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State Representative District 7 {_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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  • Candidate picture

    Bill Adamson
    (DEM)

  • Candidate picture

    Timothy Reed
    (REP)

  • Louise Snodgrass
    (DEM)

  • Larry Tidemann
    (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?

The national economy is currently in a deep recession with 10.2% unemployment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a consequence, the South Dakota economy is in a moderate recession with an unemployment rate is 6.3% and 2020 first quarter state GDP was down 2.2%. The recessionary condition is unlikely to change until there is a vaccine for Covid-19 sometime next year. South Dakota refused, but should participate in the enhanced $400 per week unemployment benefit which required a $100 match from states to stimulate the economy and stabilize household income. Given the recent surge in Covid19 infections in South Dakota, simple policies should be implemented to limit the spread. Montana requires masks in public and has half the infection and death rate of us. The state received $1.25 billion in emergency federal funds and should be used for PPE and testing and tracing to open up the schools. The state could help distressed farmers develop specialty ag-product markets and help with organics.
The state needs to follow the K-12 funding formula, and fully fund higher education to hold tuition increases to the rate of inflation. The legislature routinely under funds the K-12 system relative to the funding formula and then runs a budget surplus that goes into the budget reserve (which is legally limited to 10% of the previous FY budget). Excess budget reserve fund come back into the next FY budget as one-time monies for the governor’s spending priorities. The school districts then don't have the funds to meet the increased cost of running the school systems (increased operating costs, healthcare and salary expenses, etc.). The districts have to raise local property taxes or reduce class offerings and teaching quality. Higher-ed faces similar budget constraints. Costs are shifted to the students as higher tuition. It limits access to higher-ed and increases student debt. The high cost of college is caused by a bloated administration, about 80% of the revenues from enrollment.
The legislature should give local government entities the flexibility to enact laws design to address local matters without an overburdening oversight by the legislature. The 2020 legislature prohibited local governments in South Dakota from banning plastic straws and "auxiliary containers" that include bags, cans, cups, bottles, packages and containers. Local communities have a financial motivation to restrict the disposal of plastic in landfills and mitigate environmental damage from plastic discharged into the environment. If local entities can demonstrate that a local law reduces public costs or externalities, the legislature should allow localities to pass laws to locally regulate the problem.
The initiative and referendum ballot process are critical tools to allow the public to initiate legislative changes and challenge unpopular legislation. This is critical element of our democratic process and restrictions on the ballot process should be eliminated. The South Dakota legislature has passed laws in 2019 that restricts the ability to place initiatives and referendums on the ballot. Many of the legislative restrictions were challenged and rule unconstitutional. I would support a referendum to reverse the ballot restrictions enacted by the legislature.
South Dakota has experienced a population shift where the cities are gaining population and the rural areas are losing population. The legislature should redistrict the legislative district to reflect the internal migration of population within the state, and should avoid gerrymandering the districts to gain political advantage. Unfortunately, the majority party in the legislature has a pattern of gerrymandering the legislative districts to maximize the likelihood of winning a majority control of the legislature. This politicized practice undermines the democratic process of elections reflecting the will of the people. I would support an independent redistricting commission to reform the current politicized process.
A major drawback in our democratic system is the low voter participation rate (around 56% in the 2016 presidential election). This low participation rate impugns the ability of the democratic electoral system to reflect the will of the majority and undermines the validity of democratic elections. Online and same-day voter registration reduces the opportunity cost of voting and increases the participation rate. South Dakota doesn't allow online registration and requires that voters register 15 days before the election. I support legislation to allow online and same-day voter registration (with proper identification). South Dakota allows absentee voting, and I oppose any legislation to change absentee voting. South Dakota does not have a universal vote by mail system. States with this system have higher voter participation rates nor any evidence of widespread voter fraud. It also reduces the cost of conducting elections. I support investigating the viability of vote by mail system.
The state of South Dakota should invest in agricultural processing
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