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State Representative District 1 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Description: The South Dakota State Legislature is the legislative branch of the government of South Dakota. It is a bicameral legislative body, consisting of the Senate which has 35 members, and the House of Representatives, which has 70 members. The two houses are similar in most respects; the Senate alone holds the right to confirm gubernatorial appointments to certain offices. The Legislature meets at the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre. It begins its annual session of the second Tuesday of January each year. The legislative session lasts 40 working days in odd-numbered years, and 35 days working days in even numbered years. Term: 4 consecutive 2 year termsSalary: $6,000 + $142 per legislative dayRequirements for Office: 21 years old; 2 years residency; qualified voter; may not have been convicted of bribery, perjury or other infamous crime; may not have illegally taken "public moneys".Petition Requirements: Depends on party and legislative district. See SD Secretary of State's website for details.

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    Jennifer Healy Keintz
    (DEM)

  • Steven D. McCleerey
    (DEM)

  • Tamara St. John
    (REP)

Biographical Information

What will you do to support the economy throughout our state in the face of international trade conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic?

What should our state government do to provide an equitable, quality public education for all children?

What would you do for our local governments, such as counties, cities and school boards, so that they can be flexible in responding to local issues?

How do you view the initiative and referendum process in South Dakota? Are there any changes to this system that you would support?

With the redistricting process happening after the 2020 Census, how do you view the legislature’s role in this process and would you support an independent citizen redistricting commission?

What are your plans to protect voter rights such as online or same-day voter registration as well as absentee voting/voting by mail?

Our local residents and business owners alike have stepped up in the face of the pandemic to support our communities. Residents have spent their time and money close to home, resulting in increased sales tax revenues. Businesses have found creative ways to make money and serve customers, despite restrictions. We don’t know what the future of COVID-19 will be, but I’m confident that our local communities will see continued economic support.

Inadequate international trade practices, on the other hand, has negatively impacted South Dakota’s ag economy in recent years. Our producers understand the importance of fostering postive trade relationships that some at the federal level do not. Ideally, we will have more level-headed trade negotations in the future, which will in turn help our local ag producers.
First, we must fully fund K-12 education. Second, we must pay our educators a fair wage that is at least the regional average. These are basic expectations for a state government. If we cannot do that, we must seriously question our priorities.
While we have some similarities throughout South Dakota, we must also recognize that our towns/cities, counties, and schools also have differences. Local control is essential to allowing officials to make the right decisions. They know how to best serve local needs and we must give them the power to take appropriate actions, while also providing guidance and support.
We must recognize that as the world evolves, sometimes our state’s Constitution must evolve as well. It should not be overused, but voters should have the power to make changes through the initiative and referendum process. As a legislator, I will work to put more power in the hands of the voters rather than taking it away, as some have sought to do in recent years.
I fully support an independent redistricting commission. It is unfair - and may be found unconstitutional - for elected officials to choose their voters and gerrymandering is having a negative effect on our democracy.
Protecting our right to vote is essential for maintaining our democracy. South Dakota’s early voting and absentee voting options are excellent ways to make it more convenient to vote. I would also support further efforts to make registration and voting easier for all South Dakotans.
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