Noem, House Send Farm Bill to President’s Desk

Noem, House Send Farm Bill to President’s Desk

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem today led the U.S. House of Representatives in passing the 2018 Farm Bill. The legislation is now headed to President Trump’s desk for his signature.

“Today, we crossed a major hurdle in securing a safety net, not only for South Dakota producers, but for America’s food supply,” said Noem. “This critical legislation maintains strong crop insurance and livestock disaster programs and makes improvements to the commodity title. Additionally, we expand support for rural broadband and increase investments in farm country. Especially after five years of droughts, floods, and depressed markets, this legislation provides some needed certainty regarding the safety nets available to them.”

“Crop Insurance provides farmers a tool to manage their risk and handle the unpredictable nature of farming,” said Lisa Richardson, Executive Director of South Dakota Corn. “We are grateful for Rep. Noem’s dedicated work in standing up for South Dakota farmers and protecting this critical Farm Bill safety net.”

“Most farmers take on a tremendous amount of risk every year to grow the food our nation and world needs,” said Scott VanderWal, President of South Dakota Farm Bureau. “Even though most of us have had great yields the last few years, low prices cause stress and a poor crop in addition to that could be disastrous for a family farm. We are grateful for Rep. Noem’s leadership in pushing the Farm Bill forward in a way that protects producers while respecting the taxpayer dollars we all contribute.”

“The Farm Bill is important to South Dakota’s beef producers,” said Jodie Anderson, Executive Director of South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. “It promotes the use of best management practices through conservation programs targeted at working lands, such as CSP and EQIP. It’s also an important safety net for producers who rely on livestock disaster programs such as LIP, LFP and ELAP to recover from weather-related events like unseasonal blizzards or wildfires. Without these programs, our ability to help feed the world would be diminished.”

“With farm income down 40-50% from 5 years ago, it is now more important than ever to rapidly pass a farm bill that ensures families remain America’s food producers and to guarantee a steady supply of food at stable prices for consumers,” said Jerry Schmitz, Executive Director of South Dakota Soybean Association. “We are grateful to Rep. Noem for fighting for a strong crop insurance program, along with commodity program reform that will assist farm families, especially young farm families, through this tumultuous time.”

During the 2014 Farm Bill debate, Noem took on her own party to push one of the most reform-minded Farm Bills to passage. While only minor changes were needed to the base legislation, Noem was able to secure a number of wins for South Dakota to make the Farm Bill work better.

More specifically, the 2018 Farm Bill:

  • Incorporates Noem’s reforms to strengthen commodity programs. During the 2014 Farm Bill implementation, USDA elected to prioritize county yield data from its National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), which has proven unreliable in many cases. Today’s House proposal, using Noem’s language, would direct USDA to prioritize crop insurance data instead, which is a more dependable source.
  • Maintains a strong crop insurance program.
  • Increases CRP acreage to 27 million acres and bases enrollment rates on a state’s historical data, which Noem has previously pressured USDA to do.Maintains meaningful Livestock Disaster Programs, which Noem fought to prioritize during the 2014 Farm Bill debate.
  • Maintains and strengthens dairy policy.
  • Maintains the Beginning Farmer incentive program.
  • Enhances incentives for rural broadband development.
  • Includes critical support for SDSU’s Wokini Initiative.
  • Simplifies the environmental review process requirements for forestry management, which Noem has strongly advocated for – particularly as it relates to fighting the pine beetle and other insect infestations in the Black Hills.

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AFP Files initiated measure to reduce sales tax

AFP-SD Files Initiated Measure Proposal Tackling the Sales Tax

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Americans for Prosperity-South Dakota (AFP-SD) today filed an initiated measure proposal to reduce the sales tax rate in conjunction with the Wayfair Supreme Court case decision. This effort comes in response to legislation passed in the 2016 legislative session that called for the reduction of the sales tax by 0.1% for every $20 million raised from online sales tax collection.

AFP-SD hopes that the South Dakota Legislature will tackle this important issue to avoid the cost of having this initiated measure effort appear on the 2020 ballot.

AFP-SD State Director Don Haggar issued the following statement:

“Now that South Dakota is collecting taxes from online sales, the legislature needs to fulfill the deal agreed to in 2016 and reduce the sales tax rate. Our activists are committed to ensuring that the legislature reduces the sales tax, but if lawmakers don’t, they will be equally committed to hitting the pavement to pass the initiated measure.”

Background:

AFP-SD is mobilizing activists statewide and urging lawmakers to keep their promise and lower the state sales tax.

To view AFP-SD’s website urging South Dakotans to contact their legislators, view here.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org

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Senate Approves Bipartisan Farm Bill, Includes Nearly 20 Thune-Authored Provisions

Senate Approves Bipartisan Farm Bill, Includes Nearly 20 Thune-Authored Provisions

“This pro-agriculture farm bill will help give South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers greater economic certainty, which will allow them to focus on what’s most important in their line of work: growing crops and raising livestock.” 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a longtime member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement after the Senate overwhelming approved the bipartisan farm bill compromise by a vote of 87-13. The bill includes nearly 20 Thune-authored-and-supported provisions, and it must be approved by the House before it heads to the president who is expected to sign it into law.

“Aside from good weather, certainty can be a farmer’s best friend,” said Thune. “That’s why I’m glad that the House and Senate are coming together to put the agriculture community ahead of politics and act on this important legislation. This pro-agriculture farm bill will help give South Dakota farmers and ranchers greater economic certainty, which will allow them to focus on what’s most important in their line of work: growing crops and raising livestock.

“I say it as often as I can, but South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers are the best of the best. To them, agriculture is less of a job and more of a way of life. They’re proud of what they do to help feed not only people in the state and around the country, but in every corner of the world, as well.

“I’m thankful to live in a state that honors and appreciates everything farmers and ranchers do from the field all the way to the halls of Congress. Without their input, suggestions, and encouragement, I can say with certainty that the 2018 farm bill would look much different than it does today.”

Highlights of Thune-Authored-and-Supported Provisions Included in the Bipartisan Compromise Bill:

  • Provisions of Thune’s Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP), which was included in S. 499 that he introduced in March 2017. SHIPP is a new voluntary income protection program that would provide participant farmers with a short-term acreage conserving use program, which unlike the traditional Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), requires a commitment of only three to five years. SHIPP is authorized and funded as a pilot program at 50,000 acres in the six Prairie Pothole Region states: South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota.
  • Provisions of Thune’s bill (S. 1259), which would require that Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC)-County payments be calculated using the physical location of each farm’s tract of land instead of the current policy, which uses a farm’s administrative county to determine payments.
  • Provisions of an amendment introduced by Thune and included in the Senate farm bill that would allow producers who are currently enrolled in ARC or PLC to change enrollment in 2021, which is not permitted under current law. This provision was expanded in the final farm bill to also include 2022 and 2023.
  • Provisions of Thune’s bill (S. 909) to increase the CRP acreage cap. Thune proposed increasing it from 24 million to 30 million acres, and the final farm bill increased it to 27 million acres.
  • Additional provisions of S. 909 that would target CRP acreage enrollment based on a state’s historical CRP acreage enrollment and allow greater flexibility and expanded haying and grazing options on land enrolled in CRP.
  • Provisions of Thune’s bill (S. 1913) that would close additional loopholes in sodsaver provisions to further disincentivize producers for converting native sod to cropland in exchange for increased crop insurance indemnities.
  • Provisions of Thune’s bill (S. 2936) that would provide tools and direction to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help improve the accuracy of the U.S. Drought Monitor and require the coordination of USDA agencies that use precipitation data to determine livestock grazing loss assistance and stocking rates.

Click here for a full list of the nearly 20 Thune-authored-and-supported provisions in the 2018 farm bill and here for text of the compromise legislation.

Thune has served on the Agriculture Committee in both the House and Senate and is currently the only member of the South Dakota congressional delegation to serve on the committee. Thune has written three farm bills during his time in Congress, and the 2018 farm bill is his fourth. Agriculture is South Dakota’s top industry, with more than 43 million acres of agricultural land throughout the state.

To learn more about Thune’s 2018 farm bill effort, please visit the farm bill section on www.thune.senate.gov.

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Americans for Prosperity holding pre-legislative meetings around the State this week

AFP-SD to Host 2019 Legislative Agenda Kick-Off Events 

Americans for Prosperity-South Dakota (AFP-SD) will host three events across the state to kick-off its 2019 Legislative Agenda. The events will be hosted in Pierre, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls,  (The Rapid City Event was held as a Luncheon today, with remaining events in Pierre, and Sioux Falls tomorrow and Thursday)

Specific legislative agenda items for 2019 will be presented at the events.

PIERRE:
WHAT: AFP-SD’s 2019 Legislative Preview Luncheon
WHEN:
Wednesday, December 12th, 11:30AM – 1:00PM
WHERE: RedRossa Italian Grille
808 W. Sioux Ave., #200, Pierre, SD 57501

SIOUX FALLS:
WHAT: AFP-SD’s 2019 Legislative Preview Dinner
WHEN:
Thursday, December 13th, 6:00PM – 7:30PM
WHERE: Holiday Inn City Centre
100 W. 8th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 

You must RSVP for the events, and you can contact AFP to find out more!

With Repeal of Obama-Era WOTUS Rule, Noem Urges Public to Comment on Replacement Proposal

With Repeal of Obama-Era WOTUS Rule, Noem Urges Public to Comment on Replacement Proposal

Washington, D.C. – An outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s expanded “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) definition, Rep. Kristi Noem today applauded a rollback of the Obama-era rule and urged the public to comment on the Trump administration’s replacement proposal.

“The Obama administration attempted to pull off one of the largest federal land grabs in U.S. history when it finalized the Waters of the U.S. rule,” said Noem. “There is no question that the Obama-era rule needed to be replaced. To help ensure today’s proposal will offer the clarity farmers, ranchers, and homeowners deserve without the massive government expansion that President Obama’s EPA had attempted, I encourage folks to review the proposed rule and weigh in through the public comment process.”

As finalized by the Obama administration, the WOTUS rule could greatly expand the federal government’s control over small and seasonal bodies of water throughout South Dakota and the country. Estimates show that if a landowner falls out of compliance, penalties could cost more than $30,000 per violation, per day.

In May 2015, Noem helped the U.S. House of Representatives pass the bipartisan H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, which would send the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers back to the drawing board on the WOTUS rule. Months later, a federal appellate court temporarily suspended the nationwide implementation of the WOTUS rule, a suspension that holds today.

In January 2016, Noem joined the House in passing legislation disapproving the rule. President Obama later vetoed the bill. In February 2017, Noem joined more than 35 Members of Congress in a letter to President Trump, urging the administration to take action to repeal WOTUS.

The Trump administration did so, and today proposed several changes to the 2015 WOTUS rules, including:

For more information, constituents can visit https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule. Public comment will be accepted for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. There will also be an information webcast on January 10, 2019, and a public hearing in Kansas City, KS, on January 23, 2019. Information on both events will be posted to https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule

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Rounds Statement on Confirmation of Jon Kobes to be Circuit Court Judge

Rounds Statement on Confirmation of Jon Kobes to be Circuit Court Judge

WASHINGTON– U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement on the confirmation of his counsel, Jonathan Kobes of Sioux Falls, to be a Circuit Judge on the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Kobes will replace Judge Roger Wollman, who is taking senior status at the end of the year.

“Jon will be an excellent judge on the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit,” said Rounds. “He has spent his career demonstrating his commitment to justice, the fair application of the law and the betterment of the community by providing pro-bono legal services to those in need. I have the utmost confidence in his ability to protect the Constitution and the rule of law, and I look forward to watching him excel as a federal judge.”

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Rounds Statement on Senate Passage of Five-Year Farm Bill

Rounds Statement on Senate Passage of Five-Year Farm Bill
Bill includes a number of Rounds’ priorities

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today made the following statement on the Senate passage of the farm bill conference report, which includes a number of priorities he requested earlier this year. It passed with strong bipartisan support, 87-13.

“The farm bill is a vital piece of legislation for farmers and ranchers in South Dakota, where our economy depends on agriculture,” said Rounds. “At a time when farm income is down 50 percent and our producers are at the tip of the spear with the ongoing trade disputes, passage of a five-year farm bill is a critical step toward providing our ag community with much needed certainty and stability. The farm bill includes tools that can help farmers and ranchers keep their operations viable even during tough times. I thank Senate and House Ag Committee leaders and members for their work on this important bill, and urge the president to sign it into law as soon as it passes the House.”

The farm bill includes a number of priorities Rounds has pushed for in farm bill negotiations:

  • Strengthens safety net programs such as crop insurance;
  • Allows for re-enrollment for producers utilizing commodity programs under Title I, specifically Price-Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC);
  • Increases the cap for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres from 24 million acres to 27 million acres, with 2 million acres reserved for grasslands;
  • Establishes an Animal Disease and Preparedness Program, which includes a  vaccination bank to combat economic, food and national security concerns;
  • Increases the total Farm Service Agency (FSA) Guaranteed Loan Program’s individual cap on Ownership and Operating Loans from $1.399 million to $1.75 million. Rounds called for an increase to these individual loan caps in the FSA Loan Guarantee Enhancement Act that he introduced;
  • Establishes a Rural Health Liaison position to work in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services to improve rural health care delivery. This measure is based on legislation Rounds sponsored.

Full text of the farm bill can be found here.

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House and Senate to Vote on Bipartisan Farm Bill Compromise

House and Senate to Vote on Bipartisan Farm Bill Compromise

“Getting a pro-agriculture, pro-farmer farm bill to the president has been the goal all along, and I’m glad we’re one step closer to delivering on it.”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a longtime member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement on the bipartisan farm bill compromise that was negotiated between leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees. The House and Senate are expected to consider the compromise legislation in the lame duck session of Congress. Once approved by both chambers, the bill would head to the president for his signature.

“This farm bill is literally two years in the making,” said Thune. “I introduced my first farm bill proposal in early 2017and spent more than a year drafting proposal after proposal, using ideas and suggestions from South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers, to help lay the groundwork for the product Congress will soon consider. While there were significant policy differences between the House and Senate bills, it’s good to see negotiators, who I’ve been in communication with throughout this process, were able to reach an agreement. Getting a pro-agriculture, pro-farmer farm bill to the president has been the goal all along, and I’m glad we’re one step closer to delivering on it.”

Thune, who to date has introduced roughly 40 farm bill-related initiatives to reform and strengthen the farm bill, startedintroducing individual marker bills in March 2017, and they covered nearly every title of the overall farm bill. The Senate passed its version of the farm bill in June, which included one dozen Thune-authored provisions.

Highlights of Thune-Authored-and-Supported Provisions Included in the Bipartisan Compromise Bill:

  • Provisions of Thune’s Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP), which was included in S. 499 that he introduced in March 2017. SHIPP is a new voluntary income protection program that would provide participant farmers with a short-term acreage conserving use program, which unlike the traditional Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), requires a commitment of only three to five years. SHIPP is authorized and funded as a pilot program at 50,000 acres in the six Prairie Pothole Region states: South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota.
  • Provisions of Thune’s bill (S. 1259), which would require that Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC)-County payments be calculated using the physical location of each farm’s tract of land instead of the current policy, which uses a farm’s administrative county to determine payments.
  • Provisions of an amendment introduced by Thune and included in the Senate farm bill that would allow producers who are currently enrolled in ARC or PLC to change enrollment in 2021, which is not permitted under current law. This provision was expanded in the final farm bill to also include 2022 and 2023.
  • Provisions of Thune’s bill (S. 909) to increase the CRP acreage cap. Thune proposed increasing it from 24 million to 30 million acres, and the final farm bill increased it to 27 million acres.
  • Additional provisions of S. 909 that would target CRP acreage enrollment based on a state’s historical CRP acreage enrollment and allow greater flexibility and expanded haying and grazing options on land enrolled in CRP.
  • Provisions of Thune’s bill (S. 1913) that would close additional loopholes in sodsaver provisions to further disincentivize producers for converting native sod to cropland in exchange for increased crop insurance indemnities.
  • Provisions of Thune’s bill (S. 2936) that would provide tools and direction to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help improve the accuracy of the U.S. Drought Monitor and require the coordination of USDA agencies that use precipitation data to determine livestock grazing loss assistance and stocking rates.

Click here for a full list of the nearly 20 Thune-authored-and-supported provisions in the 2018 farm bill and here for text of the compromise legislation.

Thune has served on the Agriculture Committee in both the House and Senate and is currently the only member of the South Dakota congressional delegation to serve on the committee. Thune has written three farm bills during his time in Congress, and the 2018 farm bill is his fourth. Agriculture is South Dakota’s top industry, with more than 43 million acres of agricultural land throughout the state.

To learn more about Thune’s 2018 farm bill effort, please visit the farm bill section on www.thune.senate.gov.

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Does the Senate GOP Caucus need some Flex-seal™ for those leaks?

Anyone else noting that the Senate Republican Caucus seems a little ..leaky lately?

This past week, we had Stace Nelson tweeting pictures from the elections taking place in the GOP Senate caucus..

As well as anonymous person(s) dumping caucus campaign data & documents to democrats, possibly trying to intentionally to make someone look bad in the run up to the caucus elections.

Until they can come out with a political version of this stuff..

The GOP Senate Caucus might have to directly deal with their rule-breakers.

Did someone forget to get their campaign finance reports in?

From the Secretary of State’s Office comes the list of people who nearly two months after the deadline that the Secretary say have yet to file their campaign finance report.

Included on the list are the Ballot Question Committee for pot promoters New Approach South Dakota, as well as the committee for a long dormant political campaign from it’s leader Melissa Mentele.

Both extremes of the political spectrum are represented, with the far end of the left coming from Bernie Sanders endorsed Clara Hart, who apparently isn’t big on timely reports, and representative of the extreme right Shad Olson, who is treasurer for Political Action Committee ‘Bright Future,’ which the SOS has also given a tardy slip to.

Two of the more notable names on the list are perennial failed candidate Lora Hubbel, and the chairwoman of the South Dakota Democrat Party herself, Ann Tornberg.

Here’s the list as it stands this morning:

Committee Name Committee Type Ending Balance Treasurer First Name Treasurer Last name
Ann Tornberg For District 16 Legislative Committee $34.77 Ann Tornberg
Beadle County Republican Women County Political Party $1,506.83 Ardyce Jensen
Bootz for House Comittee Legislative Committee $0.00 Nicole Bootz
Bright Future Statewide Political Action Committee (PAC) $0.00 Shad Olson
Dewey County Democrats County Political Party $0.00 Michelle DuBray
Douglas County Republican Party County Political Party $120.23 Rex Winter
Ericks For SD House Legislative Committee $207.37 Garry Denker
Friends of Melissa Mentele Legislative Committee $55.00 Melissa Mentele
Friends of Tammy Basel Legislative Committee $2,993.59 Joseph Urbaniak
Friends of Zachary Kovach Legislative Committee $0.00 Alexis Dooley
Hamlin County Republicans County Political Party $2,233.74 Stephanie Sauder
Hanson for House Legislative Committee $508.87 Michael Hanson
Hart for House Legislative Committee $19,402.67 Clara Hart
Hubbel Campaign Legislative Committee $21.60 Lora Hubbel
Koch for SD Legislative Committee $0.00 John Koch
Leary for Legislature Legislative Committee $0.00 Mary Leary
Matt Rosdahl for South Dakota House of Representatives – District 4 Legislative Committee $41.60 Matt Rosdahl
Midwest Action PAC Statewide Political Action Committee (PAC) $0.00 Zachary Nistler
Miner County Democrats County Political Party $0.00 Mary Leary
New Approach South Dakota-Medical Cannabis Statewide Ballot Question Committee $191.89 Melissa Mentele
Renville for SD Legislative Committee $0.00 Allison Renville
Silvis for Senate Legislative Committee $0.00 Alanna Silvis
South Dakota Young Democrats Auxiliary Party Committee $0.00 Zachary Anderson
Troy Lunderman for district 26A State Representative Legislative Committee $0.00 Troy Lunderman