This past legislative session has been an interesting one to say the least. There is a striking rift between certain members of the legislature and different “conservative” factions across the state. The troubling thing is, it seems we are dividing our party while splitting hairs.
Speaker Val Rausch and Majority Leader David Lust have been lambasted by some members of the legislature. Now I know the rap on David Lust is that he is a “moderate,” but it’s strange that a moderate would cut the state budget across the board by 10% while also standing up to many of the leaders in the South Dakota public school system in order to deliver a substantial budget cut.
I find it more than strange that in a time of large spending cuts with large majorities in the senate and the house, we must continue to bicker over the smallest issues that in the end will only divide us.
So if the rap on David Lust is that he’s a moderate, then take note that his tenure in leadership would undoubtedly place him to the right of House leaders between ’08 and ’10.
In 2011, Senate and House leaders pushed for balancing the state budget without using reserves or getting millions of dollars in stimulus money to bridge the gap. They made the cuts. We weren’t side tracked with smoking bans or waiting to see how much federal stimulus money we were going to recieve.
I would suggest you couldn’t find many budgets as fiscally responsible as those passed during Rausch and Lust’s tenure in the state house.
They’re not always right, but no one is. It’s time to stop attacking them personally and start appreciating the leadership they’ve shown on many important issues.