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Recap of the South Dakota legislative races without a general eleciton

July 22, 2016 1 comment
SD State Capital Building. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.

SD State Capital Building. Photo by Ken Santema 1/27/16.

Updated 8/16/16. Added two more legislative races without a general election due to placeholder candidates not having a replacement. These are Neal Tapio (R) for District 5 State Senate and Craig Kennedy (D) for District 18 State Senate. The possibility of District 23 State House having a candidate from the Constitution Party of SD was stopped in the court; so that race remains uncontested. With the changes there are a total of 29 candidates in 23 races that have already won the general election.

Currently there are a total of 27 candidates in 21 races that have already won the general election for the South Dakota legislature. Over the last month I have done a post about each of these won seats and will recap the list in this post. These previous posts were meant to take a look at some of the legislative priorities for candidates that have already won their general election. This is probably the last time I will blog about any of these candidates this year, unless they do something interesting on an interim committee or I run into one of them at a fair.

It should be noted I said “currently” in the first paragraph of this post. Candidates still have a few weeks to withdraw their names from the ballot. If a candidate withdraws and the local party does not find a replacement in time it could lead to the possibility of more uncontested general election races. Currently there are three Democrats showing as “withdrawn” on the Secretary of State website which have not been replaced by the local Democrat party yet. Two of these could leave a race uncontested: Ardon Wek is withdrawn from the District 19 State House race and no other Democrat is on the ballot and Chuck Groth is withdrawn from the District 22 State Senate race. It is also possible other placeholder candidates will withdraw their names as the deadline to withdraw looms closer.

Another possibility is that one of the uncontested races may in fact become contested. The Constitution Party of South Dakota recently nominated Wayne Schmidt to be a candidate for District 23 State Representative. It is now up to the court whether this will be allowed; see Ballot Access News for more information on this.

As of July 22, 2016, here is the list of South Dakota general election legislative races that have already been won.

District 1 State Senator

Democrat Sen Jason Frerichs won reelection with no Primary or General election. My post about the District 1 candidates can be read here.

District 1 State Representative

Democrats Rep Steven McCleerey and Susan Wismer won this election with no Primary or General election. Wismer is going back to Pierre by taking the place of term-limited Democrat Rep Dennis Feickert. My post about the District 1 candidates can be read here.

District 2 State Senator

Republican Sen Brock Greenfield won reelection with no Primary or General election. My post about the District 2 State Senate seat can be read here.

District 5 State Senator

Incumbent Sen Ried Holien did not seek reelection. There was a primary on the Republican side where Rep Roger Solum (R, Dist 5) was defeated by Neal Tapio. My post about the District 5 State Senate Republican Primary seat can be read here. The Democrats had a placeholder candidate David Johnson; but the party was unable to find a replacement for Johnson after he withdrew. My post about Tapio winning the District 5 State Senate Seat can be read here.

District 15 State Senator

This seat had been vacated by Democrat Sen Angie Buhl O’DonnellReynold Nesiba won the seat in the Democrat Primary against Rep Patrick Kirschman; who was term-limited in the House. My post about the District 15 State Senate seat can be read here.

District 18 State Senator

Incumbent Democrat Sen Bernie Hunhoff did not seek reelection. Instead fellow Democrat Craig Kennedy filed a petition at the last minute; Hunhoff did not announce he was retiring until then. Republican Matt Stone entered the race as an Independent after it was found out Hunhoff was not seeking reelection; Stone later had to withdraw from the race, leaving no General Election. My post about Kennedy winning the District 18 State Senate seat can be read here.

District 20 State Representative

Republicans Lance Carson and Rep Tona Rozum won this election with no Primary or General election. Carson is going back to Pierre by taking the place of fellow Republican Rep Joshua Klumb. Klumb is seeking the State Senate seat. My post about the District 20 State House candidates can be read here.

District 21 State Senator

Democrat Sen Billie Sutton won reelection with no Primary or General election. My post about the District 21 State Senate race can be read here.

District 23 State Senator

Republican Rep Justin Cronin won this election with no Primary or General election. The incumbent Sen Corey Brown is term limited. My post about the District 23 candidates can be read here.

District 23 State Representative

Neither incumbent sought reelection for this seat; Rep Justin Cronin entered into the State Senate race and Rep Michele Harrison did not run for a second term. Republicans Spencer Gosch and John Lake won the Republican Primary. They defeated former legislator Charlie Hoffman and current legislator for District 22 Rep Dick Werner. My post about the District 23 candidates can be read here.

District 24 State Senator

Republican Sen Jeff Monroe won reelection with no Primary or General election. My post about the District 24 candidates can be read here.

District 24 State Representative

Republicans Rep Mary Duvall and Rep Tim Rounds won reelection with no Primary or General election. My post about the District 24 candidates can be read here.

District 26 State Senator

Democrat Sen Troy Heinert won reelection with no Primary or General election. My post about the District 26 candidates can be read here.

District 26A State Representative

Democrat Rep Shawn Bordeaux won reelection with no Primary or General election. My post about the District 26 candidates can be read here.

District 26B State Representative

Republican Rep James Schaefer won reelection with no Primary or General election. My post about the District 26 candidates can be read here.

District 27 State Senator

Incumbent Democrat Sen Jim Bradford is term-limited in the Senate and running for State House. Fellow Democrat Rep Kevin Killer was term-limited in the House and won this seat without a Primary or General election. My post about the District 27 State Senate race can be read here.

District 28 State Senator

Incumbent Republican Sen Betty Olson is not seeking reelection. Fellow Republican and former legislator Ryan Maher  won this seat in the Republican Primary against Steven Ritch and now faces no General election opposition. My post about the District 28 candidates can be read here.

District 28A State Representative

Incumbent Democrat Rep Dean Schrempp is term-limited. Fellow Democrat Oren Lesmeister won this seat without a Primary or General election. My post about the District 28 candidates can be read here.

District 28B State Representative

Incumbent Republican Rep Sam Marty defeated Karen Wagner in the Republican Primary and faces no General election opposition. My post about the District 28 candidates can be read here.

District 29 State Representative

Republicans Rep Thomas Brunner and Larry Rhoden won this seat without a Primary or General election. Former legislator Rhoden is returning to Pierre and taking the place of term-limited Rep Dean Wink. My post about the District 29 State Representative candidates can be read here.

District 31 State Senator

Republican Sen Bob Ewing won reelection with no Primary or General election. My post about the District 31 candidates can be read here.

District 31 State Representative

Republicans Rep Timothy Johns and former legislator Charles Turbiville won the Republican Primary. Rep Fred Romkema was term-limited. Johns and Turbiville defeated Michael Weyrich in the Republican Primary. There is no General election opposition. My post about the District 31 candidates can be read here.

District 35 State Senator

Republican Sen Terri Haverly defeated Tina Mulally in the Republican Primary and faces no General election opposition. My post about the District 35 State Senate race can be read here.

District 20 State House race has no general election, Won by Carson and Rozum

July 7, 2016 Comments off
SD Legislative District 20

SD Legislative District 20

District 20 is up next to look at for state legislative races that have no general election. District 20 includes Mitchell and goes west and northwest from Mitchell. It includes the towns of Alpena, Ethan, Lane, Mitchell, Mount Vernon, Plankinton, Stickney, Wessington Springs, and White Lake.

One of the incumbents, Rep Joshua Klumb, is vacating his House seat to run for State Senate. The state Senate seat is currently occupied by term-limited Sen Mike Vehle. Joining the other incumbent Rep Tona Rozum will be former legislator Lance Carson.

Since Rozum and Carson have already won the general election by default I will look briefly at these two candidates. This will allow constituents to know something about their representatives.  District 20 did not have a primary or general election in 2016. Since both of these candidates have a legislative history this post will look at a few pieces of legislation prime sponsored by that candidate in the past.

Lance Carson

Lance Carson (R)
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
SDPB Video: 2012

Lance Carson picture from the LRC website.

Lance Carson picture from the LRC website.

Carson was term-limited from the House in 2014. With Klumb going after the Senate seat, Carson decided to go back to Pierre as a State Representative. Carson doesn’t seem to have a lot of online activity. But he does have a legislative history to look at. In this post a couple of bills Carson prime sponsored will be looked at to get an idea of his legislative priorities. Carson has not prime sponsored a lot of House bills, so these pieces of legislation are quite old.

First up is a bill from 2010:

HB 1004 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Extend dram shop protection to certain alcoholic beverage licensees.

This bill came out of the 2009 Alcoholic Beverage Control and Licensing Laws summer study. State law has dram shop protection for owners of bars so they cannot be held liable for any civil damages in cases where a patron is involved in some in an accident with a third party after leaving the premises. There was a case where an employee had gotten drunk at work; which was against the policy of the employer. The SD Supreme Court found that the employer was liable because of negligent supervision. The current dram protection law did not apply because the law does not mention employees. This bill tried to fix that situation. The bill made it through House Commerce 7-6 and died on the House floor 16-53. What seemed to kill the bill was a piece of legislation being brought forward for something that happened only once, and there was already protections in place.

Up next is a bill from 2009:

HB 1142 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Appropriate money for an adult farm and ranch management program.

This bill would have appropriated $110,000 to the Department of Education for an “adult farm and ranch management program”.  This would have extended and expanded the farm program at Mitchell Technical Institute. Apparently a lot of bankers want their farmers and ranchers to participate in the program and have offered interest discounts to loans of participants of this program. Most of this money appeared aimed at remote learning so the whole state could benefit from the program. Additionally the $110,000 would not have been enough for the program, industry would have been tapped to get an at least an additional $50,000. The Bureau of Finance and Management spoke against the bill in part because HB 1142 went outside the normal way money is appropriated to the tech schools. The bill was amended down to $1 by appropriations and passed the House floor 48-20. There was an attempt to amend the bill to $95,000. That attempt failed and HB 1142 was then killed by Senate Appropriations 4-3.

Instead of listing a third bill prime sponsored by Carson it is worth looking at what was written about him in the Mitchell Daily Republic. In that article, Carson noted he would like to rejoin the Appropriations Committee and the Executive Board. It also appears he might be looking at becoming a part of leadership. With Carson being back in the House it might be worth keeping an eye on him over the next few years to see what type of leadership positions he may end up with.

Tona Rozum

Rep Tona Rozum (R, Dist 20) – Incumbent
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
SDPB Video: 2014 2012

Rep Tona Rozum speaking on the SD House Floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/29/16.

Rep Tona Rozum speaking on the SD House Floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/29/16.

Rozum will be entering her final term in the SD House. Rozum tends to prime sponsor more legislation than Carson, making it easy to find legislation to look at for this post.

First up is a bill from 2016:

HB 1099 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise certain campaign finance provisions.

This is what I had to say about the bill when it was signed into law:

When § 12-27-39 was modified a few years ago there was references to county and municipal that was left off. That means those two entities can adopt a resolution in regards to campaign finance in that chapter, but it then wouldn’t apply to them because they were left off that part of the statute. This fixes that issue.

HB 1099 was a good bill because it cleaned up a section of campaign finance law. With so much focus on campaign finance it is important to make sure the laws regarding campaign finance are written correctly.

Up next is a pair of bills from 2015 Rozum was able to get passed:

HB 1121 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Authorize township boards to establish speed zones on township roads.

HB 1122  (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Authorize township boards to designate certain roads as no maintenance roads.

These bills allowed more power to be shifted towards to the townships. Prior to HB 1121 townships could not set speed limits on their roads, the state law simply stated nobody could exceed 55 on those roads. Then HB 1122 allowed the townships to designate roads as no maintenance roads. This is an issue that has come up since the passage of HB 1122 due to possible liability issues. But it was a welcome change by townships.

Finally from 2012 is this bill:

HB 1196  (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise certain provisions concerning lobbyists.

This bill basically allowed lobbyists to file their reports online and removed the mandatory paper filing. The bill as signed into law basically removed a cumbersome step from the Secretary of State office. The same information is still required to be submitted. This bill speeds up the whole process of registering and reporting for lobbyists. HB 1196 was a good step forward, one of the issues I agreed with former Secretary of State Jason Gant on.

SD Interim Committees scopes and members for the 2016 session finalized

June 11, 2016 Comments off

1664437I noted almost two months ago the three final selections for interim committees in 2016. In the May 16 meeting the scopes and memberships of these three committees were determined by the Executive Board. The minutes from that meeting can be found here.  Since I’ve already looked briefly at the scope of all three studies I will only report on any changes to the scopes in this post. This post will also note the membership of these committees.

Substance abuse prevent in early stages

Title of Requested Study: The study of substance abuse prevention at the earliest stages and options available to South Dakota communities.

The scope of the committee specifies meth. There was discussion during the meeting of adding alcohol and marijuana to the study. But the committee only voted to added prescription drugs to the interim study. This committee actually has its first meeting on June 16. A post looking at that meetings agenda will be forthcoming.

Here are the selected members for the substance abuse summer study:

Nursing and assisted living beds in South Dakota

Title of Requested Study: A study of the benefits, merits and negative impacts of regulating the number of nursing and assisted living beds in South Dakota. Further, recommend action that may include elimination of or revisions to regulations for the betterment of the South Dakota populace.

There was discussion of adding elder abuse in nursing homes to the scope. But that was determined to be a separate issue that really wouldn’t fit with this study.

Here are the selected members for the nursing and assisted living beds summer study:

Payment methodologies for Medicaid providers in long term care

Title of Requested Study: Assess existing payment methodologies for Medicaid providers to determine adequacy of payments that will provide for long term continuation of services and conclude with recommendations for any changes.

The executive committee added “impact of federal mandates” to the original scope.

Here are the selected members for the payment methodologies for Medicaid providers summer study:

SDHSAA Interim Committee meeting today in Pierre

August 20, 2015 Comments off
TransGender Symbol from WikiMedia Commons.

TransGender Symbol from Wikimedia Commons.

Today the legislative South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) Interim Committee will meet in Pierre at 10:00 am. This interim committee came about because of the SDHSAA choosing to implement a transgender policy last year, and the legislature trying multiple attempts of overturning that policy during the 2015 legislative session.

In this post I will look at some of what has been done up to this point, and then briefly look at the agenda for this new meeting.

Here is my previous summary of the attempts to override the SDHSAA transgender policy through legislation:

The South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) has gotten a lot of attention this year. The history, authority, make-up, and oversight of the SDHSAA is the topic of a summer study approved by the Executive Board.  Of course the true reason so much attention is being placed on the SDHSAA is the transgender policy that was adopted by the organization.  HB 1195(SoDakLiberty Posts) passed the House to try removing the policy, but failed to pass Senate Ed; and then also failed a smokeout. A companion bill HB 1161 (SoDakLiberty Posts) to limit the authority of the SDHSAA also passed the House, but failed in Senate Ed. At the end of session there was then a hoghouse done on SB 140 (SoDakLiberty Posts) to resurrect HB 1195, but that also failed.

This committee already had a meeting on June 26. The minutes from that meeting can be read here. Much of the meeting was spent looking at statutes and legal cases showing where the SDHSAA gets its power.

Also in that meeting the questions put forth in the scope of the committee were discussed:

  • How is the SDHSAA accountable to the legislative and/or the executive branch (DOE)?
  • Does the SDHSAA exceed rule making authority and do they provide adequate public notice?
  • Are there other associations with similar issues?
  • Should schools be required to pay dues to this organization?
  • What is their relationship and responsibility to the National Federation of High School Activities?
  • What is their status under South Dakota law?
  • Are they subject to open meeting laws?
  • Is the one school/one vote policy of the organization valid?

Personally I think those questions raised by the scope are perfectly valid. About two years ago I was able to speak with a group of athletic directors from around the state that believed the SDHSAA had gotten too powerful, and was trying to dictate to schools instead of working with them. Sadly I don’t think that will be the focus of this interim committee though, it will be overwhelmed with attention on the transgender policy.

Sen Bill Van Gerpen (R, Dist 19) asked about where the authority to make policies lie; is it with the legislature, SDHSAA, or the schools. That was an interesting question because the legislature has passed bills into law that the SDHSAA must follow, specifically pertaining to drug use and high school activities. The answer was that the SDHSAA has the authority to set policy, but must follow any legislation passed as well.

Rep Tona Rozum (R, Dist 20) asked what precipitated the need for a transgender policy. Apparently this came about because one student had made an inquiry, and then a year worth of research and public meetings was done. Also, trying to comply with the  Office of Civil Rights (OCR) requirements was a driving factor, so the SDHSAA would not be sued.I don’t see it in the minutes, but this is probably because the OCR has said Title IX protects transgendered students civil rights.

Rep Kris Langer (R, Dist 25) asked how many students would be impacted by this transgender policy. The answer in the minutes was “less than 1/10th of one percent and fewer that will ever choose to participate in school activities. ” I find it odd such a specific policy was needed for such a small cross-section of students. Especially when there are already policies in place to allow students to participate in activities of the opposite sex.

The agenda for today’s (August 20) meeting can be viewed here. Most of the morning appears to be centered around the transgender policies. Here is part of what the press release about the meeting has to say:

The second meeting will include a presentation on the legal precedent currently surrounding transgender protections around the country, and presentations by the SDHSAA on their own transgender policy and site selection policy

Going forward I don’t think anything will come out of this interim committee that has a chance of passing the 2016 legislative session. But I do think the information coming out of these meetings will be used by opponents of the transgender policy to create legislation to curtail the power of the SDHSAA going forward. Specifically I would bet Sen Brock Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) is going to work on some legislation, he isn’t really a fan of the transgender policy. I’m not sure that such legislation will pass, but it should make for an interesting side-show in the 2016 legislative session.

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