Politics

Statehouse Podcast: Ed Funding & Hemp Bills Die

Feb 18, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for February 2nd, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on education funding, hemp, and vehicular homicide.

Birth Certificate Bill Labeled Attack On Transgender People

Feb 17, 2016

UPDATE: One of the measures dealing with transgender people is dead in the state legislature.
 
House Bill 12-09 requires the state and other entities to recognize a person's gender only as the biological sex registered at birth.  Opponents call the measure an attack on the civil rights of transgender people. They note gender can be changed even on federal passports.  
 

Jenifer Jones

Teachers from across the state say they’re traveling to Pierre to support education funding, yet not everyone is convinced the move is right. A leading lawmaker and the president of a statewide teachers’ organization have different perspectives on the effect of educators turning up at the Statehouse. Still teachers plan to show up this week for debate in Piere. 

Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for February 3nd, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on transgender and gay marriage polices and effort to modify a measure dealing with health care passed by voters in 2014.  The podcast also includes an update on the bill requiring the results of abortion facility inspections to be posted on-line and legislation that requires schools to implement and practice safety plans.

Legislative Podcast: Education, Juvenile DUI, And Pac Man Tax

Jan 21, 2016
Katie Hunhoff - South Dakota Magazine

The Legislative Podcast for January 21, 2016  includes three stories on education issues plus a story on a proposal to change the DUI law for juveniles and an effort to end the Pac Man Tax.

Legislative Podcast: College Prep, Kickboxing Fees, Elder Abuse

Jan 19, 2016
Amy Varland

The Legislative Podcast for January 19th, 2016 includes stories on boosting college prep, an increase in kickboxing and MMA event fees, an effort to curb elder abuse, and a list of new prohibited drugs being considered by lawmakers.

Governor Backs Education Boost, Medicaid Expansion In SoS

Jan 12, 2016

Governor Dennis Daugaard gave his State of the State Address to lawmakers on Tuesday.   Here is a rundown of the highlights.  
 

You can find the entire address archived here.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lawmakers from districts in and around Sioux Falls are previewing their priorities for the 2016 legislative session. Wednesday morning a couple hundred people attended an annual breakfast from the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce to hear what lawmakers anticipate in the coming weeks.

Education

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The family of Kermit Staggers says they appreciate support as he heals through health challenges. The Sioux Falls city council member collapsed in September due to a heart condition. Colleagues say they support Staggers, and a family member says she appreciates encouragement from the community.

Kermit Staggers is a former South Dakota state lawmaker and current city council member in Sioux Falls. His daughter Ayn Bird says her dad is not wavering in his commitment to public service to encourage limited government and advocate for unlimited opportunity for people.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Friday deadline for a federal funding bill is likely moving to next week. Members of the US Senate approved a late-night Wednesday deadline to give negotiators extra time. House lawmakers will likely vote on the extension Friday.

One South Dakota lawmaker says the quick extension makes sense. United States Senator Mike Rounds says he supports the move to give leaders a few extra days to decide what an appropriations measure includes. He says negotiators are making progress but are not sharing information.

One South Dakota lawmaker says she’s crafting a resolution about debt-free college. Democratic State Representative Paula Hawks says she wants to start a conversation with fellow lawmakers about the cost of higher education.

The phrase “debt-free college” is appearing in national discussions. State Representative Paula Hawks says she wants to bring the dialogue to South Dakota.

U.S. Senator Mike Rounds

U.S. Senator Mike Rounds questions a call by the Obama Administration to prohibit someone on the no fly list from owning a gun in the United States.

The no fly list is maintained by federal intelligence agencies who flag those they deem a potential terrorist or threat.   President Obama says anyone on that list should not be able to walk into a gun shop and purchase a firearm.   

But Senator Mike Rounds worries this would violate the constitution.  

We’re joined this week by Roger Whittle of the Watertown Public Opinion and Jonathan Ellis of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.  Some of the topics include Representative Kristi Noem’s support for Paul Ryan as the new House Speaker, the legal "minefield” of tribal marijuana, and a decision by the South Dakota Legislature’s permanent committee on state-tribal relations to ask the governor to appoint a race commission.  

John Thune

United States Senator John Thune says he generally supports trade deals, but some parts of the latest international agreement raise his concern. Eleven countries and the United States have struck a deal called TPP. That stands for Trans-Pacific Partnership. It has economic and political implications.

Thune says he’s heard pieces of the deal since Monday’s agreement, and he’s concerned about some of the elements.

Remembering Governor Walter Dale Miller

Sep 29, 2015

Flags fly at half-staff out of respect for former South Dakota Governor Walter Dale Miller. He died Monday at the age of 89. Miller was born in October of 1925 in Meade County, South Dakota. He was a longtime school board member and state politician before becoming governor in 1993. 

Walter Dale Miller served in the state’s top office for less than one term, but those who worked with him say South Dakota still feels the impact of his decades of leadership. He was a tall man who some call a cowboy gentleman – always in boots and his hat. 

Dakota Political Junkies –  KELO-TV Rapid City reporter Kevin Woster and Denise Ross – the editor of the Black Hills Knowledge Network/South Dakota Dashboard discuss the sentencing of Clayton Walker, Republican Presidential debate and even compare Donald Trump to Bill Janklow.  

Rounds for Senate

A United States Senator from South Dakota says lawmakers have less than two weeks to figure out how to fund the federal government. September 30th is the deadline to appropriate money to government programs.

Senator Mike Rounds says he doesn’t support simply extending appropriations already in place without other changes attached. SDPB’s Kealey Bultena asks him about that position.

Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher is coming to Sioux Falls. He’s bringing his stand-up tour to the Washington Pavilion on Sunday, September 13th. The New York native has been the host of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher since 2003. Previously he hosted a similar late-night show, Politically Incorrect, for nine years.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

One of South Dakota’s US Senators says Congress is more dysfunctional than he realized. Mike Rounds started his term in January; he spent part of his time back in South Dakota Tuesday talking to members of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. Rounds says lawmakers must take pointed steps to make federal systems more efficient. 

United States Senator Mike Rounds has been talking about a broken Washington since he started his campaign for Congress. Less than one year since he took the oath, Rounds says the system is worse than he suspected. He says lawmaking is slow by design.

Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader, and Kevin Woster, Rapid City bureau reporter for KELO-TV, joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed Governor Dennis Daugaard's visit to Madison during Capital for a Day; the board of regents' request for a tuition freeze for in-state university students; and the search for a Democratic candidate to challenge Republican U.S. Senator John Thune in 2016.

Jonathan Ellis, reporter and columnist for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and Kevin Woster, Rapid City bureau reporter for KELO-TV, joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed competing payday lending ballot petitions; a proposed constitutional amendment establishing nonpartisan elections; new South Dakota Democratic Party executive director Suzanne Jones Pranger; Kristi Noem's re-election announcement plans; and the aftermath of the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

United States Senator John Thune spent part of his Tuesday talking with young professionals in Sioux Falls. The lawmaker first spoke to members of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce before the smaller Q&A. People who work in energy, banking, business, and other industries are asking the lawmaker questions and explaining their concerns.

It may be a roundtable discussion, but young professionals in Sioux Falls line a long, rectangular tabletop to ask questions of United States Senator John Thune.

Erin Mairose

With over 17 Republicans seeking their party’s nod for the presidency, things are bound to get confusing.  Minnehaha County Republicans gathered Thursday to watch the first GOP debate.

Reactions to the Republican presidential debate were as mixed as the 17 candidates themselves. Minnehaha County Republican Jim Stalzer says for him the debate didn’t lend a clear front runner.  

“I’ve been impressed with most of the field today, I like at least half of them and I don’t think anyone has messed up tonight that has lost anything,” says Stalzer.

Thune Decries Carbon Reduction Plan As Arctic Sea Route Opens

Aug 5, 2015
NSIDC

U.S. Senator John Thune joined the rest of the South Dakota congressional delegation and several industry groups in condemning a White House plan to reduce carbon emissions.

The Obama Administration is proposing a cap on carbon emissions from coal fired power plants in an effort to reduce global warming.   

The debate comes as arctic ice has melted back early enough so a sea route is open over the polar ice cap.

Democrats have their first candidate for the U.S. House. Two-term state Representative Paula Hawks of Hartford announced her candidacy on Monday for the seat held by Republican Kristi Noem. Hawks says her experience in the legislature makes her a good candidate for Congress.  She wants to focus on seniors, farmers and ranchers, equality for women, education and student loan debt.

Jonathan Ellis, reporter/columnist for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and Seth Tupper, enterprise reporter for the Rapid City Journal, joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed hardball tactics by opponents to a proposed ballot initiative capping payday loan interest rates at 36 percent; Democratic state representative Paula Hawks' possible candidacy for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Kristi Noem; and newly-released FBI files revealing that late South Dakota U.S.

South Dakota Legislative Research Council

Since first being elected in 2010, Republican State Representative Steve Hickey has been an outspoken champion of social conservative causes. He's opposed abortion and same-sex marriage. But he’s also worked with Democrats on abolishing the death penalty and establishing a truth and reconciliation commission to address problems between Native Americans and whites. He’s also been working with openly gay Democratic strategist and Sioux Falls businessman Steve Hildebrand to collect signatures for a 2016 ballot measure capping payday lending  interest rates at 36 percent.

Nate Wek SDPB

Two laws passed by the legislature this year won’t go into effect today, but instead will go before voters next year. Senate Bill 177 established a youth minimum wage at $7.50, a dollar less than that set by voters in 2014. Senate Bill 69 is an election reform package that includes a provision preventing members of registered parties from signing petitions of independent candidate.

Three people who represent South Dakota in the nation’s capital are reacting to a US Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. Thursday six of the nine justices agreed that people are still eligible for insurance subsidies using a federal health insurance exchange. Thirty-four states do not have state-run marketplaces.

U.S. Senator Mike Rounds

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling any day now in King v. Burwell. The ruling will answer the question of whether health insurance subsidies are limited to those states with their own exchanges. If subsidies are limited to the 17 states that established exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, 6.4 million people could lose their insurance subsidies, including some 19,000 South Dakotans.

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