Senator’s Chief of Staff offers praise for legislators for saying no to HB 1182

Governor Rounds’ Chief of Staff Rob Skjonsberg recently submitted a letter to the editor in the Pierre area, and posted the same to his facebook website, regarding how State Senator Jeff Monroe and State Representative Tim Rounds voted on House Bill 1182.  (Not speaking for his employer, obviously).

And agree or disagree, one thing Rob wanted to point out that it wasn’t an easy decision, and people fell on either side of the issue, because there are some districts where this made sense, and some not.

One sentiment that Skjonsberg is trying to convey is something Ive always believed in – that men of good character can disagree on the issues, and they can remain good people. As opposed to the chair throwing that seems to take place all to much in recent times. As Rob noted in an e-mail to me, “a return to civil discourse and respectful disagreement would have helped this discussion a bit.”

So, have a read, and let us know what you think:


25 Replies to “Senator’s Chief of Staff offers praise for legislators for saying no to HB 1182”

  1. Springer

    How nice it is to read a piece that gives good reasoned answers to why some voted against this bill, instead of automatically labeling all the no votes as hating teachers and kids. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the other side had used this same reasoned type of approach to explain their arguments, instead of hate mongering, threats, and harrassment?

  2. Anonymous

    Interesting take from a guy who was well known for threatening lawmakers who did not fall in line with then Governor Rounds.

    1. Anonymous

      Some legislators may have been threatened by him, I don’t know, but I never was. Rob was always a nice guy to me.

        1. Anonymous

          Hey Grundz, why would you ask that, from your own experience? No, I was far from it. Never voted for his tax increases, min wage increase, nor his smokers tax even though I never smoked.

    2. Larry Rhoden

      I’m going to have to throw the bull sh## flag on that one. I believe I was Majority Leader through the bulk of Rob’s tenure as COS to Rounds. I was very protective of my caucus members and if Rob was strong arming legislators I would have heard about it. Rob rarely even came to the third floor unless he was invited. Very professional man.

    1. Anonymous

      I doubt Larry would have fallen for this deal. His leadership is missed and most of us are anxious for his return.

  3. anon1

    Pretty sure Rob is wrong about the “silent majority”… I think most legislators heard from the vast majority that wanted this bill passed.

    1. Anonymous

      Yes! Because all Sourh Dakotans want to give a corrupt state government more of their hard earned monies to waste.

  4. MC

    Rob does make some compelling points.

    I noted that when Governor Dennis Daugaard proposed his first budget there number of cuts including education. The Department of Transportation stated they may have to defer a couple of projects, but they would make it work. The Department of Public Safety stated they may have to for go getting some new vehicles however, the public safety would not be at risk. Social Services stated they would make some adjustments, however everyone that needed help would receive it. It was only the teachers who howled they couldn’t do their jobs with so little. Schools even sent parents with their kids to the capitol to scold legislators about the cuts they were making.

    I dislike the idea of raising taxes. Especially to increase the pay of one segment of the population. What of the non-teaching employees, like the kitchen staff or janitors? Are they just expendable?

    I wonder if the state could direct other resources to ease the burden on school districts? I had suggested reopening the prison farms, and let prisoners grow good for school lunches, while learning a trade that can be used once they get out. Or even open shops so they can repair school equipment.

    Or set up a central database for electronic text books Maybe even set up a state network for distance learning for specialized classes.

    There has been talk of consolidating schools, school administrative functions, why couldn’t we consolidate school administrative function with other county or state agencies like printing services or building and grounds?

    If we have to raise taxes, then so be it. I want to make sure it get to the right place and has the right effect. I would like to see a review in two or three years from the Secretary of Education stating weather or not the average teacher pay has increase as planned or not, and weather or schools are better able to recruit teachers, and weather or not our children are better prepared for the world that greets them

    Is that too much to ask?

  5. Charlie B. Hoffman

    Governing is a tough job, if it weren’t everybody would be doing it. Skjonsberg is a stand up guy and as a Freshman legislator sure gave me a lot of room to understand the process.

    1. anon1

      I would argue that a former Chief-of-Staff taking shots at his former Lt. Governor’s policies lacks a certain amount of class.