Heinemann Jan. 22 Weekly Report

Week 2 closed with a number of issues coming to the surface. Many of you have asked me to talk about them, so I will address them as best I know how, given the difficulty of the topics.
As most of you have learned through the media, my district mate in District 8 admitted to sexual contact with an intern in both the 2015 and 2016 Sessions. While many of you have weighed in as to the appropriateness of his actions, as a member of leadership in the House of Representatives, my duty is to ask for, and we received, approval from the membership to convene a committee (Committee on Discipline and Expulsion) to determine the facts of the case. There will be a hearing this coming week, and that committee will make a recommendation to the House members whether to expel, censure, discipline, or exonerate the member.
I would hope the process will be as fair and open as possible, and my duty to my constituents in District 8 is to listen to the facts presented, and  then, after prayerful consideration, make a final decision via a vote on the House floor.
Another topic many of you have asked about is the passage of Initiated Measure 22 last November, and the subsequent actions that have occurred since then. As you will recall, that measure dealt with campaign finance reform, as well as a host of other issues related to campaigns. In December, a South Dakota Judge ruled IM 22 unconstitutional and entirely unenforceable. As written, IM 22 would cost the state taxpayers well over $5 million every year to pay for political ads and prohibit teachers, nurses, business owners and others from serving in our citizen legislature.  We will have a joint State Affairs Committee hearing on the merits of repealing the measure this Monday.
For those of you that believe the Legislature should not meddle  in what the people just voted on, you may be surprised to discover  that the measure  implements NO limits on out of state spending in our state on ballot measures,  and the reporting process we have right now, in some cases is more transparent than what the IM requires. I have had numerous constituents tell me the measure was confusing, and the best thing for the state would be to repeal it, and then work to address some of the concerns that were brought up by the measure’s sponsor. There are proposals that are being brought forward, and I would appreciate your input on them.
On a lighter note, it was my pleasure to attend the FFA breakfast this past Thursday. I got to meet Jessica Burghardt from Howard and Nathan Linke from Woonsocket, and I wish them well on their future as they participate in their local and state FFA programs to better their lives, their communities, and the state. Thank you for the opportunity to meet and visit with you both!
I am working on some particular bills, and I will expound on them a bit when they are finalized. It’s too early to predict where the budget is going to be yet, so I will report to you when I see more numbers.
I would remind you to please contact me before you come to Pierre so that I can be sure to attend your particular event and visit with you. With sometimes two and three events/night, I prefer to stay home and do my preparation for the next day, as I must retire early due to my health. It’s always great to see all of you, and even better if I can help you get set up to testify, contact a particular department, etc. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at Leslie.Heinemann@sdlegislature.gov.

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