Heinemann’s Legislative Update

By Rep. Leslie Heinemann
With the majority of the 88th South Dakota Legislative Session behind us, there is only one day left on March 25 to deal with any potential Governor  vetos. It has gone by very fast! I have made many good friends on both sides of the aisle and feel like I have made a contribution for the greater good of South Dakota and it’s citizens.
I thank each and every one of you for visiting in person, calling, writing, e-mailing and praying for me. I appreciate your support and your views.
We approved, in addition to the Governor’s recommended three percent increase in state aid to school districts and  four technical institutes, one time money of almost $13.15 million for various education programs. Some of the appropriations included:
$5.8 million for K-12 education;
$200,000 for Tech Schools;
$500,000 million for Innovation Grants;
$1.5 million for Critical Teaching Needs Scholarships;
$1.5 million for Critical Needs Scholarships;
$2.0 million for Board of Regents Health Insurance.
Included in the above, was also a DSU appropriation of $900,000 to increase the cyber security program. Your District 8 senator and representatives worked hard on that matter together. More on that later…
The extra one percent increase in state aid is equal to about $45 per student based on the per student allocation.
Medicaid would receive a three percent increase, with an additional one percent across the board  one time money and an additional one percent to the long-term care facilities and other Medicaid-dependent entities.
We passed a balanced budget, and look forward to some positive growth in our economy in the next year. I have enjoyed reporting to my constituents about the various issues we have dealt with over the last nine weeks, and I’ll try to keep you updated  throughout the year with some interesting topics we encountered while serving in the South Dakota Legislature.
Thank you for the opportunity to represent  you, and I look forward to any input or comments you may have.You can contact me at Rep.Heinemann@state.sd.us.

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