Entries Tagged 'South Dakotans' ↓
July 31st, 2015 — Democrats, South Dakotans
Suzie and her husband Joel
Not sure when the Dems were going to formally announce their new director, but here she is. She has a law degree from USD.
As Chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party I am pleased to announce that Suzanne Jones Pranger will start as the new Executive Director on Monday, Aug. 3.
Suzie is an attorney with experience in Democratic political campaigns and issues. A proud fifth generation South Dakotan, she will bring political experience, an exceptional work ethic, professionalism and passion for the values of our Party to the ED position.
Suzie graduated with high honors from USD School of Law in May of 2014 where she was the Founding Organizer of USD Law School Democrats. She also holds a Masters of Political Science with American Politics and Public Policy Emphasis (Perfect 4.0 GPA, I might add). BA (and another 4.0) was also from USD in May of 2011 with Political Science Major and Minor in Business Administration. She was the USD College Democrats President from 2010-2011.
In the summer of 2009, Suzie was a Congressional Intern in Washington DC working for both Sen. Tim Johnson and Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.
During the 2010 election cycle, she worked as a campaign headquarters intern for Stephanie Herseth Sandlin where she assisted senior campaign staff with fundraising, media interview prep, volunteer outreach, scheduling, and event planning.
During the 2010 SD Legislative Session, she was a Senate Democrat Intern where she was aid to Senate Minority Leader Scott Heidepriem and Caucus Chair Ben Nesselhuf. In the 2011 Legislative Session, she returned to Pierre to serve as the Senate Democratic Caucus Secretary.
Suzie volunteered to help with the original YELL (Young Elected Legislative Leader) programs and drafted all the bills and amendments for our high school student program. She also has experience with the Native Vote Protection program where she oversaw election officials on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in 2012.
In 2014, she was selection as a DNC Hope Institute Fellow. Suzie was one of a total of 40 fellows selected from a nationwide application pool of several hundred to attend the DNC’s comprehensive campaign training program. This intense training emphasized managing national and statewide campaigns, running for office and fundraising.
She has spent the year since graduating from law school clerking for a judge in Sioux Falls. Her contract expired yesterday, July 31. Because that employment precluded her involvement in politics, we have waited until now to announce our selection. Thanks for your patience and understanding as we awaited this announcement. If you’ve read through all of her qualifications, I hope that you agree with me that she was worth the wait.
I believe that Suzie will be with us for many years to come and that she will serve the Democratic Party as an exceptional Executive Director.
Chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party
July 20th, 2015 — PayDay Lenders, South Dakotans
A little birdy tipped me off this morning that some of the major players in payday lending industry in South Dakota may have found a new angle to skirting the law and proposed interest rate cap; process the loans on tribal land. I was told that early talks have begun.
So how would it work? As it was explained to me, no matter if you are in Sioux Falls, Yankton or Watertown, when you would apply for one of these loans, the lender would send your application off to a loan processing site on tribal (sovereign) land, I’m assuming it would be legal for them to do it electronically. Since the application is being processed and the loan potentially being approved on tribal land, they would not have to follow the rules of the state. It is similar to First Premier setting up shop in South Dakota because of the lax usury laws here, but marketing their predatory card throughout the nation.
If this is true, it is just another step by the payday lenders to skirt law (that hasn’t even passed yet) and to continue to prey on the poor, with the help of our SD tribes.
July 8th, 2015 — economy, Education funding, South Dakotans
So is the Governor and his administrators lying to the public when they say there is no easy solutions to raising teacher pay? The Mercatus Center disagrees;
South Dakota ranks 3rd among US states for its fiscal health, based on its fiscal solvency in five separate categories.
South Dakota’s strong fiscal position in FY 2013 was driven by very high revenues relative to spending and by low levels of debt. The state’s cash position indicates that South Dakota had between five and eight times the amount of cash needed to cover short-term spending in FY 2013. South Dakota’s revenues exceeded expenses. Long-term liabilities accounted for 9 percent of total assets, and the state had excess assets after meeting its debts. Debt levels were among the lowest in the nation at 1.3 percent of state personal income. Under its own accounting assumptions, South Dakota’s pension system was fully funded. However, when calculating the pension liability on a guaranteed-to-be-paid basis, the unfunded liability amounted to $6.7 billion.
After reading this, I thought I may be living in another state and don’t know it. We often hear the constant drum beat from Pierre that ‘the money isn’t there’ not just for education, but we heard it with road funding also. Unless the accountants at the Mercatus center got their wires crossed, it seems the state could afford more money for education, roads and even sending some of their extra revenue to strapped counties so they don’t have to continue to opt-out. So why is the state hoarding money that could be spent? Isn’t that what we pay taxes for? To be spent on programs to help the residents of our great state. If I knew the state was interested in keeping a savings account, I say just reduce my taxes instead, and I will take care of my own savings.
The Mercatus Center also has a fascinating blog.
June 26th, 2015 — South Dakotans
The petitioners plan to turn in the signatures next week to Secretary of State Krebs office. As of today (and they are still collecting) Ann Tornberg reported at Democratic Forum that they have 20,000 for the Minimum Wage (69) and 16,800 for the initiative referral (177). Legally 13,871 signatures need to be verified for them to get on the ballot.
June 23rd, 2015 — South Dakotans
Been enjoying all the hoopla over the renaming of Harney Peak (I support it by the way) But you gotta love this opponent’s note. My friend Kristi has this saying I often use when I see stuff like this from my fellow human beings, “I wonder how some people get through life?”
May 18th, 2015 — Employment, South Dakotans
Should this surprise any of us? Not really, I have had at least two friends leave SD for better pay in nursing. One of them got her pay doubled when she moved to Washington State. I was also told by both of them, working conditions were not the best either in SD (one had worked at both major hospitals and the other worked for a private surgical center).
It seems while we hear places like Trail King get a bad rap for bad pay, and Denny Sanford kicking in $25 million to train better welders, he ought to be paying the nurses better that work for his name stake.
As I said at a recent city council meeting, we don’t have a ‘jobs’ issue in South Dakota, we have a ‘wage’ issue. Teachers and nurses are not the only ones at the bottom of the pay scale in SD.
|South Dakota – $50,000
|Average Registered Nursing salaries for job postings in South Dakota are 25% lower than average Registered Nursing salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 48th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Reflectx Staffing, Avera Health, FocusStaff, and Huron South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation Jobs.
May 9th, 2015 — beer, Beer Summit, Sioux Falls, South Dakotans
May 1st, 2015 — Employment, Sioux Falls, South Dakotans
We don’t – But I will get to that in a moment.
With all this hub-bub about the lame ass marketing skills coming from our own community development office and the SD Republic party’s personal ad agency (who continues to mysteriously win all of the State’s RFPs) it has gotten me thinking about the bigger picture, or let’s at least say the bigger more important objective of workforce development.
Last week I was having a conversation about this topic with a Sioux Falls city councilor, and I asked him, “Why do we need to recruit people to Sioux Falls? Isn’t Sioux Falls large enough? Why do we need to grow?”
But more importantly we both had an ‘Ah-Ha’ moment. Why not make salaries, job training and the quality of life for the people who already live here better FIRST. Then once we have declared success on that front, we can show the rest of the country (or even the universe) how we have made South Dakota better for our existing residents with boundless opportunities to advance in your career.
Let’s face it, the first step to a better quality of life is a fatter wallet. I chuckle at these commercials where people are fishing on Bayliners, driving Harleys and recreating in the Black Hills. Guess what, all of these things take money, and with having one of the highest rates of impoverished children in the country, I don’t think too many South Dakotans are driving to the food bank on their Harleys.
Let’s face it, companies in South Dakota CAN afford to pay better, but I will also defend them by saying it is a two-way street, workers that already exist in this state are going to have to be willing to learn new things and make an effort.
We don’t need to recruit workers to our state, we need to recruit companies to make better lives for their current employees which means intensive on the job training, education, and paying above a living wage. It will take a REAL and PERSONAL investment from the companies, not just taxpayers, but hey that’s how the FREE market works. We can’t continue to depend on corporate welfare for these companies to get workers.
If we don’t try this approach, no number of idiotic TV commercials by Loser & Shister or billboards in Downtown Minneapolis of Smiling Mayor Mike are going to turnaround our (qualified) worker shortage.
I have often said “All politics are local” well the same goes for a strong workforce. Let’s cleanup our neighborhood first before inviting other neighborhoods over for a block party.
April 13th, 2015 — obama, South Dakotans
Leave it to Nancy Naeve to break the news;
President Obama will visit South Dakota in May to deliver the 2015 commencement speech for Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown.
The President told KSFY’s Nancy Naeve about the visit in an exclusive interview on Monday. South Dakota is the only state Obama has not visited since he took over the Oval Office.
March 22nd, 2015 — Daugaard, Mayor Hubris, Mayor Subprime Mike Huether, Mike Huether, South Dakotans, Taxes
This failed for a reason, and it wasn’t the political power machine that killed it, it was many people with common sense behind the scenes lobbying against higher regressive taxes that just burden the working poor. It is counterproductive to fund projects on the backs of people paying higher taxes on food and utilities. If we really want to tap a hidden tax source it would be an income tax on corporations and high wage earners. Other then that, it astonishes me that the mayor of SF would support this, a person who is often telling us we are swimming in money. A little history lesson for Mr. Whitney (who apparently has no clue what has been going on in city politics for the past 10 years) We recently switched our water/sewer over to ‘enterprise funds’ this was a way to direct our fees into fixing infrastructure, which makes sense, though I think it was done to justify higher rates and to free up CIP money for ‘play things’. We don’t need higher sales taxes in Sioux Falls, especially under an administration that gets giddy every time they open the city checkbook. The next time the city needs extra money for NEEDED infrastructure, I suggest they cut elitist indoor tennis centers named after our esteemed emperor instead of looking for more ways to screw the poor.
Of course, let’s look at Whitney’s version as to why this went down (am I the only one who doesn’t laugh at his satire pieces but think his serious columns are hilarious?)
Consider the plight of Senate Bill 135, a sales tax measure that appeared reasonable enough when first submitted by Republican state Sen. Corey Brown back in January.
Yes proposed by Mr. South Dakota ALEC himself. An organization that likes to have taxes paid by the working class, while corporations run free from taxation. I can almost guarantee Brown saw this as a way to protect his corporate interests.
Bolstered by the South Dakota Municipal League, the bill would have granted cities and towns the ability to impose up to a third penny of general sales tax — if approved by voters — to pay for capital expenditures such as land acquisition, street or bridge repair and other infrastructure projects.
And that is the major flaw with the legislation, it’s wording, infrastructure projects can mean anything from a bridge, a sewer pipe or an indoor pool.
“Voters had to approve it, it was specifically for infrastructure, there was a hard sunset on it and it could not be extended or renewed,” says Yvonne Taylor, executive director of the South Dakota Municipal League
The ‘Sunset Clause’ song and dance. We know how that rolls. Remember the 2nd penny implementation for roads? Well we don’t entirely spend it on roads anymore, just a portion of it. Or the ‘entertainment tax’ that was used to pay off the Washington Pavilion bonds. Well that was paid off, but we are still paying the tax. The sunset clause is a ruse, because as soon as the project is paid for, government will find another project to spend it on. History has shown this. Do you study history Yvonne?
Gov. Dennis Daugaard, for all his talk about local control, wasn’t thrilled with the idea of cities being able to address their own revenue issues, especially with his push for highway and bridge funding taking top priority in Pierre. If someone was going to raise taxes, it was going to be him.
Well, I’m not one to defend our tight wad governor, but it seems he was using common sense by pointing out raising taxes and fees for road repairs on a state level then allowing municipalities to also implement a tax increase at the same time wouldn’t sit well with taxpayers. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.
Deputy state revenue director David Wiest opposed SB135 in Senate committee, saying consumers already pay four cents on the dollar in state sales tax and that collecting more locally would push the burden too high.
“That’s not going to work for citizens in the state,” he told legislators. “They won’t permit it.”
And he is right. I haven’t talked to one single person who thought this was good legislation. The other flaw pointed out to me by my conservative friends was that it should take a 60% majority to approve a tax increase, this was NOT in the bill, and I believe that is why a lot of legislators didn’t like it.
Throwing out a scary number (especially one that could not possibly come to fruition and that Taylor of the Municipal League called “mind-boggling”) was gimmicky politics at best, but the tactic was repeated in op-ed pieces and voter outreach spearheaded by the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity.
It may have been ‘gimmicky’ but not to far from the truth. In fact if we raised the taxes by a penny just in Sioux Falls, it would be around a $50 million dollar tax increase. That’s not a gimmick, that is the truth.
“It’s no secret that Sioux Falls would have reaped the rewards of this legislation, but cities and towns all across the state were clamoring for its passage as well,” Huether said this week. “It was a full-court press for local control.”
Local control?! Let’s talk ‘gimmicks’. Besides the public approving such a regressive tax increase, that is where our ‘control’ would end. We have a city administration that is famous for handing out money to special interests with little public input. In fact, our mayor is so brazen about it, after cutting a $500,000 check to the Indoor Tennis Palace, he slaps his name on the building. Now that’s local control!
Those projects total an estimated $100 million in a city that has about $30 million a year to take care of all of its maintenance, reconstruction and extension efforts, city public works director Mark Cotter told state legislators. To use public bonds, the city would spend more than “$52 million in interest alone” over 20 years to pay for the work, he added.
$30 Million? What did I say earlier about the 2nd penny? The fact is we have been robbing it (CIP) for play things and bond payments on those play things. If we truly spend ALL of the 2nd penny on it’s true intent, we would be driving on streets of gold, and they would be paid for. Instead we consistently rob the cookie jar for entertaining ourselves. The money exists for these projects, make no mistake, but it takes an administration willing to make prudent decisions about infrastructure instead of worrying about what color the bathrooms will be at the Events Center (something I heard he was very involved in).
After the efforts made in Sioux Falls and the personal involvement of Huether to articulate the importance of the bill to the state’s largest city, those votes did not go unnoticed.
“Sioux Falls brought out the big guns to promote the passage of this critical bill,” Huether said. “Then to find out it was some of our very own legislative team that didn’t even let us enter the corral for the gunfight was very disheartening.”
Oh Yes Mike, it’s always about you, isn’t it? This bill was defeated because it just wasn’t fiscally responsible. Besides, what gun fight did you get into? Did you testify in Pierre on it’s behalf? I don’t recall hearing about that?
Darrin Smith, the city’s community development director, said that the bill’s defeat is a setback for Sioux Falls growth.
“I don’t think there’s any question that this will put significant economic development opportunities we have at risk,” Smith said. “This would have allowed us to invest even more in infrastructure to create more jobs and diversify our economy, but you can’t be successful if you’re afraid to lead, so we’ll do the best we can now.”
Wow! Darrin, did you just read what you said? If we were so afraid of risking economic development in Sioux Falls, why did we borrow $117 million for an Events Center? Or rob Federal levee paybacks to build an indoor pool? Or have $37 million in surplus accounts? I don’t think we are risking anything, except over extending ourselves on play things.
“I cheer for our governor more often than not, but this is one topic where I respectfully disagree,” Huether said. “I am not fighting against my governor, but rather fighting hard for South Dakotans, east of the Missouri and west. I know he is too.”
Mike, you cheer (and cry) for one person, and we know exactly who that is.