Phil Jensen

South Dakota LRC

The Senate Education Committee is sending a bill creating an early learning advisory council to the 41st day. South Dakota is one of seven states without state funded preschools.

The twelve members of the council outlined in Senate Bill 132 include governor-appointed representatives from multiple government agencies--including the departments of education, health, social services, and the legislature. Other members include Head Start providers, parents, and the business community.

OFFICE OF GOVERNOR DENNIS DAUGAARD

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council submitted a resolution to state lawmakers on Thursday opposing the nomination of Don Kirkegaard to Secretary of Education. Council members are concerned about his connections to the GEAR Up Controversy.

The concerns were brought to the State-Tribal Relations Committee during its second unofficial meeting in 24 hours.

File photo by Victoria Wicks

In a move one state senator described as “sneaky,” the Senate Health and Human Services Committee made a last-ditch effort to resurrect a bill on Monday. The committee was asked to reconsider House Bill 1155, regulating responses to prenatal Down syndrome diagnoses. Part of that bill puts obligations on doctors performing abortions. As SDPB’s Victoria Wicks reports, the bill was not posted on the agenda, and apparently some committee members hadn’t been told that it was up for discussion.

Rapid City business owner Dave Johnson announced Wednesday his candidacy for the District 33 Senate seat now held by Phil Jensen. Johnson will challenge Jensen in the Republican primary election.
   As an arborist and owner of a tree service, Johnson says one of his primary concerns is funding to battle the mountain pine beetle infestation in the Black Hills.

Victoria Wicks

Rapid City business owner Dave Johnson announced Wednesday his candidacy for the District 33 Senate seat now held by Phil Jensen. Johnson says Jensen’s priorities are an embarrassment, and he hopes to bring common sense to the position.
   Johnson says the senator representing constituents has to hear what they’re talking about and look for solutions to problems that are real. He says Jensen champions issues that don’t reflect local concerns.

Victoria Wicks

Two legislative bills protecting the clergy and businesses from participating in same-sex marriages have been pulled by their sponsor. But there is still a similar third bill in the hopper. Senator Phil Jensen is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 128, which seeks to indemnify businesses and individuals who refuse to hire or serve people based on their sexual preference. A high school senior at a weekend crackerbarrel tells SDPB’s Victoria Wicks that the bill violates human rights.