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State Representative District 10 {_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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  • Doug Barthel
    (REP)

  • Steven Haugaard
    (REP)

  • Candidate picture

    Michelle L. Hentschel
    (DEM)

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?

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Knowing that we have $900 million in unspent federal aid right now, that is where I would begin. In my current position, we used Payroll Protection Program funds to help keep our non-profit's services available to clients and keep our employees' pay and benefits flowing. Were there rules about how the funds could be used? Of course. Was it exactly what we needed? Of course not. But our leadership team was creative and got to work quickly finding ways to create the best long-term impact from those funds that we possibly could, keeping our employees, our clients and our community in mind the whole time. This is no time for leaders to sit on their hands or to play games for political gain - our legislature should be in session now, quickly working to put that money to work toward the best possible long-term outcome for South Dakota's citizens. If I was currently in office, I would have signed onto the letter that some of our legislators have crafted requesting a special session.
South Dakota should honor the commitments made to its schools and teachers when the half-cent sales tax was passed. Especially in the current circumstances, where teachers and administrators are being asked to navigate a pandemic to safely educate our children, I feel we need to make this a priority. We don't necessarily need to raise more taxes, but we do need to take a hard look at where money is being wasted, or in some cases, where we are missing opportunities to use federal funds to meet the needs of our citizens and stay competitive with other states.
I am a strong proponent of local control as there can be vast differences in needs between a compact and diverse community in Sioux Falls and a dispersed, homogeneous one in the ranch lands of the western half of the state. When we elect good leaders at the local level, they should be empowered to act in the best interest of their communities.
While I can see that the process leaves us vulnerable to outside influences into our legislative process, I would be hesitant to make changes that would produce barriers for our own citizens to bring matters of concern to the ballot. Additional requirements for disclosure of the circulating party's address and payment status may help, but can still be manipulated. In the end, I believe it is the voters who must discern whether the measure is right for our state, and widely-available information from both sides of the issue would help. Providing a voter pamphlet with analysis like I describe in my answer on absentee ballots may be a step in the right direction.
Since computer algorithms exist that can efficiently draw unbiased districts, I'd be in favor of using them. The model used should be based on population alone, without regard to socio-economic status, party or any other metric. Humans, whether legislators or other citizens, are likely to introduce bias.
Though I grew up in South Dakota, I lived in Washington state for a time and found their voting process to be secure and convenient. Washington sends registered voters a ballot with a postage-paid return envelope, as well as a pamphlet with candidate biographies and write-ups for and against each ballot measure, including an economic impact analysis. Since I worked long hours and had small children, I really appreciated the opportunity to efficiently learn about the people and issues on the ballot and vote from my own dining room table. Given the very low instance of voter fraud, it seems this system could work in other states, including South Dakota, to provide better access to every voter.