Entries Tagged 'State Funding' ↓
May 1st, 2013 — Heather Wilson, South Dakotans, State Funding
I can’t even remember all the bat-shit crazy right-winger things she has done, but this isn’t good kids;
Heather Wilson, a Republican former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Mexico, is the new president for the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
No doubt that Wilson has a ‘science’ resume. But her ‘political’ resume reads like a mob hitman’s;
In the lead up to that primary, Wilson suffered a series of public relations blows for her role in the U.S. attorneys’ scandal, improperly politicized firings of U.S. prosecutors by the Bush administration, which Democrats spent months investigating in 2007 and 2008. A lot of information about Wilson’s role wasn’t ever really scrutinized to the extent it could have been because she lost her first Senate bid.
Wilson always had a close race to keep her House seat, and the 2006 election was no different. At the beginning of the U.S. attorneys scandal, former New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, a Republican, accused Wilson of contacting him in mid-October 2006 while he was still in office to pressure him to take action on a political corruption case, which Wilson was using as political fodder against her opponent Patricia Madrid. Anti-intimidation rules prohibit elected officials from contacting U.S. attorneys to inquire about progress on a case.
After the Wilson call, Iglesias said her mentor, Domenici, then called him and angrily hung up when Iglesias objected and told him the call was inappropriate. Wilson has long refuted Iglesias’ account, arguing the calls were aimed at checking on the status of the investigation, not influencing it.
Here is a longer version of the same story.
And I guess if you like GW Cronies running our state universities, you will like this;
On key votes in 2003 (as defined by the organizations themselves), Wilson voted the position of the Christian Coalition 76% of the time (92% of the time in 2002); 62% of the time shared the position of the Eagle Forum
(73% in 2002); and 72% of the time for the positions of American Conservative Union
(73% in 2002).
She routinely receives scores of 0 from the American Civil Liberties Union, Peace Action, and the Human Rights Campaign. In 2002 she received a 9% score from the League of Conservation Voters.
Wilson opposed anti-bullying laws, comparing anti-gay bullying to mere “teasing.” Earlier this year, she outlined her opposition to SB 555, the Student Non-Discrimination Act, explaining that “with respect to this particular agenda we have to recognize as parents that children tease each other.” Wilson mocked the bill — which would merely provide LGBT students with similar civil rights protections against bullying to those already granted to students bullied based on race and gender — dismissing it as “so broad it would actually punish children and say that it’s prohibited to express an opinion with respect to homosexuality in the schools” [Josh Israel, "Better Know An Anti-LGBT Senate Candidate: Former Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM)," Think Progress, 2012.09.05].
State funded ALEC trips and hiring an extremist to run one of our state universities. Some days, South Dakota makes me so proud
April 28th, 2013 — Ethics, State Funding, State Legislature
Monty wrote an article about ‘conflicts of interest’ in the state legislature and how lawmakers ‘don’t see any problems’. LOL. Here are some great comedic snippets;
Sen. Mark Johnston, R-Sioux Falls, who works for Sanford Health, has been involved in many health care-related debates. He was active on the issue of whether South Dakota should expand Medicaid — something Sanford and the other big health systems in the state support — and opposing a health insurance reform the big hospitals opposed.
His experience in the health care industry is a strength, not a problem, Johnston said.
“There’s two sides to every issue,” he said. “Based on my experience, my knowledge, my skills, and the input from the folks that I represent, that’s how I (approach) the particular issue.”
Johnston’s employer, he said, is “irrelevant,” except that it gives him more knowledge to bring to debates.
“I look at it in … what’s best for the citizens, what’s best for the folks that elect me into office,” he said.
And if your side doesn’t hurt after that load of crap, listen to this one;
Rep. Tim Rounds said he took a back seat when the Legislature debated a bill to create a new class of artisan distillery licenses — on the request of two of Rounds’ brothers, Jamison and Tom.
“I voted, but I did not get involved with the bill itself,” he said. “I did not testify. I didn’t speak on it.”
. . . but you voted for it. That would pretty much mean you were ‘involved’.
Oh, and how do you like these apples;
South Dakota does not have an independent standing ethics board, though there are provisions to create ad hoc panels to consider alleged ethical violations. It’s up to each legislator to decide for themselves whether they face a conflict of interest, and if so what to do about it.
Meanwhile, many other lawmakers from both parties say the system work fine as it is.
Because, you know, how else will the SD GOP stay in power for another 35 years?
This last part is actually non-comediclicious;
“The counter-argument was that states with few of the structures to prevent or sniff out corruption might be less likely to find any corruption,” he said.
Whatever the size of a state, Witkin said preventing conflicts of interest is important.
“Avoiding conflicts of interest and avoiding voting in self-interest is a core value of accountability and transparency,” he said.
Duh. When you don’t have an agency that looks for it, it is easy to say it doesn’t exist. It’s kinda like falling off a ladder and breaking your leg and saying, “My leg isn’t broke, because I didn’t go to the doctor and get it x-rayed.” After watching the Gant/Powers thingy unfold last year, I am even more supportive of having conflict of interest laws put into place, not just for legislators but for state employees.
April 23rd, 2013 — ALEC, State Funding, State Legislature
The Republican-controlled legislature hiked its own budget $5,000 per lawmaker last session, and today (Tuesday) they started spending the money by voting themselves more out-of-state travel, including trips to the controversial ALEC conventions where conservative lawmakers mingle with corporate special interests.
Democrats tried to strike the $5,000/legislator funding for the trips on the final day of the legislative session, and they tried again today (Tuesday) when the legislature’s executive committee expanded the travel policy.
“When we can’t afford to fund our schools or cover other basics of government, we can hardly afford to turn legislators into frequent fliers,” said Senator Larry Lucas of Mission, who opposed the measure as a member of the executive board.
Lucas said he and other legislators were blind-sided by the proposal to include ALEC.
“That’s unconscionable, especially this year when we pushed school costs onto property taxpayers. The priorities of our Republican colleagues are hard for me to fathom today.”
Rep. Bernie Hunhoff said the spending priorities of the GOP-dominated legislature are hurting South Dakotans.
“On the last day, the legislature couldn’t even find $25,000 to help fund a van for disabled veterans. We couldn’t find support for scholarship programs or prenatal care to the very poorest young mothers in South Dakota — let alone provide adequate school support. And yet we have the money to fly ourselves all over the country? This is not a proud day for the South Dakota legislature.”
Hunhoff said the 2013 session was remarkable in its lack of partisanship, and substantive reforms were enacted.
“I’m still hopeful we can continue that spirit into 2014, but today’s vote and the way it was conducted is not particularly helpful in that regard.”
Sen. Jason Frerichs, the Democrats’ senate leader, said spending state tax dollars on ALEC dues and trips is shocking.
“This is an organization that has raised more than $20 million over the last several years from the biggest corporate special interest groups in the world. They take great pride in promoting legislation that benefits the coffers of these large corporations, often at the expense of the average American taxpayer.”
Frerichs and Hunhoff said they intend to demand that no dues monies be paid for Democratic legislators.
“We won’t attend the ALEC conferences and we do not want a dime of the taxpayer’s money to be used for this biased, extremist lobbying organization.”
They said they’ll also try to correct the executive board’s decision in the 2014 legislative session.
Detroit’s NOTE’s; It amazes me the very organization that is meant to screw over the middle-class, is getting funded by us, thru taxpayer funds, to bend us over the barrel. I will do my best to get photos and deets on the legislators who attended this convention, on our dime.
March 11th, 2013 — State Funding, State Legislature
Unclaimed property in rural Georgia? Not anymore.
A short time back we asked the question “SD State Treasurer Sattgast must have asked SOS Gant to design a website”? Go back and read it. We now ask the question again in light of the November, 2012 election results where the Governor lost his pet projects to the people’s revolt and are now getting SB 235. For those who do not follow the actions of our esteemed elective officials playing government in Pierre for their enjoyment (and potential profits?) we bring it up again.
SB 235 started out life as an empty piece of legislation. A quirk our legislature has, is the ability to change empty bills to do whatever it so chooses. This year’s session has created a monster rollup bill to hide a great deal of ugliness covered by pretty gift wrapping with the passage of SB 235. Everything we the voters of South Dakota did not like about the Governor’s special projects fund and its untraceable / unregulated gifts, are now going to be rolled into this law. There are some nice things the ALEC funded pushers of this law have allowed to happen to gain supporters but digging deeper into their motives shows the depths of the subterfuge. A massive amount of new money is falling into the hands of South Dakota politicians to divide up. To divide up this massive amount of new money, they have sucked in a bunch of naïve Democrats and tea partiers to block future organized efforts to rein it in. How can you have a petition effort to stop something you are part of? Shame on you Bernie and Jason…
How does this apply to Sattgast, Gant and the unclaimed property fund? Well, according to reports, big USA banks are rechartering their national banking operations to operate under the rules and laws of the State of South Dakota. Why is this important? A former SD State Treasurer fought to guarantee the owners of misplaced or unclaimed property the ability to get it returned to them. SD Treasurer Butler fought Wild Bill Janklow and his legislators all the way to the Supreme Court on our behalf before losing. Butler became a hated man in Pierre and Citibank, probably still is. Janklow brought Citibank to South Dakota and he continued to help them, by losing track of the owners of “property” so it could be split without audit. South Dakota gained a bit and Citibank gained a bunch. We had to believe the banks without any audit. Right…
Now we fast forward a few decades to this year’s session. The Mitchell Daily Republic has an excellent discussion of SB 235.
This surge was fueled when several major banking corporations, such as Citi and Wells Fargo, consolidated their charters in South Dakota for tax reasons. That means money left behind in accounts throughout the nation will become unclaimed property here.
The part they do not tell you is how the state gets to keep all these funds. Remember the state’s unclaimed property website? It has been made impossible to use. We had wondered why it was designed so badly. Now we know. People looking for their property will never find it. Now add millions of unclaimed accounts or property to this fund having originated in other states or countries. If you did not have a chance before, guess what opportunity you have now? Now think of the millions of account holders from around the world who will never see their investments.
So, to steal money from unsuspecting depositors, insurance policies, safety deposit box holders and more, South Dakota has designed a website to make sure the scam works.
March 10th, 2013 — South Dakotans, State Funding, State Legislature
March 4th, 2013 — State Funding, State Legislature
This is why I don’t blog as much about the state legislature, it’s like a freaking broken record. They do this every year. (notice the cartoon is from 2009)Waste enormous amounts of time on guns and abortion without really addressing the budget;
The South Dakota Legislature’s budget-writing committee has delayed a decision on how much revenue to expect for the rest of the current year and the budget year that begins July 1.
The Joint Appropriations Committee had planned to make a formal decision Monday. But House Appropriations Chairman Fred Romkema of Spearfish says the decision is delayed until at least Tuesday because the Legislature has not settled the fate of some other bills that could affect revenue collections.
The committee later this week will put the finishing touches on the spending plan so the Legislature can pass the budget by Friday, the end of the main run of this year’s legislative session.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proposed a $4.1 billion state budget, with $1.3 billion to come from state tax funds.
Oh, but they had time to thumb their noses at voters with this proposal;
A comprehensive South Dakota economic development fund proposed by state legislators would be paid for with contractors excise tax collections and money from unclaimed property.
Republican Sen. Corey Brown, of Gettysburg, outlined the Building South Dakota Fund to the House State Affairs Committee on Monday. The panel voted unanimously to move the bill to the House floor.
The measure was introduced at a bipartisan news conference last week. It would focus on providing tax breaks for large projects that the state otherwise might not attract. It also would provide money for training workers and helping communities build the infrastructure needed to encourage development.
Republicans and Democrats have worked for the past two months to find a compromise plan.
The bill received supportive testimony from nearly two dozen people.
At least it is not coming out of the general fund, and supported by contractors, BUT voters clearly told them last November, NO HANDOUTS TO LARGE CORPORATIONS, and what do they do? Well at least job training is included, but I have a feeling that will be trickle down. You know, if the state was attracting businesses that paid living wages, I would be all for these incentives.
February 28th, 2013 — Healthcare, Healthcare reform, State Funding, State Legislature
Though I would like to take credit for this, I did get help writing this toon. They would like to remain anonymous. I hope that is okay with Stormland-TV News.
January 28th, 2013 — Food, State Funding, State Legislature, Taxes
Here are some bills that would have an effect on low-income children and families in South Dakota. We know that money is tight in these homes, especially with rising food prices and utility bills. I am taking the liberty of suggesting whether to support or not, but you can assess them given the low-income people you know.
HB 1154 would help by shifting tax from food to non-food. The state’s portion of the food tax would drop from 4% to 0%, while non-food would compensate going from 4% to 4.35%. The many low-income people we have interviewed about this plan have thought it a good idea that would help them. Even people with food stamps like the idea, because they are hoping to get off food stamps, and their neighbors are paying tax on their food.
Special focus: House Taxation Committee – Rep’s Duvall, Erickson, Feinstein, Greenfield, Hunhoff(Bernie), Kirschman, Latterell, Miller, Novstrup(David), Peterson, Rasmussen, Rozum, Russell, Solum, Wick
HB 1193 would raise the state’s portion of sales tax from 4% to 5%. It states no particular purpose. Sales tax is a regressive tax. We should raise it only for a very good purpose that allows the low-income households to come out ahead.
Special focus: House Taxation Committee – Rep’s Duvall, Erickson, Feinstein, Greenfield, Hunhoff(Bernie), Kirschman, Latterell, Miller, Novstrup(David), Peterson, Rasmussen, Rozum, Russell, Solum, Wick
OPPOSE, unless amended
SB 172 would raise the sales tax in June, July and August for “support of the state government”. Unfortunately they did not exempt food or utilities. Summer is when families have the most expense for food for their faat-growing, physically active school-age children. We can suggest that this bill be amended so that when this tax goes up for those summer months, at the same time, it could be dropped one percent or more on food.
Special focus: Senate Appropriations Committee – Senators Adelstein, Heineman (Phyllis), Jones, Novstrup (Al), Peters, Sutton, Tidemann, Van Gerpen, White
SB 140 would allow more low-income pregnant women to get medical coverage. It would allow enough funds to raise the income for eligibility a little higher. The payoff can be huge when pregnancy care prevents even one life-long disability and its expenses.
Special focus: Senate Appropriations Committee – Senators Adelstein, Heineman(Phyllis), Jones, Novstrup(Al), Peters, Sutton, Tidemann, Van Gerpen, White
The Medicaid option in the Affordable Care Act. This would help 48,000 low-income adults get medical coverage. Most of them will not be eligible for the newly affordable policies that will be offered next year. Some of these adults are parents of children who have Medicaid. It is really important for children to have healthy parents. Adults with no children need coverage too. Some have health problems that could be solved making them more able to function in society. (On this topic, my hunch is that philosophy is more the issue than money. Most of the funds would be federal.)
Special focus: We would like to convince all legislators and the governor of the value of this.
On criminal justice reforms
SUPPORT helpful provisions in SB 70 that would allow out-of-penitentiary placement for crimes like drugs and alcohol, which can be monitored in home communities. This would mean more parents could be in the home with their children and also able to go to their jobs to support their families. Families could be less destitute and children more attended to.
I hope this is a helpful start at looking at some of this year’s bills and suggesting topics for the weekend public or private sessions with legislators. Other bills may yet show up as impacting low-income children and families especially. Don’t wait too long to make your contacts. The session goes fast. Thanks for being the voices people need.
Bread for the World members,
You and your friends are invited to First Lutheran Church next Sunday, Feb. 3
, for the presentations by our Bread for the World staffer Tammy Walhof. (You don’t need to be a Lutheran to come, even to come to the worship service there.)
If you have been to her presentations before, you know how interesting they are. We are so blessed to be in her region.
Time: adult education hours, 9:30am and 11:00 am, your choice.
Place: First Lutheran-Sioux Falls, 327 S. Dakota Ave, Friendship Room. When you come in the main doors off the parking lot, take a left and go downstairs. (I am sure there would be a wheelchair accessible way to get there too – just ask.)
Topic: “A place at the table: Ending hunger in God’s world”
Tremendous progress has been made in dramatically reducing hunger and poverty around the world. Churches play an important role in “serving our neighbor.” Yet in our country, both poverty and hunger are on the rise. What’s been accomplished, and what still needs to be done? Bread for the World Senior Organizer Tammy Walhof answers those questions and more.
Food: Also there on Sunday, you can eat at the Belgian Waffle Breakfast, 9am-1pm, $6 ahead or $6.50 at the door. Children under 5 eat free.
October 10th, 2012 — Secretary of State, State Funding, State Legislature
Click to enlarge
September 24th, 2012 — South Dakotans, State Funding, Taxes
South Dakota Voters Show Support for Initiated Measure 15
Last week, Nielson Brothers Polling (NBP) released findings from their 2012 South Dakota Labor Day Survey, showing Republicans widening their lead in major statewide races. In the same poll, NBP asked South Dakota likely voters about their views on Initiated Measure 15 (a proposal to add a penny to the state sales tax), their economic situation, and the direction of South Dakota.
NBP finds that 43.7 percent of South Dakota likely voters plan to vote for Inititated Measure 15, while 31.7 percent plan to vote against it, and 24.6 percent are undecided. Republicans are evenly split on the measure (37.8 percent “for” and 37.9 percent “against”), but Democrats support it by a 2 to 1 ratio (50.3 percent “for” and 25.5 percent “against”). Similarly, Independents support it 49.2 to 28.2 percent. Approximately a quarter of each political party remains undecided. Voters who associate themselves with the Tea Party are most likely to oppose the measure (46.6 percent “against”), and those who consider themselves Liberals are most likely to support it (64.5 percent “for”).