Entries Tagged 'State Funding' ↓

Why not make alcohol flavored cupcakes without alcohol?

All this hub-bub about fixing the laws so people can make cupcake frosting or other tasty desserts is worth the conversation. If for no other reason, for the fact that South Dakota’s laws on alcohol are way behind the times, including taxation. But the one thing I can’t figure out is why did this cupcake shop close?

Intoxibakes closed immediately, stopping online orders as they waited to work things out with city liquor licensors.

While I can understand the inconvenience of not being able to use alcohol temporarily, NOT sure why a cupcake business shut it’s doors until a fix is found. YOU MAKE CUPCAKES! CUPCAKES! Why not make regular non alcohol infused cupcakes until the law gets changed? Really!? There are several cupcake shops all over Sioux Falls that do it, and make it just fine.

I can understand though it would probably go against your business plan, but guess what, you can make all kinds of FAUX alcohol flavored baked goods using substitutes that have the same flavor qualities. There are substitutes for beer, champagne, brandy, Frangelico, coffee liqueur, etc, etc.

While I understand their frustration with Pierre, I think shutting down the business until it is fixed isn’t a real good business plan. Go make your cupcakes, and once our city officials and state legislators remove their heads from their butts, than you can go back to using the real deal.

Billy and Sally will never know the difference at their 6 year old birthday party.


SD State Legislative Forum, Feb 10, 2018

Legislative Update from the Advocacy Project

These are among the bills that are very important, if we hope to continue to be able to exercise our citizen rights to initiate and refer laws.
ALL Rep’s will vote on these in a floor session. I expect it will be tomorrow(Tue), starting at 2:00(1:00Mt), because amended bills usually go to the floor 2 days after they pass out of committee.   
Email format: firstname.lastname@sdlegislature.gov
Phone message to rep’s: 605-773-3851
HB1177 would make it incredibly difficult for grassroots groups to utilize the initiative process. Every petition circulator would be required to have his/her name and phone and email on a small handout to give to every signer, not just info about the measure itself and its sponsors and whether you are a volunteer or paid, but your personal contact info.  In other words, every petition circulator would need a PERSONALIZED handout, each verified by the Sec of State. Imagine working with 100 volunteers. Suddenly, you need 100 different handouts prepared, different for each one. Clearly, a logistical mess. 
      Plus, requiring volunteers to disclose their personal contact information to numerous strangers would have a chilling effect on volunteer participation.  (Maybe we could ask legislators to imagine if one of their daughters wanted to circulate a petition for some good cause. Is this a requirement they would want placed on her?)
     If necessary, HB1177 could apply only to paid circulators. Leave the volunteers alone. Requiring you to disclose your volunteer status should suffice.
[You can thank these who opposed it in committee: Bartling, Hawley, Rhoden]
HB1196 is similar to HB1177 In that the amount of information it requires people to disclose is excessive. It might sway people away from participating in the process. 
    Also similar to HB1177, this proposal could possibly be acceptable by amending it to apply only the paid petition circulators AND to paid circulators of candidate nominating petitions as well.
      1196 would require you to disclose more info to the state to gather a signature than is currently required for you to but a shotgun. The depth and breadth of personal information required from circulators, whether paid or volunteers, is absurd. Ballot question committees should be expected to verify residency of their paid circulators, of course. But the personal questions for volunteers in HB1196 cross a line and, intended or not, would chill political participation.
[You can thank these who opposed it in committee: Bartling, Hawley, Lust, Rhoden]
You can comment on two together for House floor. There are more coming up in some committees.

If you are visiting a tourist site, that makes you a tourist

Sometimes I think it may be a good idea to drug test legislators, especially when they come up with stupid crap like this. You are either brain dead or on drugs killing your brain cells;

The bill would cut the state’s tourism tax rate from 1-1/2 percent to 1 percent, which wouldn’t leave enough funding for the South Dakota Arts Council.

State Rep. Tom Pischke (R-Dell Rapids) sponsored the bill because he doesn’t like the way the money is collected.

“Let’s say for example, I live in Dell Rapids and I want to take my kids to the children’s museum in Brookings. So I don’t really consider myself a tourist if I drive 30 miles up to Brookings to take the kids to the Children’s Museum. But then again, I’m getting charged a tourism tax,” says Pischke.

The definition of Tourist;

a person who is traveling or visiting a place for pleasure.

Doesn’t matter if Tom lived next door to the museum, he is still a tourist. Oh, but Tom’s argument gets even better;

Pischke says he supports the arts, but doesn’t think the tourism tax should go toward things the SculptureWalk or JazzFest, two recipients of funding from the state art council. He says the collected funds should go directly toward tourism.

Public art is tourism. Do you think people would travel to Mt. Rushmore if there wasn’t a sculpture into the side of that mountain? Where do these legislators come up with this stuff?

How many South Dakota State legislators does it take to screw in a light bulb? Zero. They would be too busy arguing over how to pay for the light bulb, in the dark.

SD State Legislature & City of Sioux Falls

Annexation Legislation Fails

Of course we can mostly thank the Anti-Citizen League for killing the bill;

Yvonne Taylor of the South Dakota Municipal League told lawmakers that there are two steps in the annexation process that already require certified letters and a public vote.

Nothing gets me hotter than my tax dollars paying this lobbying organization and it’s anti-citizen, pro-corporate welfare agenda. They consistently lobby against bills that improve transparency and help citizens navigate local government. If I was the next mayor I would fire them so fast their heads would spin. Actually, I think the city council controls that expenditure, they should cancel it. We pay an operations manager almost $100K a year to help follow legislation in Pierre, why do we need a lobbyist, especially one that lobbies against the best interests of the citizenry?

It also didn’t help that Mike Cooper and Council Chair Rick Kiley showed up to talk against it. A witness told me that Kiley claimed that only ONE person complained about the annexation process when it comes to notification. What a stretch.

Investor Notification Legislation

While I think this is a great idea, like annexation, this will probably get killed in committee;

The bill, which hasn’t been assigned a formal number by the Legislative Research Council, would require companies working with governments on public-private projects that have been in existence for five years or more to disclose the names of any investors who own 5 percent or more of its shareholders or investors.

Like I said, great idea, but there is always loopholes in any of this stuff, just ask former city attorney Fiddle-Faddle. I also think it is sad that we have to pass laws in order to get the information the public should have a right to. And if any developer had one ounce of integrity, they would give up that information on their own. Oh, nevermind, I forgot we do business with people who drag cancer causing agents through out town without a care in the world. Real pillars of our community.

HERE is an interesting story about how well private/public partnerships work. I really believe the Village project will never happen, or we will be left holding the bag.

Alcohol Distributors still crying in their beers

While the craft brewers do 99% of the work creating their delicisousness, the beer distributors still want a cut for being a taxi service;

South Dakota beer distributors said this week a proposal aimed at letting craft brewers sell their beer directly to stores and restaurants gives them unfair advantages over other players in the beer industry.

Oh, baloney. They are simply saying it is foolish to go through a distributor to sell to someone next door. They will still have to use distributors for large scale distribution.

The greed the distributors are showing is the reason why people are buying online more and more, besides the fact that sales taxes are regressive, people are tired of paying a middle man (salesperson) for essentially not doing much. It is similar to art galleries taking a 40% commission for hanging a painting on a wall.

It also doesn’t help that we have legislators who have a direct conflict of interest with the legislation. Kolbeck and Beal should excuse themselves from voting on this legislation.

Guest Toons; Sioux Empire Podcast

Click to Enlarge either image

A host of Alcohol bills dropping today in Pierre

Some have to do with taxation and some with awareness.

Bills: 328Z0758 Alcohol Tax 25 Cents

454Z0769 Marketing to Youth

627Z0629 Alcohol Tax 5 cents

670Z0767 – Alcohol Taxation Revenue Neutral

832Z0766 – Cancer Awareness

Reports about alcohol: BillBriefAlcoholTax



Legislators are elected to represent us, not their own self interests

Commenter Pete Weisel says it best;

So the Argus should apologize for pointing out that elected representatives are NOT voting based on the electorates needs but their own?

In South Dakota, we have always let legislators who are attorneys vote on legislation to make changes in criminal and civil law. We let farmers vote on agricultural issues. We let teachers vote on issues of education and teacher salaries.

So why has the Argus Leader’s Editorial Board chosen to attack the credibility of Rep. Arch Beal, R-Dist. 12, and Sen. Jack Kolbeck, R-Dist. 13, just because they work for a beer distributor? They have the right and responsibility to consider all proposed legislation, including bills that would impact the beer industry.

People who are elected to serve in Pierre do so at the pleasure of their constituents, not at the whim of the Argus Leader Editorial Board.

The editorial board owes these gentlemen an apology for an unwarranted attack.

Dean has a special interest in this topic as he is the Chamber of Commerce which receives funds from the distributors.
You Dean, are the problem with this country sir.

Legislative Update from Advocates

Advocates, Good news from Senate floor today.

SB56 The Senate Appropriations committee listened to our request last week to adjust the income eligibility limits for the tax refund program for the elderly and people with disabilities.  Sen. Wik brought an amendment from that committee’s discussion to the Senate floor today, and it passed unanimously.  You can thank all Senators (except the two absent ones, Cammack and Partridge) for their support of SB56 and its helpful amendment. And I thank all of you who made contacts to the committee on this. It paid off. Now we hope the House agrees.

• Report. These 3 bills passed committee today and now head to Senate floor soon, so contact any or all Senators on these:

1. Sorry to say, SJR1  proposes a 55% vote to pass amendments to the state constitution.

Voters would have to approve that change, but this is an attempt to reduce our citizen rights to initiatives. Ask Senators to vote NO.

2. SB77  asks for mid-year reports for ballot committees, so we can see where their money is coming from sooner and don’t have to wait til after the election to find out. This one is helpful. Support.

3. SB79 lets Independents sign candidate petitions. That’s a step forward for participation in democracy. (Maybe someday they’ll even get to vote in primaries.).  Support.

• New for Senate State Affairs committee 

You can comment on any of the above 3 bills they voted on today. (like thanking them for support for 77 and 79). Now these bills are headed there on Wed. (1/24) at 10AM,(9 Mt time).  Senate State Affairs has these senators:

Bolin,  Curd,  Ewing,  Heinert,  Langer, Maher,  Netherton,  Novstrup,  Sutton.

SB2 is helpful for the housing opportunity fund

HB1006 is the one that needs its Section 2 taken out, according to Dakota Rural Action. Its problem is that it could possibly shorten the time for initiatives rather than lengthening it.

Is District 10 Senator Jenna (Haggar) Netherton living in SD?

Since Jenna got married there has been much speculation if she still lives in SD anymore. Curiously her husband’s last job was listed in Wichita, KS that he left in December of 2016. Rumor around the capital is that she has been living with her husband in Texas. This of course would disqualify her to be a State Senator in South Dakota. Also interesting is that her address listed on her legislative page is a PO Box. I know that Jenna is pretty petite, but it would be pretty hard to live in a PO Box. So is claiming South Dakota residency while living in Texas? Many are wondering. Will leadership in Pierre have her give proof of residency?

The irony is that I haven’t seen Jenna for well over a year. Not that we run in the same circles, but I used to run into Jenna in Downtown Sioux Falls at least a couple times a month.

Like her father who is supposed to be banned for lobbying for a year in Pierre yet was there lobbying, it seems Jenna may have no disregard for the rules.