Press Release: Thune Bill Provides Incentive to Hire Long-Term Unemployed Americans

Thune Bill Provides Incentive to Hire Long-Term Unemployed Americans

John_Thune_official_photoWASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) today introduced S. 38, the Helping Individuals Regain Employment Act (HIRE Act), a bill that would provide an incentive for employers to hire long-term unemployed Americans by permanently exempting those employees from the government-mandated ObamaCare employee count.

“The HIRE Act is a win-win for employers and long-term unemployed Americans who continue to feel the pain from ObamaCare and six years of President Obama’s failed economic policies,” said Thune. “Congress should be doing all it can to enact policies that help unemployed Americans find good-paying jobs, and ObamaCare shouldn’t stand in the way.”

Under ObamaCare, any business with 100 or more full-time employees must provide government-approved insurance or pay a fine in 2015. Beginning in 2016, any business with 50 or more full-time employees must comply with the mandate.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are 9.1 million unemployed Americans, of which 2.8 million have been unemployed for 27 or more weeks. While the official unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, the “real” unemployment rate, which considers the number of people who have stopped looking for work, is 11.4 percent.

The HIRE Act was originally included in Thune’s “Good Jobs, Good Wages, Good Hours Act,” which he introduced last year as an alternative to the unemployment insurance extension bill.


Press Release: Attorney General Jackley Joins Bi-Partisan Attorney General Effort to Protect Second Amendment Rights

Attorney General Jackley Joins Bi-Partisan Attorney General Effort to Protect Second Amendment Rights

PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley has joined an amicus brief, filed by the State of Nebraska in which 25 Bi-Partisan Attorneys General seek to protect Second Amendment rights.

The brief was filed in the case of Jackson v. San Francisco in opposition of a city ordinance that required all citizens who possess handguns in their homes to disable them or to stow them away in a lock box whenever the guns are not being physically carried on the person.

“The Second Amendment permits law-abiding citizens the fundamental right to bear arms in the defense of themselves and their families. As Attorney General, I strongly encourage the safekeeping of firearms in the home particularly when children are present to avoid an accident. However, the government should not come into our home, dictate and enforce how to keep firearms,” said Jackley.

The brief argues that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep a “lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense” and the ordinance makes it impractical, if not impossible, for a law abiding citizen to exercise his or her right.

The Attorneys General argue that review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is critical because San Francisco’s ordinance violates the Second Amendment based on the Supreme Court’s striking of a similar trigger-lock requirement for a handgun in the home in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008). The U.S Supreme Court has recognized that the Second Amendment “elevates above all other interests the right to law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.” Heller. Indeed, “individual self-defense is ‘the central component’ of the Second Amendment right.” McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, (2010). And because it is a right “fundamental to our scheme of ordering liberty,” it applies equally to states and municipalities. McDonald.

The Attorneys General from the following states are participating: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


Daily Digest seems to be chugging along just fine. Sign up today.

After four or five days, the SDWC Daily Digest seems to be chugging along just fine. We’re picking up a few readers a day, and as I get into the routine, the content is expanding.  It’s a nice way to access some content that you won’t find here, as well as to receive a brief review of the day’s articles in your e-mail box.

If you’re interested, sign up below or in the left hand column of If you cease being interested, there’s also a handy unsubscribe link.

Give it a test drive today!


Jackley: No Further Prosecution based on New Evidence.

State Will Take No Further Action on Tragic Traffic Fatality of July 30, 2000

Marty JackleyPIERRE, S.D. – Today Attorney General Marty J. Jackley and Meade County State’s Attorney Kevin J. Krull announced that, based on additional evidence that has surfaced, the State will take no further action against Oakley Engesser in relation to the tragic traffic fatality of Dorothy Finley.

In 2001, Oakley Engesser was charged with vehicular homicide and battery as a result of a crash near the Tilford weigh station on I-90 that killed Dorothy Finley on July 30, 2000. According to jury trial testimony, Engesser left the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, with Finley around 6:00 p.m. on July 30, 2000. They drove off in Finley’s red corvette, and around 8:10 p.m. their car collided with a minivan on I-90. They had been traveling 112 miles per hour at the time, and their car rolled over one and a half times before coming to rest upside down in the median. Finley was killed in the accident, and two of the minivan’s occupants were injured.

At the time of the crash Engesser’s blood alcohol level was approximately .125. In addition to physical evidence pointing to Engesser as the driver, the jury viewed a video recording of his interview with the Highway Patrol in which Engesser agreed he could have been driving, though he did not remember anything after leaving the Full Throttle Saloon.

Since the jury trial, new witnesses in 2007 and 2013 surfaced indicating that they saw a woman driving the Corvette shortly before the crash. Although the Supreme Court recognized that Engesser was found guilty by a jury of his peers in an error-free trial, it granted Engesser’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus and a new trial based upon the new witness information.

“Based upon the new witness testimony and the available evidence from the original trial regarding an event that occurred 14 years ago, and considering input from Dorothy Finley’s family, the State does not intend to move forward with a second trial. The State does reserve the right to evaluate any further evidence that may surface regarding any potential future action. It is my hope that the conclusion of these proceedings will help bring closure to all families that have been involved in this tragic accident,” said Attorney General Jackley.

Photo Release: New South Dakota Delegation

Photo Release: New South Dakota Delegation

114SDDelegationWASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Representative Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) joined for the first photo in the 114th Congress of the new South Dakota delegation this morning in Washington, D.C. This Congress marks the first time since 1962 that South Dakota is represented by an all-Republican delegation.


Argus: Entire SD Delegation blasts Obama veto threat

From the Argus:

The South Dakota congressional delegation, all Republicans, harshly opposed the White House threat.

“It’s disappointing that the president is going to fail his first big test as to whether or not he wants to work with Congress,” Sen. John Thune said. “He would be wise to remember the November election results and think twice before moving to block the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that clearly has public support.

Read it all here.

With John Thune, Mike Rounds, and Kristi Noem letting the President definitively know where South Dakota stands is much more effective than the mixed messages we were putting out before.

LRC Slooooowwly adding bills to list of pre-filed legislation.

This morning, as I’m still in my pajamas enjoying a snow day, the state Legislative Research Council finally continued in adding legislation to the list of pre-filed measures, which they already were a month late in the first place.

I’m left wondering if these measures were sitting on someone’s desk, or if they had been pre-filed, and not put up on-line? It seems as odd they’re so damn slow at this point, as I thought I’d heard that they already have some of the legislators there from appropriations.

Stay tuned as the big show starts this weekend!

Congresswoman Kristi Noem appointed to be first South Dakotan to serve on Powerful Ways & Means Committee

Noem Earns Seat on Powerful
Ways & Means Committee

Noem is first to represent South Dakota on the Committee

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem was confirmed today as a member of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax, trade, and economic growth policies.  Noem is the first South Dakota Member of Congress to serve on the Committee and will be one of only a few rural voices on Ways & Means this Congress.

“My family farm was impacted by the death tax, so I understand – in no uncertain terms – the heavy toll bad tax policies can take on hardworking South Dakotans,” said Noem.  “As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I look forward to working on solutions that save South Dakota families from the burdensome taxes that have made it more difficult for many to live the American Dream.”

The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to begin tackling a number of issues this Congress, including tax simplification, expanding trade, patient-centered reforms to the healthcare system, and IRS accountability measures.  Rep. Noem will serve on two of the Committee’s Subcommittees:  Human Resources and Oversight.

“I’m confident that I can have the greatest impact for South Dakota by serving on the Ways and Means Committee this Congress,” said Noem. “We have an aggressive Committee agenda slated for the next two years, which includes critical South Dakota priorities, such as simplifying the tax code, expanding trade opportunities, and holding the IRS accountable.  I’m optimistic that folks are ready to govern and prepared to take the tough votes necessary to move our country forward.”

The Committee on Ways and Means is the oldest committee of the U.S. Congress and serves as the chief tax-writing committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The Committee also has jurisdiction over trade agreements and legislation, Social Security, Medicare, foster care programs, and unemployment compensation programs, among other things.  For more information on committee jurisdiction, please click here.

“The Ways and Means Committee will take on numerous challenges during the 114th Congress, and Kristi Noem will play an important role as the Committee addresses important issues like reforming our broken tax code, implementing patient-centered health care reforms, and strengthening safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security,” said Rep. Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee.  “Kristi does an exceptional job representing the people of South Dakota and I know she’ll be an outstanding addition to the Ways and Means Committee in the next session of Congress.”

Noem was first elected to Congress in 2010.  She previously served on the House Committees of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Education and Workforce, and Armed Services.


United States Senator Mike Rounds Sworn Into Office

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) made the following statement after taking the oath of office as South Dakota’s 27th Senator:

“It’s an incredible privilege to continue serving the people of South Dakota, and I’m humbled by the trust you’ve placed in me to represent you in the United States Senate. Now that the pomp and circumstance is over, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I look forward to working closely with Sen. Thune and Rep. Noem to advance South Dakota priorities and values.”mike_and_joe

PUC does the right thing and denies effort to stop Keystone re-certification

From the Associated Press, it looks like the war against energy held one front in the war as the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission did the right thing and denied an effort to stop Keystone re-certification from small groups of protesters:

The panel voted on Tuesday against arguments from a handful of Indian tribes and environmental groups to dismiss the company’s request. That decision opens up an evidence-discovery process that will culminate with final arguments on the case scheduled for May.

Read it all here.