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SCHOENFISH: A review and response

SB 136 is an act to permit and regulate the practice of certified professional midwives. This has been an ongoing issue in South Dakota and it has been an important issue to families in District 19. Some people choose to have births at home; if they make that choice they should be able to choose who they want present during birth. I voted yes, it passed 52-16.

SB 77 requires a fiscal note on initiated measures that would have a fiscal impact on the state. Some bills introduced in the Legislature have fiscal notes which give an idea about the cost associated with pieces of legislation; the voters have a right to know if certain ballot proposals will have a cost as well. I voted yes, it passed 47-21.

SB 131 prohibits elected officers and others from becoming lobbyists for two years after leaving office. I voted yes; it passed 51-17.

SB 78 was up in local government; it revises elections for conservation district supervisors. The current language is out-of-date and the changes would make it so that supervisors would actually have to be a registered voter and it would remove a provision requiring supervisors to be landowners, which is considered to be discriminatory language. Current law limits who can serve as a supervisor and there were few contested races for these spots in the last election. Local government boards should have a variety of viewpoints and allowing voters to have more choices in elections should not be discouraged. The conservation districts as a group supported the changes though a few districts from the state were opposed showing that even among similar groups there is often disagreement. I voted yes to pass the bill; it passed 9-4 in committee.

HCR 1012 urges Congress and the President to welcome and support free trade, especially in the agricultural industry. Agriculture is the number one industry in South Dakota and the state is dependent on free trade with other countries. The House made a strong statement on the importance of free trade by passing the resolution 66-1.

SCR 14 is a resolution urging the governor to use E30 in state vehicles. Ethanol has a big impact in South Dakota and especially in District 19. I voted yes; it passed 58-9.

A few dishonest politicians and people attacked me over some issues before the last primary and general elections and the voters of District 19 gave a resounding rejection of those shameful attacks. They have continued to attack me through various means over the same issues recently but our job as legislators is to serve you the people and not to waste our time constantly criticizing those who disagree with our views and votes. We are a citizen legislature in South Dakota and legislators make great sacrifices so they can serve and make a difference. It has been very rewarding this last week to have received so much encouragement and support from legislators of both parties, state officials, friends, family and clients back home and across the state rejecting those recycled attacks. I will only use the meritless political attacks as motivation to continue to serve the best I can in public service and professionally.

I can be contacted by email at or by phone at 605-660-6468.