Democratic Lawmakers Set Out Agenda For Second Half Of Legislative Session

(KCCR) — As the South Dakota Legislature hits the halfway point of the 95th session Democratic lawmakers gathered with an impromptu press conference to set up their vision for the second half of the session…

“During this first half of the session Democrats been working hard to put together legislation that tackles healthcare, education, public safety, long-term care and economic development plus many other…other things that our people are working on. Our House caucus legislation is not special interest tested. It was not developed in Washington DC. We do not bring legislation meant to divide us in and our legislative efforts are meant to bring South Dakota together.”
House Minority Leader Jamie Smith says while they have differences they see their colleagues across the aisle as friends…

“We don’t want partisan victories. We want bipartisan success. We are committed to our agenda and this year we welcome the Republicans to take a hard look at our legislation to find ways to improve upon; it make it a part of their legislative agenda too. We commit to doing the same for Republican bills. You know, I’m really proud and I say it often of the people that are sitting at this table with me today. Our ears are always open and are our hearts and while we’re here we’re here to help the people of South Dakota. Pierre should be about solutions not politics.”
Smith briefly highlighted multiple bills being brought by Democrats in the Legislature regarding health insurance, nursing homes, dementia, education, fair trade and Native American issues. He says they are issues the people want addressed…

“We’re trying to redirect that conversation to back to what South Dakotans are…are telling us and what we’re hearing. These are the issues the South Dakotans are telling us each and every day that they want us to work for and we want to make sure that they know we hear them.”
Smith adds they hope Republicans take an honest look at the legislation they’re proposing…

“It’s no secret that often times that the legislation we bring will…will get its hearing in committee, cuz every bill needs to get his hearing, but we often have our bills die along partisan lines in our committee. We don’t want that. We want bipartisan support on good bills and just because there’s a D behind it doesn’t mean that that’s not a good piece of legislation. We just want to work in a bipartisan way to help the people of South Dakota.”
Leadership of both parties will hold their regularly scheduled weekend press conferences as the fifth week of this year’s legislative session wraps up Thursday.