GOP Goals for the session

I was out of the loop on Thursday and Friday when this came out, but the GOP outlined their goals for the 2007 session in a press release issued jointly between the GOP House and Senate caucuses towards the end of last week:

House Majority Leader Larry Rhoden and Senate Majority Leader Dave Knudson
unveiled the Republican legislative agenda which includes a number of key initiatives.

“Our plan for this session will address a number of important issues that are at the heart of South Dakotans,” said Knudson. “Our growing economy and state revenues put us in a unique position to improve our education system, provide tax relief for our working families and invest in the future of our state without mortgaging the state’s resources or raiding the trust funds.”

The plan includes:

· The immediate use of the increased tobacco tax revenues to provide at least $45 million in property tax relief over 5 years.

· Direct increased tobacco tax revenues to help enhance state support for K-12 education with at least $45 million over 5 years that would go toward additional state support for elementary and secondary education. This increased support will focus on improved teacher compensation, educational efficiency and opportunity, and measurement of positive results.

· Apply the increase in tobacco tax funds to the growth in the state’s Medicaid and health care programs with $45 million more over five years toward the state’s share of health care costs for the most vulnerable in our state.

· Campaign finance reform.

· Approve a balanced budget for 2008 without depleting state reserve funds.

“We have a strong and balanced agenda for South Dakota,” said Rhoden. “South Dakotans expect their government to provide a high quality education for our children, cut taxes where and when we can and take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. We accomplish this with our 2007 legislative goals and we do this without violating the trust of the voters of this state.”

Governor Rounds offered his support of the proposal saying, “I appreciate the opportunity to work with the legislature on providing additional tax relief and additional, targeted funding for k-12 education. This is a great plan for taxpayers and our children.”


Bill Harlan of the Rapid City Journal covered the press conference that went along with the press release and noted that the Democrats had this to say about it:
Democratic leaders offered guarded praise, saying they favored more money for education. “I applaud them for that,” House Democratic Leader Dale Hargens
of Miller said.

and...

Democratic leaders said they supported the principle of providing more money for education and health care. “I say welcome to the game,” said Senate Democratic Leader Scott Heidepriem.

But Heidepriem said extra money for schools shouldn’t come with too many strings, and he and Hargens said they would watch closely the details of the property-tax relief.

Heidepriem also said Democrats likely would offer their own tobacco-tax plan next week.

Read it all here in the Rapid City Journal

Comments

VJ said…
Interesting goals!

“Our plan for this session will address a number of important issues that are at the heart of South Dakotans” said Knudson

Seems like our GOP "Party of Moral Values" forgot the most important issue. We believe in a culture of life—that every human life is a beautiful, sacred, unique child of a loving God. Interesting that they would forget to include some type of goal dealing with the culture of life!

I guess some of them are the "Party of Moral Values" when they need our vote!

It's also interesting that the "Party of Moral Values" thinks it needs a political code of conduct to make them do the right thing!

Hey Brock, do you need a code of conduct to force you to practice high moral values? Or is it just part of being a good Christian?

House Democratic Leader Dale Hargens on commenting about the GOP goals said ““I applaud them”! Interesting, a change in Republican leadership created a Party identical to the Democrats! A lot of us were worried that this would happen! My how times have changed! Where are you Brock! We NEED you now!
Elephant's Memory said…
VJ,

What you are referring to is known scientifically as a zygote. In your silly mind, these are equipped with souls, rational minds, and fully developed constitutional rights. Wake up and take high school biology again.

Better yet, get thee to a museum. That's where the neochriscons belong with the other dead things. They are the extinct dinosaur here in South Dakota and as soon as Bush loses on his foolish quest to sacrifice more soldiers in vain, they will be extinct from the national scene as well. These people are the anti-Lincolns.

Because Knudson, Olson and Dempster are not religious zealots, they can speak about issues that mean a lot more to everyday South Dakotans than you whacky fantasies about zygotes.

Thank GOD the Taliban maniacs no longer run the State Senate GOPers. Soon enough they will fade from the scene and they can return to Yankton where they will find their warm beds, mild food and padded walls.

We send legislators to Pierre to legislate, not to make religious doctrine. Stop shoving your church into my kids' classroom and my bedroom. Go to church and don't leave.
Anonymous said…
GOP realizes they were out of touch with most voters.

So, they are now jettisoning the social issues and think that voters will believe they support education, wages and health care.

The only problem is thats what Dems ran on. What gives?
Anonymous said…
What are you guys smoking? And if I were you, I'd lay off that kool-aid.
Anonymous said…
First off I don't think most South Dakotan's know what HB1215 was really about, the meaning was lost in the fight.
Second, I do not think that the tabbaco tax is a fair tax. It is a tax off the backs of a few people. Thus the funds should go for fighting tobbaco usage.
I have the feeling that most South Dakotans are in favor of a more restrictive abortion ban. No public funding or very limited and no part-birth- aborts.
I do feel social public funding is on the climb and not decreasing. The more people get the more they want and the Government is the last organization we need in our daily lives more. There is less choice with government intervention. Besides it also takes to dang long for the government to get things done. Guidelines/rules/laws, are one thing but control is another.
If you start putting all this together what do you come up with?? Just think about it!
On the test pilot program for pre-school just wait before long it will be full time law. Yes, they may start out with an option, but, it will go full swing and parents will lose parental rights even sooner.
As for "moral values" yes, we all have some form of moral values so consider this; most laws have some form of moral value within them. So people who say keep your christian moral vales out need to rethink their statement imho.
Doing what is right is a good thing, but handing money and creating program after program keeps a person down from achieving their goals. It is the same programs that keeps repeating the cycle. A handup is for helping not for lifes answers to life in a total handout for those who keep standing in line for more. Does that get a person(s) up and on???
Education is important so is teacher pay it is the local school boards responsibility to pay teachers. We keep building this and building that at schools and it takes a lot of money for the upkeep, repairs etc. So are the crys for more money for the teachers or upkeep because we hear it is for the kids???? Should we close a few schools? Maybe we should some classes only have 16 some less some more and it still takes all those rooms and all those teachers to teach. ponder the thought.
Do small towns put to much importance on their schools to keep their towns alive??? Yes, for some I think they do when they also need to think and work "hard" on some form of eco. development.
Maybe I am just in a bad mood tonight, who knows, maybe I should not have posted tonight.
Take this with stride.
Anonymous said…
VJ,

go back and pick up your copy of William Bennet's book of virtues. Who cares if it was all B.S.

I sincerely hope the GOP drives the same crazy agenda they did last year.

Unfortunately, it looks like they have a few more sharp knives in the door this session.

The only good thing is real change in Pierre will be tied to a radically different Senate.

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