No concessions made, but a “massage” has been sent
- "Massage" is not a typo, but a placeholder for a future conversation on capitol culture and inappropriate behavior. As a publication owned and ran by women, The Dakota Leader is on your side Editor@DakotaLeader.com.
PIERRE, SD- In a move that echoed that of Congressional Republicans, fourteen South Dakota State Representatives withheld their vote for Speaker of the House, Hugh Bartels (R-Watertown), this morning. Meanwhile, three female legislators were noticeably excused from that vote.
The 98th South Dakota legislative session opened Tuesday Jan. 10, 2022, with a vote for house and senate leadership. That vote was an utter embarrassment for Bartels, who somehow supplanted Rep. Jon Hanson, favored for the role. Although the holdout had no impact upon the outcome, it was certainly a statement made by the remaining conservatives in the house that sent a clear message to the republican establishment.
Following that first joint session was the governor's state of the state address where Noem clearly announced a plan for bigger government, along with the expansion of foster care, state regulated day cares, and adoption services. Noem also announced that South Dakota will be creating a committee to review land purchases from foreign entities to prevent the "CCP from buying land near critical infrastructure." Perhaps most perplexing however, is Gov. Noem's plan to increase PTO (Paid Time Off) payments to 100 percent, for up to twelve weeks, while simultaneously reducing the unemployment burden for employers.
Last session, things became tense between the executive and legislative branches after Gov. Noem accepted, then allocated, millions in federal aid dollars without legislative oversight. How the rest of that money is to be spent this session is a primary concern for many conservatives in the state, amid leadership changes.
A growing concern also exists over the consolidation of power from the Watertown, SD area. Watertown is home to Speaker Bartels, Gov. Noem, and former Senate Pro-Tem Lee Schoenbeck. Sen. John Wiik, who will face-off against west-river's former lawmaker Thomas Brunner on Saturday for SDGOP Chair, is also from Watertown. If Wiik wins the vote for SDGOP chair, some say they are worried that the old money, east-river-establishment will become unstoppable. As we have witnessed in Washington, D.C. with the democratic party, the ability to allocate funding is often rewarded with larger donations and re-election.
Watertown is already growing rapidly after receiving large sums of money last session, earmarked for workforce housing and infrastructure. In fact, the Governor's Office of Economic Development confidently announced new construction projects like The Plains,
a 216 unit apartment building that began breaking ground before financial disbursements were even released from the treasury. With 216 new units, young professionals and families will ultimately move to the area, just ahead of the next redistricting process.
With money on the table, pork in the water and conservatives effectively hobbled, this legislative session is already off to a rocky start for the "limited government" state.
A special thank you to our friend Pat for making this article possible.
|Post Date: 2023-01-10 02:11:49||Last Update: 2023-01-12 10:41:54|