Entries Tagged 'State Legislature' ↓

SD State Sen. Kris Langer on Inside Town Hall

I was a little disappointed, I thought Kris was going to show us how to make her favorite cocktails. Why this person wasn’t thrown out of the legislature on her behind is beyond me. I would also note that someone running for re-election should not be using a taxpayer funded platform like this. But once again the ethics rules don’t apply to Republicans in this state, because they didn’t do anything ‘illegal’. Freaking Clowns.

TenHaken has been anything but a leader

When I first saw this article, I thought maybe it was an Onion parody;

Paul TenHaken, Sioux Falls mayor (R): He has carefully balanced South Dakota’s resistance to mandatory restrictions with the public health needs of his city, where Smithfield pork processing plant became a hot spot. He enacted a measure that “strongly encourages” people to stay at home, but decided against an order.

I also find it interesting they put the (R) behind his name considering the mayor of Sioux Falls is a non-partisan position.

He has blamed everyone else and made excuses all along the way as to why he couldn’t lead on this. Here are some memorable moments;

• Twice mentioned he didn’t sign up for this. I think the second time around he said in a press conference, “This Sucks!”

• Failed to use manuals in place to deal with this crisis (I have heard from several past city officials that they do exist).

• Failed to get his health department to do proper inspections of businesses and give them a hand up in helping them prepare a safe work environment.

• Blames the Governor, the Legislature, his own city attorney and others why he cannot lead.

• Has butt heads in private and public meetings with the city council than turns around and puts the decision making in their laps.

• Has thrown transparency out the door by having executive sessions that don’t pertain to the criteria of having them.

I have argued from the beginning, as the city’s administrator, as the charter dictates, he has the power to force his city directors and health department to take action. He doesn’t need the blessing of the city council, the mayor, the legislature, his health board, city attorney or even the president to do it. He has the executive authority to enforce health ordinances on the books. And I think if he would have taken some of those measures early on, we wouldn’t be where we are at. I even think some if not most of restaurants could have stayed open if he would have set those guidelines early.

But we really can’t wrestle with the past, but we can take measures moving forward. A new report came out today from the White House that the midwest will be hit the hardest over the next two months because we were the last to start having outbreaks. Letting up now won’t end well for us. I would ask Paul to start leading, but I’m afraid it is too late for that. Hold on tight folks, it is going to be a rough summer.

Republican leaders Langer, Greenfield admonished for intoxication

Am I the only one who sees the obvious hypocrisy in all of this?

The panel Friday voted 9-0 to admonish Langer and Greenfield for their behavior and cautioned them against future appearances at the Capitol when their sobriety could be questioned.

Cory goes into more detail than I care to. This is absolutely disgusting. While our state is in the middle of a pandemic and eventually a economic crisis, on veto day these two decide to get drunk on recess when they know they will have to return for business later. I would never judge any elected official who wants to throw a few back after a hard day’s work, but the day’s work hadn’t finished yet. These two should have been thrown out of the legislature yesterday on their heads, and if they had any courage or sense left in them after this, they should do the honorable thing and both resign on Monday.

Remember just a few short months ago when the Governor’s office and AG decided to investigate a certain State’s Attorney for similar allegations which lead to him resigning his post. What was the difference between the two cases? He was a Democrat and these two f’ing clowns were Republicans. The majority party has been breaking rules for decades in this state, why start punishing them now?

Rep. Michael Saba Hartford District 9 Supports Small Farmers

Representative Michael Saba District 9 Hartford signs letter with 128 state legislators from 34 states urging U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to utilize Cares Act funds specifically allocated for our agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers to be distributed with appropriate emphasis on the small farmers and producers including our Native Americans and other minority producers and agricultural workers. 

The letter and signatories to Secretary Perdue follows:

April 23, 2020

The Honorable George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III Secretary of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250 Dear Secretary Perdue:

We are 128 state legislators from 34 states writing to you as state policymakers who are gravely concerned about COVID-19 and the impact on our local food and specialty crop producers.

Significant revenue losses are projected for the multibillion-dollar local food industry in which producers sell directly into local and regional markets.

In view of Congress’s decision to allocate some $9.5 billion to support local food production during and following this public health emergency, we write to urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to focus its discretionary authority in the allocation of these resources to mitigate the financial harm to those producers working to ensure that our communities have local, fresh and wholesome food, as well as to prevent the structural damage to markets that would set back regional and community-based food system development for years to come.

At a time of economic and social disruption—when the potential for innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship are greatest—we encourage the department to support the continued development of emerging, sustainable models for food production, processing, and distribution, that also have become lifelines for food banks and school feeding programs across the country.

We are concerned that Congress gave little guidance for how this CARES Act appropriation will be spent. And we are conscious of the fact that many of our local producers, Black farmers, and underserved minority farmers who do not currently participate in USDA programs could be overlooked in the distribution of funds.

We insist that the USDA solicit and respect the recommendations of the local food experts in our state departments of agriculture and land grant universities, as well as the voices of food producers and the many other players in our local and regional food systems, as you strive to ensure the equitable distribution of federal resources.

For example, we suggest that you strongly consider allocating a major portion of the appropriation to state departments of agriculture in the form of block grants, based on reasonable metrics associated with food production and domestic consumption, so that each state can address its unique needs based on a model other than “one size fits all.”

Whether the funds are expended through the states or directly by USDA, we urge you to ensure that the resources are equitably distributed to benefit local food producers.

A number of USDA programs rely on local food producers for their success, including the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, Double Up Food Bucks, and the Produce Prescription Program. If additional funds cannot be allocated to these programs directly, then direct support under the CARES Act for local producers who supply such programs will be essential.

We support the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in many of its recommendations and urge USDA to observe the following principles in making these decisions:

• Ensure that aid to local and regional food system food producers is commensurate with expected losses of more than $1 billion;

• Invest in and offer support for market development designed to foster the stabilization, growth and increased sustainability of the production of food for local and regional consumption;

• Prioritize small- and mid-sized farms that sell directly into local and regional markets, with special attention to farmers historically underserved by USDA;

• Provide funds directly to producers, including livestock contract growers, and not to integrators, packers, or processors likely to be eligible for aid through other programs;

• Ensure that information about applying for aid is readily accessible, provided in multiple languages and formats, and that assistance for applicants with limited English proficiency is readily available;

• Not limit aid to farmers that are already participating in federal programs; farms should not be required to have an FSA number in order to receive aid;

• Provide outreach to farmers about aid opportunities that is thorough and robust, including outreach to urban farmers, indigenous farmers, Black farmers, minority farmers, very small and limited-resource farmers, and farmers with limited English proficiency;

• Guarantee that the Inspector General has all of the information to ensure a timely and robust audit of the implementation of the agricultural provisions in the CARES Act.

Further, we urge USDA to extend grant deadlines for applicants to recognize the hardships that they are experiencing and to ensure the utmost flexibility during the national public health disaster.

We thank you for your attention and consideration, and we look forward to working with you to engage our constituents involved in local agricultural systems, now and in the future.

Sincerely,

The undersigned

Representative KC Becker

Colorado

Representative Della Belati

Hawaii

Senator Shenna Bellows

Maine

Representative Joel Briscoe

Utah

Representative Julie Brixie

Michigan

Representative Bri Buentello

Colorado

Senator Claire Celsi

Iowa

Senator Stephanie Chang

Michigan

Delegate Lorig Charkoudian

Maryland

Representative Annmarie Christensen

Vermont

Representative Brian Clem

Oregon

Representative James Coleman

Colorado

Representative Sarah Copeland Hanzas Vermont

Representative Mari Cordes

Vermont

Senator Sue Crawford

Nebraska

Representative Lisa Cutter

Colorado

Representative Mary Jo Daley

Pennsylvania

Senator Allison DeGazon

Virgin Islands

Senator Michael Dembrow

Oregon

Senator Andrew Dinniman

Pennsylvania

Representative Kari Dolan

Vermont

Representative Molly Donahue

Iowa

Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker

Delaware

Representative Caleb Elder

Vermont

Representative Daneya Esgar

Colorado

Representative Charen Fegard

Vermont

Delegate Barbara Fleischauer

West Virginia

Senator JD Ford

Indiana

Senator Mike Gabbard

Hawaii

Representative Tavia Galonski

Ohio

Senator Erika Geiss

Michigan

Senator Sara Gelser

Oregon

Senator Eric Giddens

Iowa

Senator Jeff Golden

Oregon

House Democratic Leader Christine Greig

Michigan

Delegate Michele Guyton

Maryland

Representative Chris Hall

Iowa

Representative Pricey Harrison

North Carolina

Representative Adam Hattersley

Florida

Representative Craig Hickman

Maine

Senator Rob Hogg

Iowa

Representative Joseph Hohenstein Pennsylvania

Representative Rachel Hood

Michigan

Representative Kara Hope

Michigan

Representative Charles Isenhart

Iowa

Senator Jani Iwamoto

Utah

Senator Troy Jackson

Maine

Representative Carolyn Jackson

Indiana

Representative Dominique Jackson

Colorado

Senator Pam Jochum

Iowa

Representative Chris Kennedy

Colorado

Representative Cathy Kipp

Colorado

Delegate Kaye Kory

Virginia

Representative Bob Kressig

Iowa

Representative Jasmine Krotkov

Montana

Representative Fue Lee

Minnesota

Representative Deborah Lekanoff

Washington

Representative Vicki Lensing

Iowa

Senator Matthew Lesser

Connecticut

Representative Ben Lien

Minnesota

Representative Todd Lippert

Minnesota

Representative Leslie Love

Michigan

Senator Margie MacDonald

Montana

Representative Mary Mascher

Iowa

Representative Jim Masland

Vermont

Senator Sean McCann

Michigan

Representative Julie McCluskie Colorado

Representative Charlie McConkey

Iowa

Representative Curt McCormack Vermont

Representative Tracy McCreery

Missouri

Representative Genevieve McDonald

Maine

Representative Andy McKean

Iowa

Representative Barbara McLachlan

Colorado

Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet Colorado

Delegate David Moon

Maryland

Representative Megan Murray

New Hampshire

Representative Logan Nicoll

Vermont

Representative Andrea Olsen

Montana

Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz

New York

Representative Carolyn Partridge

Vermont

Representative Avram Patt

Vermont

Assemblywoman Sarah Peters

Nevada

Representative William Pluecker

Maine

Senator Dayna Polehanki

Michigan

Representative Dylan Roberts

Colorado

Representative Eddie Rodriguez

Texas

Representative Wes Rogers

Missouri

Representative Michael Saba

South Dakota

Representative Lindsay Sabadosa Massachusetts

Senator John Sabatina, Jr.

Pennsylvania

Senator Linda Sanborn

Maine

Representative Robin Scheu

Vermont

Senator Judy Schwank

Pennsylvania

Representative Katrina Shankland

Wisconsin

Representative Sharon Shewmake

Washington

Representative Jeffrey Shipley

Iowa

Representative Jonathan Singer

Colorado

Representative Emily Sirota

Colorado

Representative Trevor Squirrell

Vermont

Representative Art Staed

Iowa

Representative Sharon Steckman

Iowa

Representative Cherlynn Stevenson

Kentucky

Senator Sharif Street

Pennsylvania

Representative Mary Sullivan

Vermont

Representative Randall Szott

Vermont

Representative Geran Tarr

Alaska

Representative Raquel Teran

Arizona

Representative Liz Thomson

New Mexico

Representative Kerry Tipper

Colorado

Representative Brianna Titone

Colorado

Representative Maida Townsend

Vermont

Representative Chip Troinao

Vermont

Representative Donald Valdez

Colorado

Assembly Member Jo Ann Van Slyke

New York

Senator Mary Ware

Kansas

Representative Ami Wazlawik

Minnesota

Representative Mike Weissman

Colorado

Representative Ken Wells

New Hampshire

Representative Marty Wilde

Oregon

Representative Dave Williams

Iowa

Representative Angela Witwer

Michigan

Representative Mary Wolfe

Iowa

Representative Theresa Wood

Vermont

Senator Mike Woodard

North Carolina

Representative Michael Yantachka

Vermont

Representative Mary Young

Colorado

Delegate Lisa Zukoff

West Virginia

SD State Rep. Michael SABA Face Mask Donation

PRESS RELEASE

Hearing of the rise in COVID-19 cases in South Dakota, an international business contact of SD Rep Michael Saba (Dist. 9) sent a supply of face masks so Saba could distribute them to people who badly need them in District 9. Rep. Saba has distributed several hundred of the facemask donation around the District 9 region of rural Minnehaha County and the towns of Sioux Falls, Hartford, Humboldt and Crooks as requested, to people who particularly need them.

“This generous donation was unexpected and greatly appreciated at a time of personal protective equipment shortage” said Saba, “I still have facemasks available to distribute to organizations who are struggling to protect their volunteers.”

The donation to Representative Michael Saba came as a response to the assistance he has shown in bringing international trade delegations and various international trade opportunities for South Dakota.

“We are all in this fight for our health and well-being” Saba added, “the international trade group donating the 1000 hospital quality facemasks believe in the people of South Dakota. We are one big world.”

Saba has so far distributed them into Sioux Falls to the Urban Indian Center and to the immigrants primarily who worked for Smithfield who are without face masks. He has also donated them to meals on wheels groups that are getting food to elderly and disabled people and will continue  to donate them and to put together packages of face masks for other people in need as the supply remains. Rep. Saba also distributed them to various churches who do community outreach in our District 9 region.

More information can be obtained on how to reserve some of the remaining free facemasks from Representative Saba, contact him at his office phone number 605-526-5000 or his email Michael.Saba@sdlegislature.gov.

I support Mayor TenHaken’s ‘Shelter in Place’ order

I suppose I could rant this is too late, but better late than never. This could have been better controlled if Smithfield’s would have asked for the help of the Feds and the state and city health directors to help control the spread in the plant. If they would have told officials back in March, they may have gotten it under control and they may not have to close. But that hog has already left the pen, and now it is spreading in our community.

I’m utterly baffled and horrified that the state legislature has tied the hands of our city and the governor will not intervene when Paul has asked her to. I would even argue it is a slap in his face not to at least tell him you are working on a solution;

Increasingly exasperated local leaders, public health experts and front-line medical workers begged Noem to intervene Monday with a more aggressive state response.

“A shelter-in-place order is needed now. It is needed today,” said Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, whose city is at the center of South Dakota’s outbreak and who has had to improvise with voluntary recommendations in the absence of statewide action.

I found out today that on March 30th, the drunken sailors we call our state legislature tied the city’s hands. This is out of their control, and now it may be another 10 days before any action can be taken. But I hope not.

I would suggest that Paul ignore the legislature and use every legal trick he can to get a shelter in place order put in place by Friday or before. Let the AG sue us later, this is no time to worry about legal repercussions.

I stand with the Mayor and City Council on this, it’s time to defy the Governor’s office and take action. We can handle her crying on Fox about it later while we are all watching safely from home. Paul, show the citizens of Sioux Falls you have it in you – I think you do.

Have a drink on me!

Municipal Elections likely to be postponed until June primary

The legislature is leaning towards a bill that will set the municipal elections in June during the scheduled primary election. It also looks that absentee voting would start on March 30th and be available for the next two months.

I look at this a couple of ways, I think it would have been virtually impossible to hold the election in a couple of weeks. I also think that two months of absentee voting is good, and safer. But I also think that many people are not thinking about a city election right now, and hopefully this clears by the end of May so there can be a little concentration on the election and the candidates.

Also, I have been thwarted by several folks over the past few days that the city council doesn’t have the legal authority to change the election date. I believe they do, and I think it is as simple as practicing their right to change city ordinance under the Home Rule Charter. I also look at this as something the courts could weigh in on. How could the city possibly hold a public city election at the height of a dangerous pandemic with NO poll workers? Well, Sherlock they couldn’t, and I think a judge would agree that gives them the legal authority to change ordinance on the fly. Remember, law isn’t what is written on paper, it is what the courts and judges decide, it is all fluid. And if a governmental body is unable to hold an election, that body has the legal right to remedy the situation, and I don’t think there is a judge in the land that would side on endangering the public because the legislature said a city MUST have an election on a certain date come Hell or highwater. Maybe what we are really saying is if the election can’t be held on April 14th, there is no election, and candidates Neitzert, Mickelson and Stehly get to remain in their seats automatically for the next term? I have a feeling the same arguing against me would argue against that scenario also. Funny how that works.

Legislature SHOULD allow communities to decide if they want to have April 14th elections

The SD State Legislature decided to meet electronically for veto day, which is a good. It is also more proof that the municipal and school board elections across the state should be postponed, or at least give communities the option to decide. That is what Minnehaha County Auditor said during yesterday’s County Commission meeting. Basically if the Legislature makes a decision on the election, they would pass a bill that would allow communities to decide for themselves if they wanted to hold the election on April 14th, which I think is a great idea. There are roughly 70 communities that are planning a April 14th election across the state. Litz basically said in smaller, less populated cities, they would probably be okay with holding an election, but bigger cities like Sioux Falls may have issues with it. Bob also said that he could easily combine the city/school election ballot with a 2-sided primary ballot.

I’m still on the fence about it. I think we need to see where we are at with the Corona Virus in couple of weeks before we decide. We also don’t know what it will be like in June. I think if communities are given the option to decide for themselves, they should do it on April 6th.

Is postponing the municipal elections part of an evil Democratic Party plot?

While our Mayor, Health Director and City Attorney continue to tell us they don’t have the legal authority to close businesses (even though it is clearly spelled out in our charter that they can close businesses based on threats to public health) there seems to be another strange conspiracy brewing.

It seems the governor is pointing fingers at the SOS and they both are pointing fingers at the legislature while the legislature is pointing fingers back at them while our city clerk is trying to scrounge up boy scouts to run the polls.

I have argued all along, if we can’t find poll workers to work the April election, we can’t have an election. Who cares about state law?

But there’s a funny rumor being spread around by Republican lawmakers; they fear moving the municipal elections to the June primaries would give advantages to Democrats running for office.

Huh?!

First off, most, if not all municipal elections and school board elections are non-partisan. What Democrats would have an advantage? I also think Biden will already be the nominee before June, so there really wouldn’t be a reason for Dems to show up in June accept for a handful of Democratic primaries. If anything, I think Dems would have a bigger advantage voting in April. But either way, I have heard some pretty goofy things from the majority party in SD, but this one takes the cake.

Do the right thing, postpone the elections until June. You will have a higher voter turnout, save taxpayers money, and most importantly keep people safe while voting. Why does everything have to be political with Republicans in our state? This is about public safety and not politics.