Entries Tagged 'State Funding' ↓

HB1033 Amended to block Developer Welfare Cookie Jar


Not everything that happens in the legislature this year is a total toilet flush. HB1033 which provides $200 Million towards housing passed after being amended to leave the welfare developers hands out of the cookie jar.

Section 6. The executive director of the South Dakota Housing Development Authority shall approve vouchers and the state auditor shall draw warrants to pay expenditures authorized by this Act.

Originally the private contractors and developers wanted a portion of this fund to carte blanche build whatever they wanted  whether it was affordable housing or not. Now the SDHDA has the power to make sure the funding goes towards worthy accessible housing projects. The private developers still get a piece of the pie if they are willing to help build affordable housing.

Are South Dakota Trusts hiding Russian oligarchs money?

While Republicans in our state and DC want to whine about the Biden administration not doing enough to prevent war in Ukraine they say little about the possibility that some bad actors that could be hiding Russian oligarch money in SD;

Chuck Collins, the author of The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions and the director of the programme on inequality at the Institute for Policy Studies, said the situation with regard to South Dakota was “an embarrassment” for the US.

“We are the weak link. And South Dakota is in a race to the bottom to be the weakest link on trusts,” said Collins. “We have seen the hidden wealth apparatus but it is always considered offshore. The more we understand that it’s onshore, the US is a weak link and we are now the magnet for kleptocratic capital the better for national understanding and the greater the potential for national legislation.”

Our super majority Republican legislature with the help of the governor could dig deep and enact legislation that prevents ANY ties to ANY oligarch from ANY country from hiding money in South Dakota. But while Ukrainians are dying all we get is silence and inaction.

It goes back to what I have often accused Republican lawmakers of (especially in our state), when it comes to THEIR personal wealth and livelihoods they could care less where the money is coming from as long as they can control it, this is why they refuse to take sales tax off of food even though 47 other states have done it successfully.

War, drought, poor healthcare, poverty, gambling, you name it, GREED is the only thing that controls them.

Failures of the RR Redevelopment negotiations rear their head again

And here we go, throwing more Federal money at the project and it’s an EMERGENCY even though the trains have tooting their horns through SF for over 100 years!

While I don’t oppose creating quiet zones throughout the city (even though we know this is probably for DTSF exclusively) it is pretty obvious we have to do this because we failed to remove the RR tracks from downtown during the negotiations. While it will make DTSF safer with the crossbars, the only noise it eliminates is the sirens from the trains, you will continue to hear them barrel down the track and cause traffic interruptions.

I have NO DOUBT the Feds will probably reimburse the state, but you have to admit since we didn’t successfully remove the tracks from this area to begin with, we are just playing a game of whack a mole and this is the latest.

So far the developer in this area has received millions in improvements to the River Greenway, a significant discount on the land, multiple TIFs (to build condos) and now another $5 million to create quiet zones next to those condos.

Here’s a concept DON’T BUILD CONDOS AND APARTMENTS NEXT TO A RAILROAD TRACK, or better yet work with our Washington delegates to get the tracks torn out. Nope, let’s just keep throwing tax dollars at small bandaids that doesn’t fix the bigger problem TRAINS RUMBLING THROUGH DOWNTOWN FOR NO DAMN GOOD REASON!

South Dakota State Representative Mark Willadsen gets laughed at during the Legislative Coffee

Class Clown Willadsen

It all started with a question from moderator Melanie Bliss (FF to 1:18);

‘Will the legislature outlaw masks and vaccine mandates?’

After one legislator answered, Mark takes a stab at it;

. . . I think we have had great leadership . . . (Referring to Covid and the Governor)

After the very audible laughter from the crowd, you could hear Bliss say ‘Thank You’ to which Mark says fine, and you could tell he was very angry. Bliss coninues, ‘I didn’t say thank you to you I said thank to them because they stopped laughing. Mark then continued about all this great leadership and how the schools and state stayed open.

What I have always found ironic about that statement is that it is false. Many state, education, and City of Sioux Falls employees worked from home for months while the rest of us either trudged through at our private sector jobs or took unemployment because the businesses were closed especially in the hospitality industry.

It is probably why he was laughed at. When you say ridiculous things YOU will get a reaction.

The Truth about SD Trusts

(H/T to a SouthDacola Foot Soldier who sent me this)

I will admit I learned a lot about SD Trusts listening to Terry Prendergast in this podcast. While Terry points out many great things about trusts that the media hasn’t mentioned, he still can’t convince me that they are good for the average South Dakotan.

While they do create jobs, can be held by anybody with wealth or inheritance, are free from state income taxes and help feed the Federal coffers they still leave me with a lingering question, “How does have $500 billion of someone else’s wealth in South Dakota benefit the average South Dakotan?” It doesn’t. And in a round about way, Terry brings it up. He does admit it is a legal tax shelter (not evasion) does benefit the state with bank financing fees, but also admits there is no actual tax dollars coming into the coffers.

While I appreciate him clearing up a lot of questions, even to go so far as saying nothing nefarious is going on (which is true) I have to disagree with him on the benefit of having them here. While SD Trusts are not illegal, and are being ran with the highest standards, at the end of the day I ask why the state legislature is so eager to pass laws beneficial to a select group of people that live out of our state while having very little benefit to South Dakotans?

If the state legislature really wanted to make an impact with legislation, they would focus on its citizens instead of Kings, Drug Traffickers and Dictators (legally) hiding their money in South Dakota (and an occasional farmer).

South Dakota Trust Companies don’t benefit us One Iota

With the story about Pandora Papers coming out yesterday, the one thing that has often frustrated me about the trust companies in South Dakota is that having all that money parked here doesn’t benefit the state coffers one bit.

Even if we had a simple state finance charge or a transaction fee that was incredibly tiny, we could rake in millions for education and infrastructure.

The first problem with that is the ones that hold onto the trusts could no longer be secret.

I ask our legislators, why are we allowing them to be here if they serve no public good? You know like PO box RVers, sales tax on food and video lottery.

Nevermind.

South Dakota State Legislature Update

Hello, Advocates, Cathy Brechtelsbauer for the Advocacy Project

   I hope you are all being careful to be/stay well.

   Legislators have begun a 3-day weekend. They’ll be back on Monday.

Weekend advocacy. You can help make contacts on these, or ask about them in emails or at a crackerbarrel. Try to use your own words, or better yet, make up a different question.:

SB 77, SB 86, HJR 5003,  all interfere with citizens’ rights to initiatives.

Question: Isn’t it difficult enough for citizen to exercise our right to initiative and referendum already? Why are legislators trying to add more complications and difficulties?

HB 1126  Says the secretary of state may not mail an application for an absentee ballot unless the voter has requested it. (probably Senate State Affairs)

Question: Shouldn’t the legislature be promoting voting, rather than putting limits on the Secretary of State to use his judgment in assisting voters?

SB24  provides for voter registration online. The current version allows updates, etc, but not actual registration. (probably House State Affairs)

Question: How about putting online voter registration back into the bill that was introduced to allow online voter registration?

HB 1125 takes away discretion of county auditors in conducting vote counting. If so many ballots mean a 2-day count is needed, county auditors should have discretion to call rests if needed. (Senate Local Government)

Question: If your mother were helping out as a ballot counter, should she have to stay up all night?

SB 146 allows eligibility for parole after age 50 for lifers whose crime was committed age 25 or before. (House Judiciary)

Question: Wouldn’t it make sense to allow lifers to at least request parole after age 50, if their crimes were committee over 25 years before?

HB1013  funds the tax refund program for elderly persons and persons with a disability. (in Senate Taxation committee)

Question: Will you support this small tax relief program for these certain extremely poor South Dakotans?

SB 171 needs-based scholarship funds.  (Appropriations)

Question: Do you support putting some more funds into needs-based scholarships?

HB 1194  authorize the review of certain executive orders issued by the President of the United States. (in House State Affairs)

Question: Should states get to ignore Presidential executive orders?

(FYI- These topics are mentioned in the bill: pandemic or other public health emergency, natural resources, agriculture, land use, the financial sector, guns)

Updates:

HB 1136, a proposal to rein counties and municipalities in so they don’t do more to protect public health than the state Department of Health. Happy to report, it failed in committee today   5-7-1, so it’s done.

We can thank these seven No votes:  Deutsch, Miskimins, Perry, St. John, Davis, Rehfeldt,and Keintz

SB 52, Sorry to say, it passed the House floor now, and it’s off to the governor.  Now polluters will get 10-year permits. No reviews at 5-year intervals.   

We can thank these for their opposition: Bordeaux, Cwach, Duba, Fitzgerald, Healy, Keintz, Lesmeister, Mills, Odenbach, Ernie Otten, Pourier, Jamie Smith, St. John,  Stevens

HJR 5003, to ask voters to approve a supermajority requirement for our own initiatives that involve over $10 million. It’s another way they are trying to the thumb on our ability to do initiatives.

Sorry to say, it passed on the House floor. But we can thank these rep’s for their opposition: Bordeaux, Cwach, Derby, Duba, Healy, Keintz, Lesmeister, Olson, Pourier, Reed, Jamie Smith,  Tidemann

Note: This one is not done!  Not scheduled yet, but we can be asking Senate State Affairs committee to Oppose.

2-19-21  AP,  Useful info

Advocates,

Here’s info you can use:

1. Crackerbarrels. The only info I have.

2. Reasoning on HJR 5003. Why ballot votes are different from legislators’ votes

3. Info on Medicaid expansion. A handy reference

4. ACA Insurance sign-up. How you can help. 

Here we go.

1. Crackerbarrels. The only info I have is this, but surely there are more elsewhere.

   SIOUX FALLS

#2: Sat. Feb.20,10:00-11:45am (Districts 10, 12 and 14)

#3: Sat.Feb.27,10:00-11:45am (Districts 11, 15 and 25)

Where: the Hub at Southeast Technical College (2001 N Career Ave). You can watch on Facebook Live through Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page or the Argus Leader’s Facebook page, or through www.argusleader.com . Submit questions to siouxfallslwv@gmail.com  

   DEADWOOD & all LAWRENCE CO : Sat.Feb.20, 10am. Deadwood Mountain Grand, a large space to accommodate social distancing.  For more information, Melissa at the Spearfish Chamber 605-642-2626 or Ingrid at the Deadwood Chamber 605-578-1876.

2.  HJR 5003 attempts to require a supermajority (60%) for ballot initiatives. (Last weekend, I made a mess of trying to explain this. Maybe this helps.)

a. HJR 5003 is a thinly disguised plan to stop many citizen ballot initiatives.

b. Sponsor Rep.Hansen says it fits with SD’s fiscal conservatism. We agree SD is fiscally conservative, and we’re fiscally conservative enough already. In fact, it would be hard to balance the budget these days without certain past statewide ballot votes, such as the state lottery and video lottery, both of which passed with less than 60%.

c. Supporters point to legislators’ 2/3 requirement on certain fiscal matters and say the ballot votes should require a supermajority too. So why not?  [My thanks to Cory Heidelberger for help explaining this.]

   There’s a big difference. In the legislature, deliberation on bills is limited. With only 40 days (or 37 this year), bills can be rushed, even hoghoused near the end. Public scrutiny can be avoided is multiple ways. The 2/3 threshold may prevent ill-advised bills from rushing through.

    But citizen ballot measures have a long process. It starts long before the vote, even 2 years. People are out with petitions for over a year before the vote. Opponents have over a year to campaign against the initiative. Already there are a number of hurdles to overcome – large numbers of signatures, legal scrutiny before and after the election, besides winning a statewide vote. These hurdles are much harder to overcome than a 2/3 vote in the legislature.

    The citizen initiative system has enough guardrails already. We do not need more.

3.  Medicaid expansion. Of course, we should keep asking for it. This legislature could adopt it and it would start this year — much simpler and quicker than a ballot initiative.

Questions for crackerbarrels: When can we get Medicaid expansion? How hard is it to see that SD needs Medicaid expansion now? If we can’t get Medicaid expansion during a pandemic, when can we get it?

Info about Medicaid expansion is one of the sections on BFW-SD’s website: www.BreadSD.org

4. ACA Insurance Sign-Up

The Biden administration has opened up an extra sign-up period, because so many people may have missed the opportunity to get this highly subsidized health coverage. If you can help spread the word, some currently uninsured people might get covered now – this year. (The info is the same for people in most other states.) The income needed to qualify is what’s expected for 2021, so it obviously may take guesswork. My understanding is that reasonable estimates are accepted.

   There’s a section on this at www.BreadSD.org with info and a half-page handout to share. Might your local food pantry share the handout? Can you post it on a public bulletin board? Can you get it to agencies in your town? Thanks for your help.

Thanks for keeping up. The legislature will move very fast now.

South Dakota State Legislature, House Bill 1026; Authorizes the State to build a National Guard Readiness Center in Sioux Falls

What makes this even more odd is that it is declared an Emergency?!
Am I missing something here?!

HB-1018

 Introduced by: The Committee on Appropriations at the request of the Department of the Military Catchlines are not law. (§ 2-16-13.1) Underscores indicate new language. Overstrikes indicate deleted language. 


1 An Act to authorize the construction of a National Guard Readiness Center in Sioux 2 Falls, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency. 3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA: 4 Section 1. The Department of the Military may contract for the planning, site preparation, 5 construction, furnishing, and equipping of the construction of a National Guard Readiness 6 Center, together with furnishings and equipment, including heating, air conditioning, 7 plumbing, water, sewer, electric facilities, sidewalks, parking, landscaping, architectural and 8 engineering services, and such other services or actions as may be required to accomplish 9 the project, for an estimated cost of twenty million dollars, subject to permitted adjustments 10 pursuant to section 3 of this Act. 11 Section 2. There is hereby appropriated from the general fund the sum of $500,000, and 12 the sum of $1,500,000 in federal fund expenditure authority to the Department of the Military, 13 for purposes of design and construction of a National Guard Readiness Center in Sioux Falls. 14 Section 3. The Department of the Military may adjust the cost estimates to reflect inflation 15 as measured by the Building Cost Index reported by the Engineering News Record, additional 16 expenditures required to comply with regulations adopted after the effective date of this Act, 17 or additional sums received pursuant to section 4 of this Act. However, any adjustments to 18 construction cost estimates for the project may not exceed one hundred twenty-five percent 19 of the estimated project construction cost stated in section 1 of this Act. 20 Section 4. In addition to the amounts appropriated in section 2 of this Act, the Department 21 of the Military may accept and expend for the purpose of this Act any funds obtained from 22 gifts, contributions, or any other source if the acceptance and expenditure is approved in 23 accordance with § 4-8B-10. 21.297.13 2 400 Catchlines are not law. (§ 2-16-13.1) Underscores indicate new language. Overstrikes indicate deleted language. 1 Section 5. The design and construction of this project shall be under the general charge and 2 supervision of the Department of the Military. The adjutant general of the Department of the 3 Military or the state engineer shall approve vouchers and the state auditor shall draw warrants 4 to pay expenditures authorized by this Act. 5 Section 6. Any amounts appropriated in this Act not lawfully expended or obligated shall 6 revert in accordance with the procedures prescribed in chapter 4-8. 7 Section 7. Whereas, this Act is necessary for the support of the state government and its 8 existing public institutions, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act shall be in 9 full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.  

South Dakota State Legislature could easily meet remotely

Well you know what they say, once an Authoritarian Ignoramus, always an Authoritarian Ignoramus. It seems Steve Haugaard’s Covid death dance wasn’t enough for him to change his mind;

But attending a session remotely would require a change in the rules, something Haugaard doesn’t support.


“Life has risks. I think we need to move forward and get our job done. If you’re expecting entire session to be problematic, you’ve got to consider, do I resign my position and let somebody actually get out there who can fill the role,” Haugaard said.


This has always been my strongest argument against conservatism. It’s not their stone-age views on race, sexuality, women, gun safety laws or abortion it’s their incredible incapability of excepting change, even if that change is easy, doable, economically sound and beneficial. Essentially Steve is saying, “Hey, this is how we have always done things, so tough sh*t, either Linda can show up and face possibly getting a life-threatening virus or resign.”

Sure, as bewildering as Haugaard sounds, trust me, I’m no fan of Linda Duba either. She has tried to pull the puppet strings of the South Dakota Democratic party and has tried some vindictive tricks on members of her own party (I was asked to NOT blog about it -oops, I guess I did anyway). Either way, Duba or any legislator has the right to work from home, because quite honestly, it’s pretty easy to do.

The main argument floating around is that legislators need to be in Pierre to talk to lobbyists. That is the biggest problem with Pierre, the lobbyists. They should be banned from the Capital grounds, in fact the entire city during the legislative session. If the legislators need to talk to them, they can do via Zoom, phone or email. This also includes all the dinners and drinky sessions the lobbyists throw for the legislators. Also, not necessary, and in fact should be in state law that they are banned.

Legislators MAIN engagement should be with constituents, via phone, email, etc. and anybody can testify via zoom or phone during the committee meetings and hearings, even legislators. Sessions and voting should also be no different.

A former legislator admitted to me that being in Pierre is the optimal place to legislate, but it could be done remotely with little inconvenience.

In fact moving forward I think that legislative sessions should be remote (or partially remote). There is no reason for legislators to drive to middle of nowhere in the middle of winter to talk about legislation next to each other in person. It’s actually a very primitive concept considering they don’t really pass anything until the last couple of days of session. We could save taxpayers thousands of dollars NOT paying per diem for travel and lodging. It would also give the opportunity for people to run who are NOT self-employed with more flexibility to serve. You only have to turn on your laptop when it is time to participate in discussion and debate and voting instead blowing 40 full days in the barren land of Pierre.

Like I said above, the more we re-elect and elect conservatives, the farther behind we become as state. Let legislators participate from the safety of their homes and stop acting like a cavemen.

Is Lt. Governor Rhoden getting out of the ranching business?

Don’t quote me on this, it’s what Larry said on a hot microphone to state legislator, Steve Haugaard before Noem’s budget address just moments ago.

I have often warned elected officials across the state and locally to watch what you ramble in proximity of a microphone before a public meeting, it could be recording.

The conversation between Steve and Larry started out dry, literally, Steve asked if he needed to fill a glass of water for Kristi, which made me laugh, because it is further proof that all these guys do is carry water for her 🙂 Larry told Steve not to worry about it because Maggie will take care of it, and as we both know, she carries a lot of water for Kristi in attacking the fake news.

Then after a long uncomfortable period Steve asked Larry what he has been up to? Larry said, “I’m getting out of the ranching business . . . selling my cattle next spring.” Then he talked about his plan to sell the herd to a young rancher who has been “renting grass from him.”

While this probably isn’t earth shaking news, it may explain why Rhoden all of sudden became a full-time employee for Kristi.

Kristi and her ilk have been government welfare recipients for decades, and it seems to continue as governor when Rhoden needs to get out of the ranching business. And why not, it’s a lot more lucrative warming a chair in Pierre on the taxpayer’s dime.

UPDATE: It was also interesting to watch Stormland-TV pan the camera across the floor and focusing on those wearing and not wearing masks. My rough estimate is that about 33% of legislators were wearing masks, and it was a good mix of Republicans and Democrats (NO Democrats were unmasked). What surprised me was there was several Republican legislators from the Sioux Falls area not wearing masks.