Republicans Put Corporate Welfare Ahead of School Children

Republicans in Pierre have voted again to put corporate welfare ahead of our school children and our families in need, says Ben Nesselhuf, Chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party.

“House Bill 1230 gives the Governor a blank check without any clear direction to spend it. It represents the Republicans’ misplaced priorities at best and a crass corporate giveaway at worst.”

House Republicans voted along party lines on the bill to take away $16 million per year from the general fund for education and health care and redirect it towards a slush fund for large corporations.

“Businesses that come to South Dakota require the best systems education to equip workers with the skills businesses need to succeed in the 21st century economy. Cutting funding for education in order to bankroll the governor’s slush fund will neither train our workers nor attract new businesses to South Dakota,” Nesselhuf said.

“After giving away up to $38 million to a foreign oil company, the Governor wants to expand his unchecked use of economic development funds without any public transparency or fiscal integrity.”

Daugaard faced criticism during the Rounds Administration for using economic development funds for a TransCanada pipeline that has created few permanent jobs in South Dakota and would have been built in South Dakota with or without the governor’s funds.

In his budget recommendations, Governor Daugaard has proposed cutting $60 million to our children’s education and denying $75 million dollars in Medicaid for families and seniors in need.

Nesselhuf warned that expanding the governor’s slush funds for corporate welfare is especially dangerous in a state ruled by a single political party and without any “pay to play” restrictions on quid pro quo political contributions from beneficiaries of grants, gifts and low interest loans.

“South Dakotans deserve better than backroom corporate deals at the expense of our children and families in need.”

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