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NELSON: Getting up to speed for another legislative session

Stace Nelson

Happy New Year, and God's blessings to you and yours in 2018.

Whether we like it or not, politics are kicking back into high gear in a fast way. In preparation of session starting this week, let me catch folks up to speed on some of the issues they may want to keep an eye on, and get my contact information to you.

There is a move afoot by some legislators to raise their own salary, by a significant amount, and to codify automatic future raises. Setting aside that such an effort comes when the state is facing budget shortfalls due to past ineffective management by the Legislature and governor, and on the ugly note to state employees of yet another year of no raises, it also comes on the heels of legislators intentionally ignoring and covering up the losses of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the EB-5 and GEAR UP state government corruption scandals.

It's inappropriate and self-serving to say the least. Not only should we not raise legislative salaries, we should be cutting executive and judiciary branch salaries. South Dakota, like our national capital, is experiencing the problem of perpetual politicians who have replaced the honest public servitude of regular citizens. As President George Washington warned, creating political royalty replaces the out of touch selfish big government we rebelled against, with another.

I have a slate of constituent bills I will be carrying on issues that have been raised by folks in our communities. Some of them include: strengthen our rape statutes to protect underage children; a Firearms Protection Act for our National Guard and active duty service members; explore state health insurance options for educators; consumer insurance protections from being canceled and claims denied due to weather damages; among others.

Additionally, I will be working on strengthening rules and/or statutes to address the problem of cover-ups of legislator misconduct that folks have heard about in the press since the legislator resigned for sexually preying on pages and interns last spring.

Thank you to those who scheduled cracker barrels (legislative forums) in Alexandria, Salem, Scotland and Corsica last year. We need more of them in other towns this year like Parkston, Canistota, Armour, Freeman, Menno, Montrose, etc. Please contact me if you are able to help organize one. Our government runs best when you are informed and involved. My contact information in the event you have input or need assistance:

Email: Stace.Nelson(605) 770-7461.

God bless & Semper Fidelis.