Back here in Orlando this morning, South Dakota conservatives and free market supporters are “representing” this morning, and showing everyone that South Dakota is the conservative center of the country. State Representative Don Haggar participated on a panel of AFP’s rising stars, with other legislators from Florida and Wisconsin.
Don’s message largely was to point out that when assessing whether someone is a free market conservative, “you can’t make assumptions based on party affiliation,”. noting that there are times where “some will change their party affiliation to run.”
In trying to get things accomplished in Pierre, Don noted it’s his belief that it’s important to “act with integrity, speak with respect, and respond with kindness.”
Don pointed out instances where he disagreed with the Governor on this past session’s sales tax increase for education, and discussions over whether to expand Medicaid in South Dakota & Don noted that he had to stand up and let the Governor know that he disagreed, but always with respect.
Don noted to participants that they need to build a relationship with their Representatives, and if they want to sway their vote or opinion, it’s important to be accurate, and well reasoned, but firm. And legislators will listen. He stressed “Do something,” if you want your legislators to act.
As for insight into issues for the upcoming session, Don indicated Health Care is going to be a big issue again, and fighting off Medicaid expansion is going to take center stage again. He also noted he’d rather not be so reliaint on dollars from the federal government, and would like to work out ways to find a solution. Represtatie Haggar pointed out problems on reservations as an example of what can happen when there’s too much federal involvement.
Overall, it was a great panel session featuring one of South Dakota’s very own.