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Democratic Legislators Discuss Efforts to Expand Economic Opportunity and Security for Working Families →

Democratic Legislative Leaders Discuss Efforts to Expand Economic Opportunity and Security for Working Families

PIERRE, S.D. – At their weekly press conference this morning, State Senate Democratic Whip Sen. Jason Frerichs of Wilmot and State House Democratic Leader Rep. Spence Hawley of Brooking discussed the efforts of Democrats in Pierre to expand the economic opportunity and security of the working families of South Dakota.

“Democrats recognize that even though South Dakota’s unemployment is low, it has risen and many middle-class families are struggling to get by. We believe that as elected representatives of the people, the State Legislature has a responsibility to ensure these families can get ahead,” said Frerichs.

“Our caucus has introduced several pieces of legislation to expand the economic opportunity, security, and freedom of the working families of South Dakota, so our economy works for everyone, not just the privileged and powerful,” said Frerichs. “These include bills to give working people guaranteed paid sick leave, create more affordable housing, and help students and their families afford a college education.”

Hawley said that Democrats understand that lifting the incomes of working families and helping to increase their economic security is the best way to grow South Dakota’s economy and create more good jobs.

“A thriving middle class isn’t the result of a strong economy – a strong middle class builds a strong economy,” Hawley said. “Anyone who claims to care about workforce development should be in favor of these pieces of legislation, as they create a stronger, fairer economy, which will help us retain and attract skilled workers.”

“Many of these bills are awaiting a committee hearing,” Hawley said. “We hope our friends across the aisle will work with us to do what we can to build a better future for the working families of South Dakota.”

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Pierre Republicans Deny Paid Sick Leave to Working Families →

Pierre Republicans Deny Paid Sick Leave to Working Families 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to Republicans in the State Senate killing Democratic legislators’ efforts to guarantee a minimum amount of paid sick leave to the working people of South Dakota:

“We are disappointed by the vote of the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee this morning. Senate Bill 120 would have been a huge boost for the estimated 48% of South Dakotans working in the private sector who do not have access to paid sick days, and the almost 62% of families in our state where both adults work. Denying these families guaranteed paid sick leave means that parents in those families will lose income and could even risk losing their jobs when a child is ill or needs medical care. While the Republican majority in Pierre continues to do everything it can to protect the interests of corporations and big businesses, South Dakota Democrats will keep fighting for paid sick leave for working families and doing everything we can to create an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.”

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SDDP Statement on Trump’s FCC Destroying Net Neutrality →

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SDDP Statement on Trump’s FCC Destroying Net Neutrality

SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to the Republicans on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voting to reverse net neutrality rules:

“Democrats enacted historic net neutrality rules to help ensure that all businesses and Americans could make their voices heard. Unfortunately, Republicans don’t seem to care about a free and open internet. With today’s decision, Republicans and the Trump administration are hurting our economy and punishing the American people, who could face higher prices and less access to the web – all so the big telecom companies can get richer.

“Democrats believe that an open internet is fundamental to free speech, innovation, and a competitive economy. The internet needs to remain a level playing field where the reach of one’s voice is determined by quality of ideas and not a handful of CEOs. Democrats will keep fighting so that all Americans can benefit from the power and potential of our nation’s economy – not just the wealthy and large corporations.”

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GOP House Candidates Compete to Be the Most Extreme →

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GOP House Candidates Compete to Be the Most Extreme

SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to the Republican candidates for U.S. House competing to take the most extreme positions in favor of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and voter suppression laws:

“While it’s disappointing to see Secretary of State Shantel Krebs holding a fundraiser with Kris Kobach, a divisive figure known for his creation and support of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and voter suppression policies, it’s downright disturbing to see the race to the bottom on these policies between the Republican House candidates caused by Kobach’s visit.  While the Republican Party and their candidates rush to embrace the discriminatory and unconstitutional policies of Kris Kobach and the Trump administration, Democrats will keep fighting for equal opportunity and equal protection for everyone, regardless of race, religion, or background.”

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The SDDP Calls for Tax Transparency from Noem →

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The SDDP Calls for Tax Transparency from Noem

SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to the serious questions being raised by the national media about Rep. Kristi Noem’s story about her family’s experience with the estate tax:

“Because Rep. Noem has told this story so often to argue not only for the repeal of the estate tax, but also to argue for the tax policies of Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress which benefit millionaires and billionaires at the expense of everyone else, she owes the people of South Dakota answers to the serious questions raised about it. Rep. Noem will have to decide if she will be open and transparent in the face of these tough questions, or if she will follow the path of Donald Trump, who refuses to release any tax returns. Her constituents deserve to know if her story adds up, or if – like the Trump/GOP tax plan she supports –  it is built on fuzzy math and misinformation.”

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SDDP Statement on MFG Plant Closure →

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SDDP Statement on MFG Plant Closure

SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to today’s announcement from Molded Fiber Glass Companies (MFG) that they would close their plant in Aberdeen in response to “proposed revisions in tax policies impacting the wind energy industry in the United States:”

“Today’s news is the latest evidence that the tax policies of Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress – supported by Rep. Kristi Noem and Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune – will cost South Dakotans jobs. The 409 MFG employees who will lose their jobs are just the latest victims of a Republican tax agenda that is great for the wealthy and large corporations, but will harm everybody else. Unlike Republicans, Democrats are fighting for a pro-growth tax structure that promotes manufacturing jobs, including in the wind energy industry and other renewable energy industries. We believe our economy should work for everyone, not just the privileged few.”

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SDDP Responds to Governor Daugaard’s Budget Address →

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Democrats Respond to Governor Daugaard’s Budget Address

SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to today’s Budget Address by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

“Policy failures and a lack of leadership from Gov. Daugaard and the Republican majority in Pierre have caused South Dakota’s economy to sink to the second-to-last place in the nation, which, in turn, has caused yet another bleak budget outlook for our state government. And, yet again, the Governor’s Address was long on the details of the challenges facing the state in slow revenue growth, but short on the details of what, if anything, he might do to promote economic development and growth.

“This Legislative Session, Democrats will continue to promote pro-growth policies to help create an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. Democrats understand that more money in the pockets of average South Dakotans means more money spent in our communities, and a more stable state budget outlook. The continued weakness of our economy makes it more clear than ever that this is a time for new, Democratic leadership in state government and not the same old way of doing business that got us here.”

Here’s a look at some of the weak economic performance numbers in South Dakota resulting from failed Republican leadership:

  • South Dakota’s economy shrank 0.3% from Quarter 1 to Quarter 2 this year. Iowa was the only other state with a negative GDP (-0.7%) in Q2.
    • South Dakota’s economy has now shrunk in three (3) consecutive quarters (-2.9 in Q4 of 2016, -5.9 in Q1 of 2017, and -0.3 in Q2 of 2017)
  • Since 2011, Gov. Daugaard’s first year in office, through 2016, SD’s per capita GDP growth has been 0.2% (an average of 0.04% a year)
    • During that period the overall per capita GDP growth in the United States has been 6% – 30 times faster than South Dakota’s.
    • The only neighboring state which has underperformed South Dakota during this period is Wyoming.
  • In 2016, South Dakota’s per capita personal income grew just 0.4%, below the national average of 2.5% in metro areas and 1.0% non-metro areas.

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Thune Meets with Special Interests on Tax Bill, Ignores Average South Dakotans →

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Thune Meets with Special Interests on Tax Bill, Ignores Average South Dakotans  

The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to Sen. John Thune meeting with the Koch brothers-funded group Americans for Prosperity about the GOP tax bill yet refusing to hold any public town halls:

“It’s disappointing, yet all too predictable, that Senator Thune apparently doesn’t feel he has the time to hold a town hall in South Dakota about the GOP tax bill, but he does feel he has the time to attend an event with an interest group whose billionaire founders will benefit the most from this bill at the expense of the rest of us. It’s disappointing because he is not fulfilling his duty as an elected official to meet in a public setting with constituents to explain his support of a tax bill which would increase taxes on middle class families and provide massive giveaways to billionaires and wealthy corporations. It’s predictable, because as his support of the Senate GOP tax bill shows, it is clear his priority is serving the wealthy special interests who fund his and his fellow Republicans’ campaigns, and not the working families of South Dakota he was elected to represent.”

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Noem Votes to Give Huge Tax Cuts to Wealthy and Corporations at the Expense of South Dakotans →

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Noem Votes to Give Huge Tax Cuts to Wealthy and Corporations at the Expense of South Dakota Workers and Communities 

Rep. Kristi Noem joined the majority of her fellow House Republicans today in voting for a tax bill which would increase taxes on middle class families and provide massive giveaways to billionaires and wealthy corporations. South Dakota taxpayers deserve a balanced tax reform plan that strengthens our workforce and small businesses and creates economic opportunities for all South Dakotans.

Despite Rep. Noem’s claims, the Republican tax plan is a bad deal for millions of working families across the country who will be will be worse off under this bill than if Congress had done nothing. On top of permanently raising taxes on millions of Americans, the Republican tax bill pays for a permanent tax break for the wealthy by cutting programs and deductions that the working families of South Dakota rely on every day.

It’s long past time for Kristi Noem and her Republican colleagues in Congress to get serious about actual tax reform and join Democrats in building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Here’s a look at the impact of the Republican tax plan in South Dakota:

  • The House Republican tax bill is a giant giveaway to wealthy corporations and rich South Dakotans, at the expense of everyone else.
    • The richest 1% of South Dakota taxpayers will receive 57% of the tax cuts under House Republican tax bill.
    • The richest 1% of South Dakotans will receive an average tax cut of $101,570, more than 339 times what the average middle-class family would get.
    • 16% of middle-income taxpayers in South Dakota would even see their taxes go up, by $410 on average.
  • The House Republican tax bill hurts teachers in South Dakota, by repealing a tax credit for teachers who buy their own school supplies.
  • College students in South Dakota will also be hurt, because the House tax scam makes student loans more expensive. 49,413 graduates in South Dakota take advantage of the student loan interest deduction House Republicans want to eliminate, saving $1,086 on average.
  • South Dakota seniors will find it harder to save for retirement or cover their medical bills. In fact, the House GOP tax bill would take away all South Dakotans ability to deduct their medical expenses. 21,626 South Dakota residents deducted their medical expenses in 2014, saving $12,786 on average.
  • The House Republican tax bill could also force $25 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare next year. More than 156,127 South Dakotans who rely on Medicare could be at risk.
  • Workers in South Dakota would be hurt by the corporate tax giveaway. The Republican tax plan incentivizes large companies to move jobs overseas by giving them a 0% rate on most foreign profits. While big corporations take advantage of this loophole, small businesses on Main Street will find it harder to compete.
  • The Republican tax scam threatens to take the state and local tax deduction (SALT) away from tens of millions of households nationwide. The deduction ensures that Americans are not taxed twice on the same income. In South Dakota 50,000 residents would no longer be able to use the state and local deduction to save hard-earned money on their federal tax returns under the House tax scam.
  • Distressed and rural communities could lose an important program that funds hundreds of hospitals, daycare facilities, alternative energy projects, and small businesses. The House GOP plan ends the New Market Tax Credits program, which has spurred over $154 million in community investments in South Dakota and created over 1183 full-time jobs since 2003.
  • Clean and renewable energy businesses looking to invest and build in South Dakota would be at a disadvantage under the House tax plan. The bill would phase out popular tax credits for wind and solar energy that renewable and natural energy industries in South Dakota rely on, making it more difficult for South Dakota businesses to qualify for the construction tax credits.
  • South Dakotans recovering from a natural disaster, such as a flood, tornado, or fire would be at a disadvantage, because the House Republican tax bill eliminates a critical infrastructure financing measure designed to help states rebuild after sudden events.

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Noem Votes to Raise Taxes for Working Families While Cutting Taxes for the Wealthy →

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Noem Votes to Raise Taxes for Working Families While Cutting Taxes for the Wealthy 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to Rep. Kristi Noem voting today in favor of the Republican tax bill in the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee which will raise taxes on working families while cutting taxes for the wealthy and large corporations:

“Today Rep. Kristi Noem voted to cut tax deductions that middle-class South Dakota families rely on while simultaneously giving massive tax cuts to the wealthy and big corporations. We urge Rep. Kristi Noem to stop pushing for tax cuts that benefit the wealthy at the expense of everyone else and start working with Democrats to develop a tax plan that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and large corporations.”

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