Press Releases

SDDP Statement on the Republican Tax Plan →

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SDDP Statement on the Republican Tax Plan

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to the tax plan released today by Republicans in the U.S. House:

“Today House Republicans released a tax bill that provides massive tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations while simultaneously cutting the health care, education, and mortgage deductions middle-class South Dakota families rely on – as well as blowing a big hole in the deficit. We urge Rep. Kristi Noem and Senators Thune and Rounds to vote against this awful plan, and work with Democrats to develop a tax plan that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and large corporations.”

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SDDP Statement on the Beginning of the ACA Open Enrollment Period →

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SDDP Statement on the Beginning of the ACA Open Enrollment Period

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Today marks the beginning of this year’s Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, which runs from November 1 to December 15. The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson encouraging people to sign up for healthcare coverage through HealthCare.gov:

“Today is the first day of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period. Due to countless Republican attempts to sabotage the healthcare system, spread misinformation, and make the process of signing up for affordable health care more difficult – such as cutting the enrollment period in half, slashing funding used for advertising and outreach programs, and abandoning state partnerships that help people enroll in healthcare coverage – it is important that every South Dakotan knows how to enroll and has the opportunity to get covered. Any South Dakotan who wants to get covered should visitHealthCare.gov between now and December 15th to see what coverage is available and to sign up for coverage.

“Contrary to Republican claims, many people who have enrolled for coverageGAC_open_facebook through HealthCare.gov have been surprised by how much they save; eight out of ten people who have enrolled in coverage through HealthCare.gov qualified for financial help to make their monthly premiums more affordable. In fact, most people can find a health insurance plan from $50 to $100 per month.

“Despite the Republican misinformation and sabotage campaigns, the ACA continues to provide coverage for millions of Americans. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office expects 11 million people to enroll in ACA exchanges next year. On top of that, the law is more popular than ever. A record 54% of voters have a favorable opinion of the ACA and 62% want to see the law maintained.

“With the start of open enrollment today, Americans can sign up for healthcare and show Republicans that they need to end their sabotage and misinformation campaigns and work with Democrats to build on the progress of the ACA and make timely and affordable healthcare a reality for every American.”

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Republican Budget Cuts Hurt South Dakota Families →

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Republican Budget Cuts Hurt South Dakota Families

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to House Republicans narrowly passing a budget bill this morning:

“This Republican budget – voted for last week by Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune, and voted for today by Rep. Kristi Noem – takes money out of the pockets of hardworking South Dakota families and gives it to the top 1 percent. It will make drastic cuts to vital programs like Medicare and Medicaid to give huge tax cuts to wealthy corporations and millionaire and billionaires. Even worse, these tax cuts aren’t paid for. The Republican budget will increase the budget deficit by at least $1.5 trillion, which will in turn be used by Republicans as an excuse to make even deeper cuts into programs that help South Dakota families.

“But while Republicans continue to fight to give more and more to the wealthy and special interests, Democrats will continue fighting to give all working families the economic security and opportunity they deserve.”

Here is a closer look at how the Republican budget will hurt South Dakota families:

MEDICARE:

  • The Republican budget calls for nearly $500 billion in cuts to Medicare.
  • In South Dakota, 156,127 people who rely on Medicare are at risk.
  • Medicare beneficiaries make up 18 percent of South Dakota’s total population, including:
    • Seniors: 87 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in South Dakota are seniors.
    • People with disabilities: 13 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in South Dakota have a disability.
    • Women: 58 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in South Dakota are women.
    • Rural communities: Nearly one in four Medicare beneficiaries nationwide live in rural areas.

MEDICAID:

  • The Republican budget calls for more than $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid – an even deeper cut than Republicans proposed in their health care repeal bills.
  • In South Dakota 109,100 people who rely on Medicaid are at risk.
  • Medicaid beneficiaries make up 14 percent of South Dakota’s total population, including:
    • Adults: 1 in 12 nonelderly adults in South Dakota.
    • Children: 1 in 3 children in South Dakota.
    • Seniors: 1 in 2 nursing home residents in South Dakota.
    • People with disabilities: 2 in 5 people with disabilities in South Dakota.
    • Women: 65 percent of nonelderly Medicaid beneficiaries in South Dakota are women.
    • Rural communities: Medicaid covers one in four nonelderly rural residents nationwide.
    • Veterans: 4,000 veterans in South Dakota rely on Medicaid services.

NUTRITION & INCOME SECURITY PROGRAMS:

  • The Republican budget calls for deep cuts to programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, and Social Security.
  • SNAP helps 96,000 South Dakota families and workers stay out of poverty and keep healthy food on the table.
    • Almost 75 percent of SNAP participants in South Dakota are in families with children.
    • More than 48 percent of SNAP participants in South Dakota are in working families.
    • Almost 27 percent of SNAP participants in South Dakota are in families with members who are seniors or have a disability.
  • In 2016, SNAP benefits added $145 million to South Dakota’s economy, because families spend their SNAP benefits at local grocery stores and other retailers.
  • 21,041 South Dakotans rely on Social Security Disability Insurance, which workers pay into so they can support their families if they develop a severe disability.

TAX CUTS FOR WEALTHY:

  • By passing their budget, Republicans have cleared the first hurdle in moving forward to a vote on a tax bill that has been written in secret and few have seen. If the Republican tax plan were to pass:
  • The richest one percent of South Dakota residents would receive 62 percent of the state’s total tax cuts in 2018. These households are projected to earn at least $589,600 next year and would see an average tax cut of $129,120 in 2018.
  • In stark contrast, middle-class South Dakotans would only receive 5 percent of the state’s total tax cuts. These households would only get an average tax cut of $500 in 2018.
  • Millionaires alone would get 54 percent of the state’s total tax cuts. Their average tax cut would be 532 times the tax cut middle class families would get.
  • 7 percent of South Dakota households would face a tax hike if the GOP tax plan was in effect in 2018.

OTHER CUTS:

  • CUTS TO EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Nationwide, the Republican budget cuts close to $200 billion from services like Pell Grants and student loan assistance over the next decade.

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Sec. Sonny Perdue’s Visit to South Dakota Can’t Hide Horrible Record →

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Sec. Sonny Perdue’s Visit to South Dakota Can’t Hide Horrible Record

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will visit South Dakota today, with stops in Brown County and Timber Lake this afternoon. A cabinet secretary visiting South Dakota would normally be cause for celebration; unfortunately, in less than a year in office, Secretary Perdue and the Trump Administration have compiled a horrible record on issues important to South Dakota’s farm families.

“Sec. Perdue, President Trump, and congressional Republicans want to tear up trade agreements important to creating demand for our agricultural products and slash programs vital to rural communities in South Dakota and around the country,” said Sam Parkinson, South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director. “When it comes to supporting South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers, Sec. Perdue, President Trump, and congressional Republicans – including Rep. Kristi Noem and Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune – are all hat and no cattle.”

Here is a closer look at the horrible Perdue/Trump/Republican record:

GIPSA & FAIR PRACTICES RULE ROLLBACKS:

  • As the head of the USDA, Sonny Perdue should be looking out for our nation’s farmers and ranchers. Instead Trump and Perdue continue to turn their backs on South Dakota farmers every chance they get.
  • In recent weeks, the Trump administration announced the rollback of two rules that worked to ensure basic protections for South Dakota family farmers and ranchers.

TRUMP BUDGET:

  • Trump’s dangerous agenda is dismantling critical agriculture programs in South Dakota and across the country.
  • The Trump budget takes aim at key agricultural programs that have benefited South Dakotans for decades.
  • In fact, over the next 10 years, Trump’s budget would slash over $46 billion from the agriculture sector – including deep cuts to federal crop insurance programs.
  • The deep cuts for crop insurance programs would prevent some farmers from insuring their entire acreage, leaving farm families across our state without the safety net they deserve as they feed and fuel the world.
  • Trump’s budget would also cut funding for USDA’s scientific research on farming and food safety by $165 million.

THE TRUMP BUDGET HURTS SOUTH DAKOTA BY SLASHING FUNDING IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:

  • State Budget
    • 1/3 of our state budget depends on federal sources of funding. Trump’s budget would mean drastic cuts to essential programs for farmers, SNAP recipients, sick children, and college students, among others.
  • Farm Conservation Programs
    • Trump’s budget calls for a 20 percent cut to farm conservation programs, which injected $128 million into South Dakota last year.
  • Community Development Block Grants
    • Trump proposed eliminating community development block grants, a move that would cut $6.4 billion of federal funding from South Dakota.
  • Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance
    • Trump’s budget would cut programs that help low-income South Dakota homeowners with their heating, cooling, and energy bills.
      • The Weatherization Assistance Program has helped more than 186 South Dakota families with insulation upgrades, duct work sealing and other improvements through local aid agencies.
      • South Dakota receives $17.3 Million through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
      • 2016: 22,175 people in South Dakota relied on LIHEAP to help pay their energy bills and keep the heat on during the winter.
  • Subsidies for Rural Airports
    • Trumps Budget seeks to cut subsidies for rural airports in half, threatening air service in Aberdeen, Pierre, and Watertown.
  • Access to Clean Drinking Water
    • Trump’s budget would eliminate a program dedicated to helping rural communities maintain access to clean water.
      • The USDA’s Water & Waste Disposal Loan And Grant Program financed a well that residents in southwest South Dakota rely on and helped fund improvements to water, sewer, and solid-waste systems in the state’s rural communities.
      • FY 2016: South Dakota received $19.61 million from USDA’s Water & Waste Disposal Loan And Grant Program.
  • Payment In Lieu of Taxes Program
    • Trump proposed a 17 percent cut for the Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILT) Program, which compensates rural counties for basic services they provide on non-taxable federal lands, and was a critical funding source for those counties’ emergency And basic services.
    • FY 2016: South Dakota received $6.3 million through the PILT Program, with nearly one-fourth of all PILT money allocated for Pennington County.
  • The Trump Budget also slashes funding for economic developmentteacher training and recruitingafter-school programs, and college affordability.

SNAP CUTS IN CONGRESSIONAL GOP BUDGET:

  • Both the Trump budget and the Congressional budget call for deep cuts to programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.
  • SNAP helps 96,000 South Dakota families and workers stay out of poverty and keep healthy food on the table.
    • Almost 75 percent of SNAP participants in South Dakota are in families with children.
    • More than 48 percent of SNAP participants in South Dakota are in working families.
    • Almost 27 percent of SNAP participants in South Dakota are in families with members who are seniors or have a disability.
  • In 2016, SNAP benefits added $145 million to South Dakota’s economy, because families spend their SNAP benefits at local grocery stores and other retailers.

TRUMP’S DISASTROUS TRADE POLICIES:

  • Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would have raised net farm income by$4.4 billion per year.
  • Trump threatened to withdraw from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Deal, which would have had “devastating consequences for the nation’s soybean farmers.”
  • Trump is threatening to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a move opposed by farm lobbying organizations, market analysts and trade experts because it would devastate the farm economy.
    • The uncertainty is already depressing prices for U.S. grains, as our trade partners seek other sources. For instance, Mexican orders for corn were down by 6 percent this summer, and orders of soybeans were down by 15 percent.

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SDDP Statement on Bipartisan Healthcare Agreement →

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SDDP Statement on Bipartisan Healthcare Agreement 

The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson responding to today’s bipartisan healthcare agreement:

“This bipartisan agreement is good news for the 16,144 South Dakotans who rely on CSR payments for quality and affordable healthcare. It will help to fix the mess created by President Trump’s cruel refusal to continue crucial payments that make health care more affordable to Americans. We urge Rep. Kristi Noem and Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune to give this agreement their support.

“It is our sincere hope that this marks a new willingness on behalf of Republicans to work with Democrats to make timely, affordable healthcare a reality for all Americans and an end to their continuous efforts to sabotage health care markets for political gain. We urge them to build on this good step to abandon their proposed budget, which would gut Medicare and Medicaid and hurt American families and instead work with Democrats to create a budget that preserves Medicare and Medicaid and works for working families and not just the wealthy few.”

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SDDP Statement on the Republican Lack of Action on CHIP Funding →

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SDDP Statement on the Republican Lack of Action on CHIP Funding

The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement today from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to the continued lack of action from Rep. Kristi Noem, Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune, and other congressional Republicans to restore funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) after failing to reauthorize the program before last month’s deadline to do so:

“Kristi Noem, Mike Rounds, John Thune, and their fellow congressional Republicans have been so busy trying to take healthcare away from millions of Americans, sabotaging our cmissing personsountry’s healthcare system, and fighting over how big of tax cuts to give millionaires and billionaires that they continue to fail to perform the basic functions of governing our great country. I call on South Dakota’s congressional delegation to finally show some leadership and convince their fellow Republicans to work with Democrats to restore CHIP funding immediately. The healthcare of over 16,000 children and women in South Dakota is at stake, and their healthcare should be more important to our representatives than tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.”

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Trump’s Refusal to Make CSR Payments Hurts South Dakotans →

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Trump’s Refusal to Make CSR Payments Hurts South Dakotans 

Last night Donald Trump decided to no longer fund the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs), which will cause millions of Americans to face premiums that skyrocket by as much as 20 percent, create widespread uncertainty and chaos in America’s health care marketplace, and increase the deficit.

Trump and congressional Republicans bear the sole responsibility for the devastation they have inflicted on South Dakotans, 16,144 of whom rely on these CSR payments for quality and affordable health care.

“Republicans have tried time and again to strip away the Affordable Care Act, but South Dakotans and Americans all across the country made their voices heard loud and clear: they want Republicans to keep their hands off their healthcare. Last night healthcare is a rightDonald Trump turned his back on South Dakotans by ending the cost-sharing reduction subsidies that help make quality healthcare affordable for 16,144 South Dakotans,” said South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Sam Parkinson. “Make no mistake – Trump and his administration are gambling with the lives of millions of people and ushering in disarray in our healthcare system. It’s time for Rep. Kristi Noem and Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds to stand up to Trump’s recklessness and start working with Democrats to expand and protect healthcare around the country.”

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SDDP Response to Noem’s Vote Against Relief for Hurricane and Wildfire Victims →

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The SDDP Responds to Noem’s Vote Against Disaster Relief for Hurricane and Wildfire Victims

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Sam Parkinson issued the following statement in response to Rep. Kristi Noem voting against disaster relief for hurricane and wildfire victims this afternoon:

“Kristi Noem’s vote against helping Americans victimized by hurricanes and wildfires shows just how far out of touch she is with South Dakota values. When our neighbors across the street or across the country are in trouble, especially from natural disasters, South Dakotans do what they can to help out and get their neighbors back on their feet. Not only does her vote today violate South Dakota values, it – along with her vote against a hurricane relief bill last month – could jeopardize disaster relief for South Dakota in the future. The next time a tornado or blizzard hits South Dakota and we need help from the federal government to recover, let’s hope Rep. Noem’s colleagues do not follow her example from these votes and vote against aid for South Dakota families.”

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The SDDP Responds to the Executive Order to Sabotage Americans’ Health Care →

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The SDDP Responds to the Executive Order to Sabotage Americans’ Health Care

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – In response to President Trump signing an executive order that would continue the Republican sabotage of health insurance markets across the country, South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Sam Parkinson issued the following statement today:

“For nine months, Rep. Kristi Noem and Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds – and the rest of the Republican political establishment in Washington – have abdicated their basic responsibility to make sure that our country’s healthcare system works. Instead, they have worked to undermine it and sabotage it at every turn, which has driven up premiums and costs for South Dakota families.protect affordable healthcare

“Those efforts continued today, as Donald Trump signed away the American people’s right to quality, affordable healthcare. This executive order undermines protections for South Dakotans with pre-existing conditions, and will cause premiums to skyrocket for those South Dakotans who need affordable healthcare the most. It will even undermine existing protections for people in association healthcare plans in states around the country. Make no mistake – families in South Dakota and around the country will suffer from this reckless act.

“It is long past time for Rep. Noem, Senators Thune and Rounds, and the rest of the Republicans in Congress to put an end to their party’s sabotage of our healthcare system, and instead work with Democrats to build upon the progress of the Affordable Care Act to make affordable, quality healthcare a reality for all Americans.”

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Frustrated by Ballot Measure Losing Streak, SDGOP Seeks to Undermine Process →

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Frustrated by Ballot Measure Losing Streak, SDGOP Seeks to Undermine Ballot Measure Process

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Sam Parkinson issued the following statement today in response to the new effort by the South Dakota Republican Party (SDGOP) to undermine the ballot measure processwith its “Don’t Sign on the Line” campaign:

“While it’s not surprising the SDGOP doesn’t like the process because it is a reminder of how out-of-touch it is with the majority of South Dakotans, Democrats are proud of South Dakota’s heritage as the first state to adopt the initiative and referendum process. And, due to South Dakotans feeling that the Republican majority in Pierre is not listening to their concerns, they feel the need to use that process so that South Dakota law actually reflects the values of South Dakotans and not the priorities of the SDGOP’s big-money special-interest donors. As long as Republicans fail to listen to the concerns of the voters, and even go so far as to overturn the will of the voters – as they did with the Anti-Corruption Act of 2016 and minimum wage increase in 2014 – South Dakotans will keep using ballot measures to move our state forward.”

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