Today, the Argus Leader’s headline article highlighted a financial newspaper’s report ranking South Dakota the best run state in the nation based on its management of debt and pension obligations.
And you can credit Democrats for bringing together a bipartisan group of forward thinking public servants who gave us a reformed retirement system that protects retirees and our state budget to this day.
During the Democratic Governor Dick Kneip’s administration, the 1973 state legislature appointed a select committee of legislators and other public servants to explore the possibility of consolidating the state retirement system from the previously unwieldy divided retirement systems for different kinds of employees.
The legislative members of the consolidation committee consisted of: Senators Rodney Hall (D), Homer Harding (R), Jacob Krull (D), and Eugene Mahan (D); and Representatives Wayne Hauschild (D), James Rothstein (R), and Bernard Stoeser (D).
Seven Democrats, and two Republicans.
Although highly controversial, the plan for consolidation put forward during the 1974 legislative session passed with near unanimous support and was signed into law by Governor Kneip.
South Dakota is still reaping the benefits of Democratic leadership in Pierre and a bipartisan attitude to solve our state’s problems. Our state could use more of that attitude today.