Entries Tagged 'State Legislature' ↓
May 2nd, 2013 — District 12, State Legislature
Just another Republican QUITTER
Here they go again, playing their little games. Resigning before their term is up so the governor can appoint a FAKE incumbent. This is beginning to get a little ridiculous;
South Dakota State Senator Mark Johnston is resigning. Governor Dennis Daugaard made the announcement Thursday morning.
Johnston has served as a state senator since 2011. He is resigning to accept a position with Sanford Health as Vice President of Health Policy.
Mark already works for Sanford and has been voting for their self-interests all along, how would this position change anything he has already been doing in the state legislature? This early resignation crap has got to end. I think if any politician resigns before their term is up there should be a special election not a governor’s hand picked crony.
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.
March 3rd, 2013 — abortion, State Legislature
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.
February 28th, 2013 — Education funding, Gun Control, Guns on Campus, State Legislature
Trust me, there are many compelling arguments as to why the Sentinel Bill is legislative stupidity on many levels;
A proposal to let schools arm volunteer “sentinels” for defense passed the South Dakota Senate Wednesday and could be headed to Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s desk.
The school sentinels bill gives every school district the option to arm teachers, staff or community volunteers, but doesn’t require any district to bring guns into schools.
Allowing guns in schools to make them safer is similar to storing gasoline next to your backyard firepit to make it safer.
But I’m sure my commenters will have plenty to say about whether it makes schools safer or not. My biggest problem with the passage of this bill is how our state continually comes across as backwoods hillbillies because of our state legislators. Even if this bill passes, there won’t be a single school board in this state that will approve having armed sentinels in their schools. So why even move ahead with this? You don’t heal a black eye by punching it again and you don’t make schools safer from gun violence by allowing more guns in schools.
February 19th, 2013 — abortion, South Dakotans, State Legislature
Tiffany Campbell sent me her opposition testimony to HB 1237 (AUDIO LINK. HB 1237 testimony starts at 24.56, and opposition testimony starts at 1:20:41);
Testimony in Opposition to HB 1237 • Tiffany Campbell • Advocacy Director
ACLU of SD believes – and works hard to ensure – that every woman has medically accurate, unbiased information so she is able to make the best choices for her and her circumstances, without undue pressure. This bill isn’t about letting a woman consider her decision, it’s about coercing her and shaming her for a decision she’s already made.
Forcing a woman who needs an abortion to delay her procedure for non-medical reasons is callous, cruel, and dangerous. Medical experts, including the World Health Organization, recommend that states consider eliminating waiting periods that are not medically required and work to expand services so that all women may access prompt abortion care.
South Dakota already has one of the most extreme laws of its kind on the books and this bill just makes it worse. There is no medical reason to make a woman wait 72 hours before her abortion, and there’s certainly no reason to make her wait even longer if her abortion happens to be scheduled after a weekend or a holiday.
Many things can happen in pregnancy. No woman wants to hear that carrying her pregnancy to term will seriously threaten her health or endanger her life. No woman wants to hear that the baby she’s been looking forward to holding will likely not survive the pregnancy. No woman plans to have an abortion for any reason.
I am one of those women. In 2006 I was a married mother of two wanting to add to my family. I was thrilled to learn I was expecting identical twin boys, but the excitement didn’t last long. I was told they might be suffering from Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a very deadly disease that left untreated has a morality rate of 100%. We were immediately sent to one of the top fetal care centers in the country. We were told that one of our boys was extremely sick and wouldn’t make it much longer. Our five doctors told us the only way to save the healthier twin was to selectively terminate the sicker twin. We had the procedure less than 12 hours later. Five months later I gave birth to a healthy baby boy, and today my beautiful son, Brady, turns 6-years-old.
TTTS can progress incredibly fast. My friend Becky Matthews’s twins also suffered from TTTS. Becky and her husband were told of their treatment options and decided to think it over and scheduled a doctor appointment in Minneapolis for the following week. They never made that appointment. Her girls died in utero just days after being diagnosed.
These are just two examples of what can go wrong in a pregnancy. The definition of a medical emergency as set forth in SD Codified Law 34-23A-1 (5), only applies for abortion to save a woman’s life or if a major bodily function would be irreversibly impaired. My life was not in danger, therefore the lifesaving procedure I chose wouldn’t be covered under SD law and I might have lost both babies. In difficult situations, medical decisions should be made by a woman, her family, and her doctor, not politicians. I urge you vote no on HB 1237 and preserve the right for a woman to make her own medical decisions without government intrusion.
Thank you and I will stand by for questions.
You may know Tiffany from this TV commercial;