odd that some school districts are not allowing credits from other school districts. But now a policy is in place to at least allow for it in the future. Actually this is yet another example of South Dakota having way too many school districts. Time for that consolidation word to be taken seriously. Will Peters dare talk consolidation if reelected?

Now for a bad bill. SB 106 (SoDakLiberty Posts) is an Act to “provide for the collection of sales taxes from certain remote sellers, to establish certain Legislative findings, and to declare an emergency.” Basically this bill will allow the State of South Dakota to go after people who order goods online and are not paying sales tax (technically/legally SD residents are supposed to file a use tax return on those goods).  Here is a post where i looked at the contents of the bill, and some of my reasons for no liking the bill are included in that post. This of course falls awry of Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, the Supreme Court of the US case that only companies with a physical presence in a state are required to collect sales tax from that states residents. SB 106 is meant to force a case back to the Supreme Court to overrule the previous case. The State has already filed a lawsuit against etailers, and the State is simultaneously being sued. As the lawsuits proceed there will be more posts on SoDakLiberty about this issue. I know there are many Republicans that feel this “marketplace fairness” bill is good. But I would ask them if giving a state taxing authority outside of their borders is a good idea? Peters appears to believe SD should have taxing authority outside of our borders.

The final bill I will look at from Peters is SB 160 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 160 is titled and Act to “Provide for per diem for constituent service, leadership service, and service on certain standing committees and to declare an emergency.” Simply put, this was a roundabout way to give legislators a pay raise. It is a concept I agree with, but I don’t think this was the right solution.

SB 160 would have given each legislator an extra $4500 per year for most legislators. It would have given an additional $4500 per year to leadership positions and members of the Appropriations committee; that would have meant a total of $9,000 extra for certain legislators. Personally I think a pay raise will allow a greater variety of people to run for legislature. But adding per diem for “constituent services” and paying certain legislators more for “leadership services” just doesn’t seem the right way to do so.

Recently the SD legislature Executive Board decided it is worth looking into this topic further. Perhaps they can find a way to make the pay raise happen without trying to hide it as per diem. Peters in particular took some heat for this bill because she prime sponsored the bill that would give her as the chair of Senate Appropriations a greater pay raise than many other legislators.

John Koch

John Koch. Photo from Koch's campaign Facebook page.
John Koch. Photo from Koch’s campaign Facebook page.

John Koch  (D)
Facebook – Twitter – Ballotpedia  – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

John Kock does have a campaign Facebook page. Here is what the About section says:

John Koch is a candidate for the South Dakota District 9 Senate Seat. He aims to promote the general welfare and bring balance back to Pierre.

There really isn’t much available about Koch online. But on August 31 the Koch campaign Facebook page his this post:

We have an opportunity in South Dakota to make changes that will save the lives of our neighbors. I am talking about the expansion of Medicaid. Currently, too many of the working poor fall into a gap where they don’t earn enough to be able to afford insurance; yet, they don’t qualify for Medicaid. Our state has worked out a plan to provide coverage to these people at no cost to South Dakota. When people have insurance coverage they are able to access preventive care and receive more cost-effective treatment. This has been shown to save lives. Estimates indicate that around 300 South Dakota lives will be saved per year by expanding Medicaid. Some people continue to argue against the expansion. They have no fiscal argument. It won’t cost South Dakota any money. They have no constitutional argument. Our government was founded with the express purpose to “promote the general welfare.” In this day and age when our health care system has advanced so far beyond the means of individuals to pay for care, what could be more fundamental to the promotion of the general welfare than to insure that all South Dakotans have access to health care? We need to expand Medicaid, and to do that, we need to change who we send to Pierre.

I think the above paragraph clearly shows Koch running on Medicaid expansion for South Dakota.

Executive Board has a meeting on Weds July 13, JCA wants lean audit of BIT

20928609On Wednesday, July 13, at 2:30 pm CT the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council  will meet in Pierre. The meeting will be held in LCR 2 of the State Capital building. SDPB will also provide live audio for anyone wishing to listen in on the meeting. The minutes document from the previous meeting is not available yet. But this meetings focus on the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) may be interesting.

BIT is the only agenda item

There is only one item on the agenda:

Transfer of funds from the Legislative Contingency Fund for the purpose of conducting a Lean Audit of the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications

There is also a letter posted in the meetings documents titled “Request for Use of Legislative Priority Pilot Program Funds”. This letter comes from the Director of the LRC Jason Hancock and forwards the request for the use of these funds from the Joint Committee on Appropriations (JCA). The money will be used to conduct an audit of BIT using the LEAN process. This will help to identify “the most efficient and effective way to do specific process in an organization with the emphasis being improved customer satisfaction.”

The letter says the objectives of this audit may include:

  • Identifying new performance measures for greater efficiency.
  • Improving the allocation of resources.
  • Enhancing communication with legislators, state employees, and the public.

The anticipated cost of this project will be between $50,000 and $200,000. Wow, talk about a wide margin for anticipated costs. JCA wants this spending approved before their meeting next week.

BIT as a topic in the March 29 JCA meeting

As I look through the minutes from each JCA meeting it seems the BIT lean audit is mentioned each time. In the March 29 minutes there is a draft Letter of Intent (LOI) to BIT in regards to a lean study. Here is the draft from those minutes:

It is the intent of the JCA that Interim JCA partner with the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) and the Government Operations and Audit Committee to complete a Lean pilot study. The Lean process seeks to maximize customer value, while minimizing waste. Completing a Lean pilot study will help the JCA further understand the goals and performance measurements of BIT. Furthermore, learning the concepts of Lean will also help appropriators and all legislators identify and evaluate performance measures for all of state government.

As you well know, technology is ever-changing and the technology requirements of the State have evolved greatly over the past decade. In completing this process and working together, we can promote government efficiency, determine if we are meeting the technology needs of state government today, and ensure we are able to meet our future technology needs.

That LOI was not approved during the March 29 meeting. Rep Jean Hunhoff (R, Dist 18) wanted more specifics in the LOI, including a time-frame. Sen Larry Tidemann (R, Dist 7) was going to be meeting with BIT in Brookings and hoped to speak with them about lean at that time. JCA took no action on the LOI during the meeting.

BIT as a topic in the June 10 JCA meeting

Oddly the BIT lean audit was not on the agenda for the June 10 JCA meeting. But during the meeting Sen Phyllis Heineman (R, Dist 13) asked about the BIT lean audit LOI. Annie Mehlhaff, Chief Fiscal Analyst for the LRC, answered this question. Here is what is posted in the June 10 minutes:

Ms. Annie Mehlhaff, Chief Fiscal Analyst, explained for the Lean study to be productive, the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) would need to be a willing participant. The Commissioner of BIT sent an email to Ms. [Stephanie] Gruba stating that BIT will be conducting some Lean-type studies of their own and will report the results back to this Committee.

The minutes also include this tidbit:

Senator Tidemann said he tried to have the BIT Commissioner meet with contacts at South Dakota State University regarding their lean processes but did not receive a response to his request.

Senator Peters said the Fiscal staff needs to respond to the BIT Commissioner’s email message letting him know that the Committee does not find his response acceptable. Representative Cronin added that the message to BIT should ask why BIT does not want to work with LRC. Representative Dryden asked that this message be sent to the BIT Commissioner within the next few days.

I had heard during session that there was some tension between legislators and BIT. Now it appears the JCA is getting outright annoyed with BIT.

BIT as a topic in the June 24 JCA meeting

JCA will be sending a letter to BIT requesting Commissioner David Zolnowsky to attend the July 22 meeting. The draft letter can be read here. But more interesting is items from the minutes of the June 24 meeting. In fact here is the first item in the BIT portion of the minutes:

Ms. Annie Mehlhaff, Chief Fiscal Analyst, shared information obtained from NCSL regarding action taken in other states when state IT agencies were unresponsive to their legislative bodies.

NCSL is the National Conference of State Legislators. I find it interesting that this has now been defined as a problem of BIT no longer being responsive to the legislature. It should be an interesting meeting on July 22!

Rep Jeff Partridge (R, Dist 34) has had conversations with other legislators about the “ballooning of the BIT budget”. He also noted JCA had given BIT a chance to cooperate, but that hasn’t happened.

Tidemann noted Daktronics and SDSU are both willing to meet with BIT to discuss implementing lean.

Sen Deb Peters (R, Dist 9), JCA Chair, would like a lean audit and then possibly consider a zero-based budget for BIT. On a side note: The SOS office has recently done a zero-based budget with great success; it should be done for every state agency!

There was quite a bit of talk about bringing in a consultant to do the lean audit. It was determined to request the Executive Board to request this lean audit.

But what about the BIC?

That wraps up looking through the minutes and documents from the Executive Board and JCA. At the July 13 Executive Board meeting the committee will have to decide whether to approve up to $200,000 so the JCA can impose a lean audit on BIT. But wait a minute?  Isn’t the JCA missing something?

During the 2016 session the Board of Internal Control (BIC) was created. I have a post looking at the BIC and some of its goals. The BIC is tasked with implementing an Internal Control system. It seems there would be enough similarity between the Internal Controls implementation and a lean audit that doing both could be a waste of taxpayers dollars. If nothing else the proposal for the lean audit should go through the BIC to see if they already plan on doing something similar. Or BIC could push BIT further up on the plan for departments to start implementing Internal Controls, which may include a lean audit. It just seems the legislators on JCA are so bent on their agenda against BIT that they forgot about the board that had been created just to deal with the policies and procedures of state agencies.

Perhaps this Executive Board meeting on July 13 will be worth tuning into.

PS. Since there was only 1 agenda item I figured this would be a short 200 word heads up post. Not a 1200+ word post looking at JCA vs BIT.

SD Interim Committees scopes and members for the 2016 session finalized

1664437I noted almost two months ago the three final selections for interim committees in 2016. In the May 16 meeting the scopes and memberships of these three committees were determined by the Executive Board. The minutes from that meeting can be found here.  Since I’ve already looked briefly at the scope of all three studies I will only report on any changes to the scopes in this post. This post will also note the membership of these committees.

Substance abuse prevent in early stages

Title of Requested Study: The study of substance abuse prevention at the earliest stages and options available to South Dakota communities.

The scope of the committee specifies meth. There was discussion during the meeting of adding alcohol and marijuana to the study. But the committee only voted to added prescription drugs to the interim study. This committee actually has its first meeting on June 16. A post looking at that meetings agenda will be forthcoming.

Here are the selected members for the substance abuse summer study:

Nursing and assisted living beds in South Dakota

Title of Requested Study: A study of the benefits, merits and negative impacts of regulating the number of nursing and assisted living beds in South Dakota. Further, recommend action that may include elimination of or revisions to regulations for the betterment of the South Dakota populace.

There was discussion of adding elder abuse in nursing homes to the scope. But that was determined to be a separate issue that really wouldn’t fit with this study.

Here are the selected members for the nursing and assisted living beds summer study:

Payment methodologies for Medicaid providers in long term care

Title of Requested Study: Assess existing payment methodologies for Medicaid providers to determine adequacy of payments that will provide for long term continuation of services and conclude with recommendations for any changes.

The executive committee added “impact of federal mandates” to the original scope.

Here are the selected members for the payment methodologies for Medicaid providers summer study:

District 11 SD State House Republican Primary: Landry, Karr, and Willadsen

SD Legislative District 11. Screenshot of map from SD LRC website on 5/13/16.
SD Legislative District 11. Screenshot of map from SD LRC website on 5/13/16.

Updated 5/27/16. Website and Facebook links for Karr added. Content added to Karr’s section. Picture added of Karr. 

South Dakota legislative District 11 has  a Republican Primary for State House. District 11 has part of West Sioux Falls and them some area W of Sioux Falls. One of the incumbents, Rep Jim Stalzer, is switching houses to run for the State Senate seat being vacated by Sen David Omdahl. The other incumbent, Rep Mark Willadsen, will face Dave Landry and Chris Karr in a three-way primary for the two seats. The winners of this race will face Mary Claus (D) and Paul Schipper (D) in the general election.

Here is a brief look at all three candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the primary ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate.

Dave Landry

Dave Landry (R)
Ballotpedia – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

Dave Landry has not provided a lot of information for anyone trying to research him as a candidate. There is an Argus article from a year ago talking about him as a co-founder of South Dakota Honor Flight has been promoting civics. Here is a brief bio from that article:

In 2007, Landry retired from Medtronic, a medical device company, after more than 20 years. He and his wife, Connie, have been married for 43 years and live in Sioux Falls. Though he now cherishes being a grandparent, retirement is more than simply being useful. Landry said seniors need to assume a new role.

The article also mentions the following:

This year, Landry was an organizer of an initiative plan that introduced a bill before the South Dakota Legislature. The South Dakota Civics Initiative, which passed March 5, requires all high school students to pass a 100-question civics test before graduation.

This appears to be referencing SB 164 (SoDakLiberty Posts), which was withdrawn by the sponsor before actually being taken up in committee. SB 164 would have indeed mandated a 100-question civics test before any student could graduate high school. What was actually passed in 2015 was SCR 6 (SoDakLiberty Posts). This concurrent resolution is similar to SB 164. Here is the action portion of SCR 6:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Senate of the Ninetieth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the House of Representatives concurring therein, that the South Dakota Legislature directs the South Dakota Department of Education to ensure that students are being taught the content reflected in the U.S. Citizenship Civic’s Test and demonstrate competency by successful completion of the U.S. Government course required for graduation from high school.

So instead of mandating a test, it directs the Dept of Ed to ensure a US Government class is completed before graduation. Landry’s work on this legislation may give a preview of what he would bring forth as a legislator.

Landry did run for State House in 2014 and lost in a three-way race between Jim Stalzer and Mark Willadsen. Landry lost the race less than 1% behind Willadsen.

The NRA Political Victory Fund gave him a 47% for his positions on gun rights in 2014. Perhaps that poor rating was enough to keep him from getting elected in 2014.

Chris Karr

Chris Karr (R)
WebsiteFacebook – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

Chris Karr. Photo from Karr's campaign website.
Chris Karr. Photo from Karr’s campaign website.

There is even less information available about Karr online. Karr did try running for State Representative in 2010 and 2012. In 2010 Karr lost a three-way Republican primary against Mark Willadsen and Lora Hubbel. Then in 2012 Karr and Mark Willadsen lost in a four-way primary where Christine Erickson and Jim Stalzer won the election.

Perhaps as the primary election gets closer Karr will find a way to make information about himself available.

Updated 5/27/16. I now see a Facebook and Website showing up for Karr. Here is the list of Values listed on his website:

  • Small Localized Government
  • Fiscal Conservatism
  • Individual Liberty
  • Families First
  • Free Market Economics
  • Protecting the 2nd Amendment
 End of 5/27/16 update.

Mark K Willadsen

Rep Mark Willadsen (R, Dist 11) – Incumbent
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015 2014(appointed) 2012 2011 2008 2007 2006 2005
SDPB Video: 2014

Rep Mark Willadsen speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/18/16.
Rep Mark Willadsen speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/18/16.

It is worth noting Willadsen lost alongside Chris Karr in a four-way primary in 2012 that was won by Christine Erickson and Jim Stalzer. In 2014 when Christine Erickson resigned from the legislature to be on the Sioux Falls City Council. Governor Daugaard then appointed Willadsen to serve out the remainder of Erickson’s term.

Willadsen also doesn’t seem to go out of his way to make information about himself available via social media or a website. But since he is an incumbent there is a legislative history to look at. The LRC website lists Willadsen’s occupation as a Farmers Insurance Agent. That makes sense looking at the legislation he prime sponsors, since most of it seems to be insurance related (a legislative topic the author of this blog is not very proficient with). For this post I will focus on a couple pieces of legislation Willadsen prime sponsored in 2016.

First up is HB 1091 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1091 is an Act to “establish certain requirements regarding insurance for vehicles used to provide rides for a transportation network company and to exempt vehicles used to provide these rides from certain commercial licensing requirements.” Put more simply, this is the bill that would allow ride-hailing companies, such as Uber, to operate in South Dakota. These “transportation network companies” allow a ride to be hailed easily via a smart phone app. And they use regular people as the drivers. It is a win-win for both the passenger and driver (and for companies such as Uber). HB 1091 creates a new set of laws that are focused on the insurance laws dealing with transportation network companies. This was a great law to bring forward and easily passed both houses and was signed into law by the governor. Without this enabling law in place it would have been difficult for companies such as Uber to operate in SD.

Willadsen was also the House prime sponsor for SB 57 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 57 is an Act to “redefine the term, written agreement, relating to contracts between a debtor and creditor.” This is another bill that easily passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor. SB 57 is simply a bill to modernize the banking industry to include electronic contracts. Currently loan contracts used by bankers must be physically signed. This change in law will allow South Dakota banks to move into the future (or perhaps catch up with other industries) and utilize electronic contracts. This appeared to be a good change.

Both of the above pieces of legislation seem to focus on enabling more business in South Dakota.

There was one bill in 2016 that was different however. Willadsen was the House prime sponsor of SB 160 (SoDakLiberty Posts). This bill basically would have given legislators a $4500 per year pay raise for “constituent services” and additional $4500 per year pay raise for those on the Appropriations Committee or in leadership positions. Here is what I said about the bill in a recent blog post about Sen Deb Peters (who is in her own primary race):

The final bill I will look at from Peters is SB 160 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 160 is titled and Act to “Provide for per diem for constituent service, leadership service, and service on certain standing committees and to declare an emergency.” Simply put, this was a roundabout way to give legislators a pay raise. It is a concept I agree with, but I don’t think this was the right solution.

SB 160 would have given each legislator an extra $4500 per year for most legislators. It would have given an additional $4500 per year to leadership positions and members of the Appropriations committee; that would have meant a total of $9,000 extra for certain legislators. Personally I think a pay raise will allow a greater variety of people to run for legislature. But adding per diem for “constituent services” and paying certain legislators more for “leadership services” just doesn’t seem the right way to do so.

Recently the SD legislature Executive Board decided it is worth looking into this topic further. Perhaps they can find a way to make the pay raise happen without trying to hide it as per diem. Peters in particular took some heat for this bill because she prime sponsored the bill that would give her as the chair of Senate Appropriations a greater pay raise than many other legislators.

If Willadsen is reelected perhaps he will move forward with the recommendations the Executive Board gives to the legislature and get legislators a pay raise.

District 9 State Senate Republican Primary, Peters and Hubbel

SD Legislative District 9. Screenshot of map from SD LRC website on 5/4/16.
SD Legislative District 9. Screenshot of map from SD LRC website on 5/4/16.

South Dakota legislative District 9 has  a Republican Primary for State Senate. District 9 has NW Sioux Falls and them some area W and NW of Sioux Falls, including the towns of Hartford, Humbolt, and Crooks. Incumbent Deb Peters is being challenged by former legislator Lora Hubbel. Peters beat Hubbel in the 2012 Primary after redistricting had changed the map a bit. Whoever wins this primary will face Holly Boltjes (D) in the general election.

This may be an interesting primary to watch. Peters is seen as an establishment type by many in the right-wing of the Republican party (I’ve actually heard a few people stop using the term RINO and replace it with “Deb Peters Republican”). On the other hand Hubbel has been a thorn in the side of moderate Republicans and has been constantly attacked by the more moderate portion of the party, making it hard for her to be taken serious (some of the attacks warranted perhaps, but many went overboard and attacked her personally instead of her political stances).

Here is a brief look at both candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the primary ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate.

Deb Peters

Sen Deb Peters (R, Dist 9) – Incumbent.
Website – Facebook – Twitter – Ballotpedia  – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: Senate 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 House 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
SDPB Video: 2014 2012

Sen Deb Peters speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 03/02/16.
Sen Deb Peters speaking on the SD Senate floor. Photo by Ken Santema 03/02/16.

Peters has been a state legislator for just over a decade. She does have an issues page on her website. This page is mostly filled with the legislation she has passed and other accomplishments as a legislator. Peters appears to be focused on being fiscally conservative on her page, which is not surprising since she is a CPA.

Since Peters does have a legislative history. I will look at a few examples of legislation from the 2016 legislative session I feel are relevant. I’ve narrowed the list down to three in particular.

First for the good. This year Peters brought forth SB 69 (SoDakLiberty Posts), an Act to “require accredited schools to accept transfer credits for courses taken by students from other accredited schools during the summer and to declare an emergency.” This is a bill that sounded like a bad mandate at first. But looking deeper it doesn’t appear to be something that mandates cost on school districts. SB 69 died on the Senate floor, but was replaced with HB 1145 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1145 was a hoghouse vehicle bill that had been filled with a slightly amended version of SB 69. Here is part of what I had to say about the bill when it was signed into law:

Currently some schools are not allowing transfer credits from summer schools in certain cases. This seems odd because it is from an accredited school. There are quite a few students that like to take summer classes to get ahead on their education. West Central in Hartford apparently does not allow this, even though such classes are available in Sioux Falls. Any of these West Central students that wish to take summer classes in Sioux Falls would not receive credit for the class on their transcript.

This bill would force a school to accept summer school credits from another school. It would require the student to notify their school prior to taking courses in another school. The schools would also have to decide whether certain classes meet their rigor requirements; that is important to decide whether a class will be counted towards graduation requirements, or just as an elective.

It still seems odd that some school districts are not allowing credits from other school districts. But now a policy is in place to at least allow for it in the future. Actually this is yet another example of South Dakota having way too many school districts. Time for that consolidation word to be taken seriously. Will Peters dare talk consolidation if reelected?

Now for a bad bill. SB 106 (SoDakLiberty Posts) is an Act to “provide for the collection of sales taxes from certain remote sellers, to establish certain Legislative findings, and to declare an emergency.” Basically this bill will allow the State of South Dakota to go after people who order goods online and are not paying sales tax (technically/legally SD residents are supposed to file a use tax return on those goods).  Here is a post where i looked at the contents of the bill, and some of my reasons for no liking the bill are included in that post. This of course falls awry of Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, the Supreme Court of the US case that only companies with a physical presence in a state are required to collect sales tax from that states residents. SB 106 is meant to force a case back to the Supreme Court to overrule the previous case. The State has already filed a lawsuit against etailers, and the State is simultaneously being sued. As the lawsuits proceed there will be more posts on SoDakLiberty about this issue. I know there are many Republicans that feel this “marketplace fairness” bill is good. But I would ask them if giving a state taxing authority outside of their borders is a good idea? Peters appears to believe SD should have taxing authority outside of our borders.

The final bill I will look at from Peters is SB 160 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 160 is titled and Act to “Provide for per diem for constituent service, leadership service, and service on certain standing committees and to declare an emergency.” Simply put, this was a roundabout way to give legislators a pay raise. It is a concept I agree with, but I don’t think this was the right solution.

SB 160 would have given each legislator an extra $4500 per year for most legislators. It would have given an additional $4500 per year to leadership positions and members of the Appropriations committee; that would have meant a total of $9,000 extra for certain legislators. Personally I think a pay raise will allow a greater variety of people to run for legislature. But adding per diem for “constituent services” and paying certain legislators more for “leadership services” just doesn’t seem the right way to do so.

Recently the SD legislature Executive Board decided it is worth looking into this topic further. Perhaps they can find a way to make the pay raise happen without trying to hide it as per diem. Peters in particular took some heat for this bill because she prime sponsored the bill that would give her as the chair of Senate Appropriations a greater pay raise than many other legislators.

Lora Hubbel

Lora Hubbel (R)
Twitter – Ballotpedia  – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2012 2011

Lora Hubbel speaking to the Sioux Falls School District Board. Photo by Ken Santema 04/25/16.
Lora Hubbel speaking to the Sioux Falls School District Board. Photo by Ken Santema 04/25/16.

Hubbel is running to the right of Peters. She was actually ousted after the redistricting; many Hubbel supporters believe the districts were redrawn purposely to prevent Hubbel from being reelected due to her being somewhat of a thorn in the establishment Republicans side. It is also worth mentioning that Hubbel ran against Governor Dennis Daugaard in 2014 in the Republican gubernatorial primary. After losing the primary she joined Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers as his Lt Governor running mate.

Hubbel also has a legislative history. Here are a few samples of the bills she prime sponsored in 2011 and 2012 as a representative for District 11.

The battle against Obamacare has been a big focus for Hubbel. In 2014 Hubbel brought forth and cosponsored a number of bills to stop Obamacare from being implemented in South Dakota. One example would be HB 1190 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1190 was an Act to “require Legislative approval before a health insurance exchange is created or implemented.” It has been said such a bill was unnecessary since SD never did setup a state exchange under Obamacare. Yet Hubbel contends the state did actually have to set up the infrastructure in SD for the federal exchange to operate in South Dakota. If Hubbel is elected I think it would be safe to assume she will continue the battle against Obamacare.

Another bill from Hubbel in 2012 had to do with vaccinations. Specifically HB 1259 (SoDakLiberty Posts) is a bill that would have provided and exception to vaccination requirements for personal beliefs. This would have been in addition to the exemptions for health reasons and religious reasons. This is an issue that continues to come up in the legislature and I would expect Hubbel to work on exemptions for vaccinations if she returns to the legislature. There are a lot of people in the state that are opposed to mandatory vaccinations and they feel it is not the place of the state to mandate what drugs go into their children’s bodies.

Finally I think it might be worth looking at HB 1166 (SoDakLiberty Posts) from 2011. HB 1166 was an Act to “restrict, under certain circumstances, the transfer of certain land parcels by the federal government.” The bill basically would have required any transfer of lands that aggregates thirty acres or more going to the federal government would have to seek approval of the county commissioners. The right-wing of the Republican party is often saying the federal government is taking too much land, and it appeared Hubbel was trying to bring forth a solution. The bill didn’t make it out of committee.

I think there is a an overall theme to the bills that had been brought forth by Hubbel. She was focused on restricting the power of of both the state and federal government on the people in South Dakota.

I have spoken to Hubbel twice recently and will hopefully get posts up from my chats with her. Those chats were in regards to the battle against Common Core.