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SDDP Responds to Legislature’s Use of Extraordinary Methods to Overturn the Will of the Voters →

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South Dakota Democratic Party Responds to the State Legislature’s Use of Extraordinary Methods to Overturn the Will of the Voters 

The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement in response to the State Legislature’s use of extraordinary measures to advance HB 1069 and overturn the will of the voters:

“With today’s unusual joint meeting of the House and Senate State Affairs committees and vote to advance HB 1069, the Republicans in Pierre have introduced their first bill to overturn the will of the voters of South Dakota and gut Initiated Measure 22. While Democrats were not united in support of Initiated Measure 22, Democrats are united in agreement that the will of the voters should be respected and on the urgent need for ethics, campaign finance, and lobbying reform in Pierre. Democratic legislators are willing to work on any clarifications or corrections needed to make sure the law in harmony with the SD Constitution, but will do everything they can to make sure the will of the voters is respected.”

“This isn’t the first time Republicans in Pierre have shown a lack of respect for the wishes of South Dakota voters. After South Dakotans voted for an initiated measure increasing the minimum wage in the 2014 election, Republican legislators in Pierre tried to undo it by creating a youth minimum wage a full $1/hour lower for workers 17 and younger. Democrats were able to refer the youth minimum wage, and voters overturned it with over 70% of the vote in November.”

“Using these extraordinary tactics Republicans in Pierre seem to have the goal of having HB 1069 through both chambers and on the Governor’s desk by the end of the week. It begs the question: why the rush to overturn the will of the voters? Were they hoping no one would notice? Are they afraid of the angry comments they are likely to receive from constituents? Voters deserve to have there voice heard through the normal legislative process, not these Republican efforts to try to speed the process along as quickly as possible.”

“While Democrats are willing and eager to work across the aisle to improve this law so that it works as the voters intended, we will fight against these extraordinary efforts to usurp the will of the voters through a rushed and questionable process.”

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SDDP Responds to Wollman Resignation   →

 

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South Dakota Democratic Party Responds to Wollman Resignation 

The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement in response to the resignation of Rep. Mathew Wollman:

“Representative Wollman’s resignation will give Governor Daugaard the ability to appoint yet another member of the South Dakota Legislature. After this replacement, almost 9% of the Legislature will have been appointed by the Governor. That percentage has been even higher in the past, and Governor has already appointed one other representative this legislative session alone. In a democracy, the people – not the head of separate branch of government – should select their representatives.”

“That is why last year, Democrats proposed legislation allowing the Legislature to decide how the legislative branch fills its vacancies. The measure was defeated on a party line vote. The continuing concentration of power in the executive branch should concern the people of South Dakota, regardless of party.”

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Democratic Legislative Leaders Unveil Democrats’ “Opportunity Agenda for Working Families” →

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Democratic Legislative Leaders Unveil Democrats’ “Opportunity Agenda for Working Families” 

At their weekly press conference today, State Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Billie Sutton of Burke and State House Democratic Leader Spence Hawley of Brookings unveiled the Democratic Caucus’s “Opportunity Agenda for Working Families” – the five main bills Democratic state legislators will focus on the rest of the session.

“Democrats believe that our state’s people are in need of the same kind of investment as the Legislature made in our roads and bridges in 2015,” said Sutton. “South Dakota has the highest rate in the nation of people working multiple jobs and the second highest percentage of families where both spouses are in the workforce. On top of that, we are 44th in the nation for median earnings for men and 46th  for women. Simply put, working families are having to work harder to get by, and many are falling behind.”

“Our agenda represents the kind of frugal, smart investments that will pay the state big dividends in the future,” said Hawley. “If it is passed it will be a huge boost for the working families of South Dakota. As the minority party, we know it will be hard to get our ideas passed through the Legislature, but Democrats intend to work hard to make South Dakota’s economy and state government work for the working families of South Dakota.”

The Opportunity Agenda for Working Families includes the following pieces of legislation:

  • Creating A Pre-K Pilot Program and Restoring Childcare Assistance – to help close the education gap for at-risk youth and alleviate child-care expenses for their parents
  • Fully funding the Building South Dakota Program – to stimulate economic development and provide affordable housing in both large and small communities in our state
  • Funding a Needs-based Scholarship Program – so every South Dakotan has the ability afford a college or technical school education
  • Guaranteeing Paid Sick and Family Leave for employees of large corporations – which will help working people employed by companies with 50 employees or more care of themselves and their families
  • Removing the Sales Tax on food – to make our tax code fairer for working families

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2017 Cracker Barrel Schedule →

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Below is a comprehensive list of cracker barrels around the state for the next few months. Be sure to show up and make your voice heard! And, if you know of  any that we missed, just email info@sddp.org and we’ll add to the list.

Aberdeen:

In the Centennial Rooms at Northern State University from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

  • Saturday, February 4
  • Saturday, February 11
  • Saturday, February 25
  • Saturday, March 4

Belle Fourche

From 1 to 3 p.m.

  • Saturday, January 21 (American West Steakhouse)
  • Saturday, February 4 (Belle Fourche Country Club)

Brandon:

In the Bethany Meadows Community Room from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

  • Saturday, January 28th

Canton:

Location TBD, from 10 a.m. to noon.

  • Saturday, February 4th

Chamberlain:

In the Chamberlain Community Center, begins at 1 p.m.

  • Saturday, February 11th

Custer:

In the Custer Senior Center from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

  • Saturday, February 4th

Hill City:

At the Little White Church, beginning at noon

  • Saturday, February 4th

Huron:

In the City Hall Commission room beginning at 9 a.m.

  • Saturday, January 21
  • Saturday, February 4
  • Saturday, February 25

Kimball:

Location TBD, beginning at 9 a.m.

  • Saturday, February 11th

Mitchell:

In the Mitchell City Council chambers beginning at 12 p.m.

  • Friday, January 27
  • Friday, February 17

Newell:

At the Newell City Hall beginning at 10 a.m.

  • Saturday, February 11

Piedmont:

At the Piedmont American Legion from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

  • Saturday, February 11

Pierre:

In the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce Community Room from 9 to 10:00 a.m.

  • Saturday, January 21

Rapid City:

In the South Dakota School of Mines New Classroom Building from 9 to 11 a.m.

  • Saturday, January 21
  • Saturday, February 4
  • Saturday, February 25
  • Saturday, March 4

Another Cracker Barrel will be held at the Outdoor Campus West from 9 to 11:30 am

  • Saturday, February 18

Redfield:

At the Historic CNW Train Depot beginning at 2 p.m.

  • Monday, February 20

Sioux Falls: 

At the Ramada Hotel and Suites beginning at 10 a.m.

  • Saturday, February 4
  • Saturday, February 11
  • Saturday, February 25

Sisseton:

At Sisseton High School

  • Saturday, January 21

Spearfish:

From 9 to 10 a.m.

  • Saturday, January 28 (High Plains Western Heritage Center)
  • Saturday, February 18 (BHSU Joy Center)

Sturgis:

At the Erksine Building from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

  • Saturday, January 21
  • Saturday, February 4

Vermillion:

At Vermillion City Hall from 9 to 11 a.m.

  • Saturday, January 28
  • Saturday, March 4

Watertown:

Beginning at 9 a.m.

  • Saturday, January 21 (at the LATI Student Center, Room 514)
  • Saturday, February 11 (at the Watertown Winter Farm Show)

Webster:

In the Guard Room of the Webster Armory from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

  • Saturday, January 28

Yankton:

In the Avera Sacred Heart Pavilion from 10 to 11 a.m.

  • Saturday, January 21
  • Saturday, February 4
  • Saturday, February 25

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Democrats Respond to Cowardly Votes to Take Health Care Away from 74,000 South Dakotans →

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Democrats Respond to Rounds and Thune’s Cowardly Dead-of-the-Night Votes to Take Health Care Away from 74,000 South Dakotans

SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Democratic Democratic Party released the following statement in response to the cowardly vote of Sen. Mike Rounds, Sen. John Thune, and all but one of the Republicans in the U.S. Senate at Midnight CST last night to take millions of American’s healthcare away – including 74,000 South Dakotans:

“Last night’s vote is the first step in Republican efforts to reapeal the Affordable Care Act with no plan to replace it. If Republicans in Congress get their way, as many as thirty million Americans are set to lose access to affordable health care. Americans with pre-existing conditions like asthma, heart disease, or diabetes could lose coverage and become uninsurable. The Affordable Care Act is literally the difference between living and dying for tens of thousands of Americans – without this insurance, 36,000 people a year could die before their time.

“In addition, Senators Thune and Rounds had a chance to vote in favor of amendments to the repeal which would have protected the healthcare of veteranschildrenwomen, those with preexisting conditions, and 26 year-olds on their parents’ health care plans. In each and every instance, Senators Thune and Rounds put partisanship over the needs of South Dakota families.

“In South Dakota alone, repeal would mean:

  • 74,000 South Dakotans could lose health care coverage
  • 22,005 South Dakotans would lose financial assistance to cover heath care costs
  • 346,000 South Dakotans with pre-existing conditions (including asthma, diabetes, and cancer) could lose affordable coverage and women in South Dakota could be charged more for coverage due to their gender
  • 392,000 South Dakotans with private insurance, including 86,000 children, and 156,000 South Dakota seniors on Medicare will lose guaranteed access to free preventive care – including recommended cancer screenings and vaccinations
  • The Medicare “donut hole” will open once again, meaning South Dakota seniors and people with disabilities will be forced to pay thousands more for their prescriptions (South Dakotans have saved about $49 million in prescription costs thanks to the ACA closing this “donut hole”)
  • South Dakota health care providers would be faced with $260 million more in uncompensated care costs
  • South Dakota would lose 7,000 jobs, $4.2 billion in state domestic product, $7.5 billion in business productivity, and $108.4 million in state and local tax revenue

“With no replacement plan in sight, the vote from Senators Thune and Rounds to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the night is not only cowardly, but cruel. The people of South Dakota deserve better.”

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