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Pierre Still Dropping K-12 Funding Ball, Ranks Last in State Share of K-12 Support →

Chairman’s Note: Property taxes across South Dakota are increasing for a reason: State government refuses to pay its fair share for the education of your kids. And it’s not because they don’t have the money. Instead of focusing on the basics – better roads, public safety, and stronger schools – Republicans in Pierre are throwing millions towards taxpayer funded giveaways to large corporations. And our tax bills are going up as a result.

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College Loan Deadline Looming →

Chairman’s Note: If Congresswoman Kristi Noem and House Republicans don’t act before July 1st, student loan rates will double for 34,580 South Dakota students and families, costing students over $1,000. America is sick and tired of the Republican “my way or the highway” approach to governing. This one is simple. Keep education affordable for middle class families. Tell Congresswoman Noem, “Don’t Double My Rate!”

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My Voice: Stop hike in student loan rates →

Chairman’s Note: Just as Congresswoman Noem won’t explain why she’s missing work, Noem refuses to buck Washington Republican leadership and support students and recent graduates, like Ryan Rolfs. Ryan’s interest rates on student loans are set to double if the House of Representatives can’t get its act together. There is a clear consensus for student loan rates to stay low. Noem just won’t break away from Washington Republicans to do what’s right for South Dakota students.

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Sen. Tim Johnson: Buffett Rule’s Demise Hurts Middle Class →

Chairman’s Note: Instead of investing in the middle class, Republicans in Washington again protected the low taxes for millionaires and billionaires. The fact is the ultra-wealthy are paying lower taxes than they ever have in modern American history at the same time that investments in infrastructure, education, and innovation that grow our economy are being slashed by Washington Republicans. High taxes on the middle class, low taxes on the ultra-wealthy, and no investments in our future is a recipe for economic disaster. America needs tax fairness. Our middle class depends on it.

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Note to Noem: Challenge Accepted

“Point to one policy that this president has enacted that has actually worked.” That’s what Rep. Kristi Noem challenged folks to outline on Fox News yesterday with Greta Van Susteren

Challenge accepted. Here are just a few Obama policies that are working for Americans everyday.

  • Added 4.1 million private sector jobs and seen 25 straight months of job growth. American Recovery Act.
  • Rescued American auto industry, saving more than 1 million jobs and preventing the loss of over $96 billion in personal income as a result. Rescue loans to American Auto Industry.
  • Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”ensuring that no one ever again has to lie about who they are to serve the country they love. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
  • Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, making progress in a decades-long battle for women to get equal pay for equal work. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act
  • Provided 46 million seniors access to free preventive services like annual wellness visits and health screenings .Affordable Care Act. 
  • Closed the Medicare “doughnut hole,” saving the average senior approximately $4,200 over the next 10 years. Affordable Care Act. 
  • Extended more benefits to National Guard members who have performed active service and allow education benefits to be transferred to family members. Post 9/11 GI Bill.
  • Brought the war in Iraq to a responsible end. For the first time in nine years, there are no American troops fighting in Iraq.
  • Doubled funding for Pell grants, making college more affordable for 9 million students a year.
  • Established new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks will nearly double fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, saving American families an estimated $1.7 trillion at the pump.

The policies and their effects are pretty obvious. So either Noem is lying about Obama’s policies that work or she doesn’t see these policies as successes. Either case shows an extreme lack of attention that the issues of our day deserve.

Here’s some advice for Noem: take some time away from high dollar lobbyist fundraisers and Fox News appearances to learn the issues. It’s hard enough when smart legislators make bad decisions. It’s worse when oblivious representatives make terrible ones.

 

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South Dakota Dems Back Teachers on HB 1234 Referral Drive →

Chairman’s Note: At the end of the 2012 legislative session, Governor Daugaard rammed through House Bill (HB) 1234 – his controversial education agenda – in spite of consistent opposition to the legislation from teachers, parents, students, and even many Republican legislators from across South Dakota. I’m proud to announce now that our State Central Committee has unanimously endorsed the effort to refer HB 1234 to the 2012 general election. The future of our children’s education is at stake. Get your petition packet, and start gathering signatures from your friends and neighbors today!

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Sioux Falls School Board President Announces Candidacy for State Senate

Sioux Falls School Board President Kent Alberty announced Tuesday his intention to seek election to the South Dakota State Senate representing District 12. The life-long Sioux Falls resident has filed petitions to run as a member of the Democratic Party.

Alberty, 58, is a successful small business owner and has devoted more than two decades to community and public service. He said he will provide the independent, common-sense voice the citizens of District 12 deserve.

“I’m committed to the people of District 12 – to my friends and neighbors who believe they aren’t being represented in Pierre,” Alberty said. “I will lean on my experiences in education, economic development and community service to fight for South Dakotans.”

Alberty and his wife, Luanne, have been married for 37 years. Together, they own and operate Employment Edge Staffing and Business Services, a small business they started in 2005. They have raised three children from their home in Sioux Falls.

Alberty was elected to the Sioux Falls School Board in 2007 and has served three years as school board president. He also devoted more than 20 years to service on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Care Hospital and School and dedicated much of his free time to organizations that support area youth. His passion for education and commitment to advocating for children continues to drive his desire for public service.

“There’s nothing more important to South Dakotans than making sure every child has the opportunity to succeed,” Alberty said. “I’ve made that a focus of my life, and that will continue to be my focus in the South Dakota Senate.”

 

For more information, please contact Ben Nesselhuf at 605-271-5405 or ben@sddp.org

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SD Education Association Vows Statewide Vote on Reform Bill →

Chairman’s Note: Just because Governor Daugaard forced legislators to support his unpopular education agenda does not mean this fight is over. Already, one group of educators has promised to let South Dakotans vote on this issue. You can learn more about the referral process and request a petition packet at their facebook page.

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Education Dominates 2012 Legislative Session →

Chairman’s Note: With bills concerning the hunting of muskrats to hiring out-of-state workers, the 2012 Legislative Session featured dozens of topics with a wide range of debate. But no subject sparked more controversy than the debate over education. Governor Daugaard pushed a radical education agenda that drew immediate opposition from folks of all political stripes. After growing disapproval threatened to topple his chief political priority of the session, Daugaard forced his education reform bill through the state house by one vote. Daugaard’s message to voters was pretty clear: your concerns don’t matter.

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Mike Knudson Running for a District 12 House Seat

Mike Knudson, son of former Republican Senate Majority Leader, Dave Knudson and former Sioux Falls City Councilor De Knudson, announced that he has filed petitions to run as a Democrat for a District 12 House seat to serve in the South Dakota legislature.

“Government’s first job is building a better future for our citizens,” says Knudson. “Education and economic development are the keys to that better future. Today more than ever, our children need legislators who are genuinely committed to a better education for our kids. I am committed to improved education as my number one priority.”

Mike is a lifelong South Dakota resident who was born and raised in Sioux Falls. He graduated from Washington High School in 1998 and earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota in 2002. Currently, Mike works for a Sioux Falls based healthcare system. His wife, Kylie, is an Elementary School teacher, and his son Carson is a first grader in the Harrisburg School District.

For more information, please contact Mike Knudson at (605) 310-4509, knudsonforhouse@gmail.com, via Facebook at “Knudson for House”, or Twitter at @KnudsonforHouse or at knudsonforhouse.com.

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