Entries Tagged 'State Legislature' ↓

Americans for Prosperity opposed to 3rd penny for municipalities

I don’t often agree with the right wing boloney coming from Americans for Prosperity, but I do agree that raising another penny for municipalities is certainly a horrible idea. They have their reasons to oppose the tax increase, which are the usual choking of economic development, etc., etc. and just being opposed to taxes in general. My reasons are a little different, sales taxes are a regressive tax, and South Dakotan’s impoverished and middle class are already paying too much.

I can see why this will get broad support from both sides of the aisle in our state legislature. Democrats like extra tax money to spend on play things, this is why our mayor is just in love with the idea. Republicans in the state most likely support it, because any increase on sales taxes means a shift away from a corporate or income tax, something that scares the crap out of them.

Let’s face it, there are many things wrong with the proposal. First off, even if I supported the legislation, which I don’t, I would require a 60% majority for passage of the tax increase. I would also eliminate the ‘sunset’ clause, because let’s face it, they are just a myth sold to voters.

But I guess one of the reasons I vehemently oppose the tax increase, especially in Sioux Falls, is because we seem to have a bad habit already of spending our CIP 2nd Penny on playthings, I can’t imagine the out of control spending we would have for projects for the special interest groups if a 3rd penny ensued. You think indoor pools and tennis centers are an unneeded expense now, give the city another $100 million plus a year and you will see them on every corner.

We need responsible taxing, and this is where Americans for Prosperity and I disagree. We need to eliminate the sales taxes on food, clothing and utilities and we need to implement a corporate income tax to foster economic development, or even better yet fund indoor tennis facilities that 99.9% of us sales tax paying peeps will never use.

Besides, the CEOs and their children need something to do during the winter besides counting their frozen moldy money.


SD GOP 5 Year Plan; Eliminate ALL Democrats in the State Legislature


State Legislators Soli, Buhl & Hawks at Democratic Forum, 2/13/2015.

While I heard many crazy things today, like certain Republican legislators calling homosexuals mentally ill and should seek treatment for their ‘gay’ illness, one thing that sparked my interest was the Republicans attempt at total state domination. Ironically, their plan to eliminate ALL Democratic legislators by 2020 coincides with re-districting and the Census.

I don’t think they will achieve this goal, but it is a very scary proposal. Debate and discussion between opposing parties helps to create good legislation, and the proof is in the pudding. The Republicans now have a super majority in Pierre, and just look at the lousy legislation they are proposing now, wait until they control the whole legislature. Looks like I better get my reservation in for a moving van.

Theresa Stehly to discuss SB166 on Viewpoint University

Theresa will be on at 4:30 today with her take on what happened on Friday in Pierre with SB166, she was present in the audience when Brown tabled the bill.

SB166, it’s all about the kids!

YouTube Preview Image

Give me a break. Why are the kids answering your phone anyway Ernie? And BTW, several constituents showed up to testify, and you and the committee didn’t allow the ‘intellectual’ conversation. Piss and moan about the ‘kids’ all you want, but your ilk continue to hide behind the morality and constitutional argument (which is weak at best).

Let’s face it, you are butt hurt that the Democrats have been handing you your asses on initiatives and you don’t have complete control. Pull the fairytale constitution, from your rear ends and start governing like logical human beings. A democracy is built around the people, not rhetoric, not 20-year old lawsuits and certainly not about answering services.

Let me repeat that, PEOPLE! LIVING PEOPLE!

Now turn on your cell phone, your emails and carrier pigeons and listen to the PEOPLE!

BREAKING: SB 166 Tabled

I got a call about 12:30 that the bill has been ‘tabled’ by it’s sponsor, Corey Brown. This of course means there is a possibility it could return, but from another sponsor, but after the backlash, that is highly Unlikely.

Brown said the negative backlash is what made him decide to table it. And rightfully so. The only negativity is the arrogance that he wielded thinking he could push this through. I think they thought this would go under the radar, but over 30 papers across the state published editorials and columns about the detriment of the proposed bill.

I would like to give a big thumbs up to Theresa Stehly who helped spearhead the opposition by contacting statewide media and other legislators. I would also like to thank SD Bread for the World, SD Peace and Justice Center, Gordon Howie and Rick Weiland and the SD Democratic Party for getting the message out.

Don’t mess with the voice of the people.

Friday is a big day for the Senate State Affairs Committee

The Senate State Affairs is hearing the GOP’s bill to chip away at your right to propose and vote on laws on Friday, November 6, 2014 at 9 or 10am (The Brown Bill 166) (You can listen by clicking the podcast link here.)
They will also be tackling the budget issue HJR1001. This editorial says it all;
“South Dakotans who think a balanced budget amendment is common sense fail to realize both the complexity of a national economy and the dependence small states have on the federal government.”
I also find the irony and hypocrisy of giving themselves a raise. $6,000 for 40 days of work ain’t bad, considering if it was a full-time gig they would be making about $50K a year. But the hypocrisy comes from not wanting to raise teacher wages and trying to fiddle with the minimum wage increase. So this is my suggestion to the State Legislature, put it on the ballot and let the citizens of SD decide if you need a raise.

OPPOSE SB135 – Giving cities the power to raise taxes

Before 10:00am tomorrow, please contact these Senators urging them NOT to let cities have more sales tax. Ask them to OPPOSE SB135.

This bill allows cities to add another 1% city sales tax, for special projects with a vote of the people. So few people vote in city elections, that it would be easy for people behind special projects to get their supporters out and overwhelm a city election, raising the most regressive tax we have.
• This would be a 50% increase in sales tax revenue for a city! (the current 2%  to 3%)
• Sales tax is the most regressive tax we have, meaning the lower-incomes are burdened more, and upper incomes are affected less.
• Sales tax takes food off tables in South Dakota. In families with limited budgets, food is often the flexible part of the budget, and the tax takes food away. Think about how much 6% tax takes out of a $20 bill. (Many low-income household do NOT get food stamps. Many others receive only partial allotments of food stamps and must buy some food with cash.)
• Already at 6% (4% state + 2% city) the total sales tax you pay on food over a year is equivalent to 3 weeks worth of food. A new 1% would add another half a week to that problem.   (.07×52 weeks = 3.65 weeks)
• At one time SD had a strict limit for city sales tax on groceries. But this limit was taken off, and over the past decade SD cities have raised their tax on food from 1% to 2%. By doing this, they already received an increase in sales tax revenue that they continue to reap every year.
(FYI- Background info: Under the “streamlining rules,” city sales tax may not be lower on some things than other things. Thus, we cannot go back to the previous 1% limit on food for cities. However, states are allowed to have lower rates on food and utilities, even zero, which we hope will be accomplished with HB1193.)
• • Many utilities are taxed. (You can see this on your monthly bills.) Cities receive more revenue every time these utility rates go up, as well as when food prices rise.
Senate State Affairs committee votes on this tomorrow (Wednesday Feb.4)
Here are their email addresses. Write them individually, not all in one email.
Or, call and leave a message tomorrow morning before 10:00 am

605-773-3821 for senators. You can ask that it be delivered to 2 senators.

Contact the Senate State Affairs Committee over the ‘Corey Brown’ Bill

There seems to be some confusion by the committee members about exactly what Corey’s bill (166) will do. It is pretty simple, it will make it very difficult for citizens to approve legislation at the ballot box. Some South DaCola foot soldiers have been calling committee members and they have all kinds of excuses as to why this bill is good, most are saying it is ‘too easy’ to get legislation on the ballot. Do they mean ‘easy’ like when Pierre is controlled by 80% Repuplicans who push there corporate ALEC agenda?

Some have said that our Secretary of State, Krebs, is not involved, and while I believe that she isn’t directly involved, by not saying anything about the bill (for or against) she is doing a disservice to citizens as one of our constitutional officers. She needs to make a statement about the ‘Corey Brown’ bill.

Here is the contact information for the committee members (Click on links)

Brown, Corey Vice Chair
Holien, Ried
Hunhoff, Bernie
Lederman, Dan
Otten, Ernie
Rave, Tim Chair
Soholt, Deb
Solano, Alan
Sutton, Billie

Jackass quote(s) of the day


Gotta hand it to Dan,

“As far as the opponents claiming it’s a hardship, I think that doesn’t really hold water. You still can get ballot measures done. You have to gather a few extra signatures,” Lederman said.

That’s about as rich as Pat Powers saying he actually ‘worked’ in Pierre;

Having worked in the State Capitol Complex for a good number of years,

Yeah, worked at selling bumper stickers and eating cheeseburgers. What a waste of tax dollars, just like Mr. Lederman.

Other SD State Legislation to keep your eye on!

Here are some bills to weigh in on. This info can also suggest issues to raise in the public meetings in your districts.

1. Balanced Budget Amendment, the dangers of which were discussed in the alert last week (Jan.23, 8:55pm. Can you find it? If not, i can re-send. Or check here: http://www.foreffectivegov.org/files/bba/econ.html)
     Unfortunately, House Joint Resolution 1001 (HJR 1001) passed on the House floor on Wed., 39-30
You could thank these 30 Rep’s for opposing it: Rep’s Bartling; Bordeaux; Brunner; Campbell; Dryden; Duvall; Feickert; Gibson; Lana Greenfield; Hawks; Holmes; Jean Hunhoff; Kaiser; Killer; Klumb; Marty; May; McCleerey; Munsterman; Rasmussen; Ring; Rounds; Rozum; Russell; Schoenfish; Schrempp; Sly; Soli; Solum; Tulson
Having passed the House, now HJR 1001 goes to (surprise) Senate Transportation committee. (This proves you just can’t predict!) Please contact these Rep’s asking them to OPPOSE HJR1001, a federal balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution. Senators Cammack, Bernie Hunhoff, Monroe, Ernie Otten, Jim Peterson, Solano, Vehle
Today SJR 1, the Senate version of the same bill, was tabled in committee, but not killed. So ask these Senators to OPPOSE SJR 1, when they take it off the table: Senate State Affairs committeeBrown, Holien, Bernie Hunhoff, Lederman, Ernie Otten, Rave, Soholt, Solano, Sutton
2. Other topics YOU could discuss with SENATORS this weekend and early next week:
SB147, to expand Medicaid. Of course, urge ALL legislators to SUPPORT this. The bill will be voted on first by Senate Appropriations committee: Buhl O’Donnell, Haverly, Phyllis Heineman, Omdahl, Parsley, Peters, Tidemann, Van Gerpen, White
SB169, pre-natal care for babies who will be US citizens once they are born, whether their moms are or not.
This makes moral sense as well as financial sense. Urge SUPPORT of these Senators on Health and Human Services committee: Bradford, Curd, Heinert, Phil Jensen, Rampelberg, Rusch, Tieszen
SB135, allow cities more sales tax for special projects. It goes to Senate State Affairs (listed above). Please ask them or the bill sponsors, Senator Brown and Rep. Munsterman, about this. Why more of such a regressive tax should be allowed. Aren’t cities faring well enough on revenues already? Wouldn’t it raise the tax people’s groceries? On their heating bills? and phones and internet? etc. Higher prices on these things already give increased revenue to cities. Going from the cities’ current 2% to 3% would be a 50% increase in city sales tax! That seems so huge, it makes me wonder if I understand this bill. If you find out anything, let me know.
SB166, a big increase in the number of signatures needed for a citizen initiative. The practice has been to require 5% of the number of voters in the last election for governor. This bill requires 5% of all the registered voters, whether they vote or not. It’s a huge increase. This would make it harder for citizens to put measures before the voters. I say it is enough work already, and I have not noticed that our ballots had too many citizen initiatives under the present requirement. Why put a damper on democracy? (At the same time, a bill to require students to pass a civics exam is easily passing so far on its way through the legislature.)
3. Two HOUSE bills to note here:
Speaking of initiated measures for the vote of the people, HB1094 would change the minimum wage initiative that was just passed by the voters in November. This bill suggests that minimum wage should go down, if the consumer price index were to go down. 
– But the point of the measure the voters passed was to bring minimum wage UP, up closer to something people could live on. It is still far from that. Full-time work at the current minimum ($8.50/hr) does not even reach poverty line for a family of 3. 
– The value of a worker’s labor does not go down just because prices go down. These are two separate things.
– And why bring down the pay ONLY for the lowest-paid workers? 
Urge all Rep’s to OPPOSE HB1094, especially House Commerce committee: Rep’s Beal, Deutsch, Harrison, Hawley, Kirschman, Al Novstrup, Rounds, Schoenbeck, Stalzer, John Wiik, Willadsen, Wollmann, Zikmund
HB1193, shift sales tax off food. With this bill, SD cities would keep taxing food, but the state’s sales tax would go from 4% to zero on food and from 4% to 4.35% on non-food, keeping the same revenue for the state. 
– This bill makes some of the regressivity out of our sales tax, the part due to taxing groceries. 
– South Dakota is one of the few states taxing groceries. None of our neighboring states does this.
– Currently your total tax on food over a year is enough to buy your food for 3 weeks. 
– Most SD households would come out ahead with the best benefit felt right in the grocery store. 
– You can buy used clothes, books, furniture etc, but you cannot buy used food! 
Urge SUPPORT of all Rep’s, especially House Taxation committee: Rep’s Bartling, Beal, Duvall, Don Haggar, Killer, Kirschman, Latterell, May, Al Novstrup, Rasmussen, Rozum, Russell, Solum, John Wiik, Willadsen
• Email through this website: http://legis.sd.gov/Contact/LegislatorEmail.aspx
This format works for a lot of them: rep.lastname@state.sd.us or sen.lastname@state.sd.us
• Call and leave a message during legislative workdays (Tue-Fri next week)
605-773-3851 for Rep’s
,  605-773-3821 for senators
Or call at home on weekends. They expect this. Find phone numbers on
• Mail them a note on paper.
Rep.___ or Senator___, State Capitol, Pierre SD 57501
Don’t know who your legislators are? Check here: