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VOTE411 Voter Guide

State Senator District 9

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

    Suzanne "Suzie" Jones Pranger
    (DEM)

  • Candidate picture

    Wayne H. Steinhauer
    (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?

Suzie understands that a good paying job can be hard to come by in South Dakota. She’s seen her classmates and colleagues leave the state because of it. Suzie knows we can create more, better-paying jobs by investing in our people and small businesses, rather than using taxpayer dollars for corporate handouts. Affordable education and job training are key to an economy that benefits the little guy, not just big corporations.
Having gone to public school in South Dakota from kindergarten through law school, Suzie appreciates the importance of education at all levels. An investment in our children’s and grandchildren’s education is an investment in our future. Early childhood education is good for our kids, their parents’ pocketbooks, and the overall economy. Quality, well-paid teachers are critical to our students’ and communities’ success. Affordable in-state tuition kept Suzie in South Dakota, and we must continue to provide affordable college and technical education and good paying jobs after graduation to keep more kids in South Dakota. In the Senate, Suzie will prioritize our next generation.
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Suzie understands that in a democracy, the government must be accountable to the people. She will listen to you, respond to your concerns, use common sense, respect the will of the voters, and live up to our State’s motto: Under God, the People Rule. Suzie has been listening to the people of South Dakota and fighting for accountability in government throughout her career, and she will continue to do so as your Senator.
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First, we need to ensure that we do not have overly burdensome regulations. More specifically, I believe we need to support South Dakota manufacturers repatriate products that are currently sourced from overseas. Supply chain disruptions are a direct result of the pandemic. To repatriate products manufacturers will need financial aid to make new tooling and secure needed equipment to produce product in SD. It is my hope that we can use CARES Act money to help them level the cost field so that they and their customers will source their products from SD rather than a foreign country. Additionally, we need to ensure continued good and improved educational opportunities so South Dakotans have the skills they need to compete.

First we need to live up to our commitment to fund at a minimum of 2% or inflation. I am also very concerned about our education of Native American children. I worked aggressively to keep SB66 alive in the Senate. It passed in the Senate but failed in the House. Had it passed it would have created a limited number of Oceti Sakowin charter schools. While not perfect this concept needs continued support and help as we continue to fail with this demographic.

At a higher Ed level we need to study the work required of the Board of Regents in SB55. Black Hills State is burning through cash and a stronger identity, a reduction in expenses or a combination of both is needed to assure that this institution remains viable.
First we must recognize that "one size-fits all" solutions from Pierre are likely to produce mediocre results. Our State is varied and we must recognize this and keep decisions close to the local voters. With that in mind I proposed SB68 which would have allowed counties to levy a Bed, Board & Booze tax (see bill for details). If enacted and levied by the County it would be referable by the people. The money raised by a BB&B tax would be ear-marked for judicial expenses, triage programs and alternatives to traditional incarceration.

Our property tax well is dry in much of the State. We need to give Counties flexibility in raising funds much like cities currently enjoy.
I am glad we have the process. I wish that, like our legislative bills, the initiatives would be limited to one topic. Too often the issues being address are complex and therefore multi-faceted resulting in poor voter understanding.
Unsure, need to know more.
One area of concern is ensuring we have enough poll workers to create a speedy and accurate election. Currently poll workers must be from the county in which they work. I have heard that with the pandemic, the tendency that these workers are elderly, that it is difficult to recruit workers. I am researching this but perhaps will introduce a bill to allow poll workers to work in any county as long as they are SD citizens.