The main run of the 2016 legislature session has come to an end. I am grateful and humbled for the opportunity you’ve given me to represent you in Pierre. As I reflect back over the full 2016 session, I have mixed emotions. I worked hard to pass a common-sense... Read more
Last week was one for the books. Education Funding In a historic vote that will affect generations, the legislature passed the ½ cent sales tax increase for teacher pay. First the House passed the measure by a single vote, and then last week the Senate passed it by two... Read more
Last week, I joined the majority of House lawmakers to approve Governor Dennis Daugaard’s plan to raise the state sales tax from 4 percent to 4.5 percent. The measure boosts South Dakota’s lowest-in-the-nation teacher pay. Personally, it’s difficult for me to support a tax increase, but, in my estimation,... Read more
By the time you read this, you will know the outcome of the education funding debate. As I write this, I am cautiously optimistic that we have enough votes to turn around the vote from last week. If you haven’t been following the sales-tax debate to increase teacher pay,... Read more
First, I need to express my gratitude to Senator Jim Peterson who announced that he will not be seeking another term in the legislature. Jim is a senior statesman and as good a guy as they come. It has been my honor to work with him representing the people... Read more
The education debate is starting to heat up. This week Governor Dennis Daugaard filed three bills that would implement his reform plans. The governor’s proposals would increase the state sales tax from 4% to 4.5% to raise teacher salaries from the current status of 51st place in the nation... Read more
My apologies for not writing last week. This has been a busy but rewarding week.  Two of the bills I sponsored successfully passed out of committee and were debated on the House Floor. The bill I am carrying on behalf of our veterans passed 13-0 in committee and 68-0... Read more
Greetings from Pierre! The whirlwind of session has begun.  Last Monday I drove to Pierre, unpacked my car and got ready to begin.  On Tuesday, the Governor outlined his top priorities, including a proposed half-cent sales tax increase to generate over $107 million in annual revenue to increase teacher... Read more