Noem Succeeds in Making Additional Resources Available to Lewis & Clark Project in House-Passed Bill

Noem Succeeds in Making Additional Resources Available to Lewis & Clark Project in House-Passed Bill

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Kristi Noem today announced she has successfully led an effort to make additional resources available for rural water projects in the Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water appropriations bill without increasing total spending in the bill. The legislation, which passed the House today, would allocate a total of $28.75 million to a rural water project fund that the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System is eligible to draw from. Total funding in the Energy and Water appropriations bill as brought to the floor for debate was $633 million below the president’s funding request.

“It is imperative that the federal government meets the promises it has made to rural areas while still protecting hardworking taxpayers, and this bill helps accomplish that,” said Rep. Noem. “Our local communities have put in more than their share of the funding for Lewis and Clark, but the federal government has not kept its commitment. By not living up to its end of the deal, the federal government is costing taxpayers more money in the long run due to inflation and inaction on projects like Lewis & Clark. The bill passed today includes funding for a rural water account I previously was able to create which could help fund Lewis & Clark at a higher level than the president requested while also not increasing the bill’s overall spending.”

Troy Larson, executive director of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System said, “It is terribly frustrating that the administration refuses to make rural water construction a priority in its annual budget. Thankfully the House today added another $28.75 million to the Bureau of Reclamation’s Rural Water Program, bringing the proposed total for the FY16 Budget to $47.3 million and matching last year’s total. We still have a long way to go to get overall funding for rural water construction to where it needs to be, but this is a huge improvement over the President’s proposal. We cannot thank Congresswoman Noem and the rest of the tri-state congressional delegation enough for once again going to bat for this critically needed water project. We greatly appreciate the strong support and leadership that she and the rest of the delegation continue to provide.”

The Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water appropriations bill specifically allocates $2.774 million in support of the Lewis and Clark project. Additionally, Rep. Noem led an effort with eight other Members to increase overall rural water funding, making an additional $28.75 million available to projects like Lewis and Clark. This brings overall funding for rural water projects to a level equal to what they received last year.

The rural water projects fund was originally created in 2013 as the result of an amendment offered by Rep. Noem to the FY2014 Energy and Water appropriations bill. Lewis and Clark received $5.2 million from that account in addition to the funding specifically allocated to the project in the bill. Rep Noem again offered an amendment in 2014 to the FY2015 Energy and Water appropriations bill, which resulted in an additional $31 million for rural water. Lewis and Clark received $6.6 million from that account in addition to the funding they were originally allocated for the project.

Noem Effort to Bar VA from Ending Services at Facilities Like the Hot Springs VA Hospital Passes House

Noem Effort to Bar VA from Ending Services at Facilities Like the Hot Springs VA Hospital Passes House

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives tonight passed legislation that included a provision authored by Rep. Kristi Noem that would prevent the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from ending or limiting hospital-based services at facilities like the Hot Springs VA Hospital.

Specifically, the amendment would bar the VA from ending, suspending, or relocating hospital-based services at a health care facility that is undergoing an Environmental Impact Statement, is designated as a National Historic Landmark, and is located in a highly rural area. The Hot Springs VA facility meets all of those criteria.

“There is a reason Hot Springs is called ‘The Veterans Town’ and I’m not going to stop fighting on their behalf,” said Noem. “The VA Hospital in Hot Springs has long provided critical care to South Dakota veterans. My amendment which was approved in the VA appropriations bill is pretty simple: it would prohibit the VA from spending money to shut down or limit services for rural veterans, including those who are treated in Hot Springs.”
Noem’s amendment was approved as part of the FY 2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, which passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 255-163.
Noem has been fighting for years to save the Hot Springs VA hospital from closure. Last summer she brought House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller to Hot Springs to hold a field hearing which helped highlight discrepancies in data that has been used by the VA as they have worked on their proposal to close the hospital. Earlier this year, Noem joined Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds in urging the VA secretary to remove plans to close the Hot Springs hospital from President Obama’s budget request.

Bolin congratulates Shorma on appointment, but leaves the future unwritten. How have appointees fared?

This afternoon, Jim Bolin offers congratulations to Bill Shorma for the Governor’s appointment to the District 16 Senate seat. Which also happens to be the same legislative seat that outgoing State Senator Dan Lederman had recommended Bolin for:

jim bolinI want to congratulate Mr. Shorma on his appointment to the legislature.  I look forward to working with him on areas of mutual concern and interest.   In 2015, the governor very legitimately gets to decide who will be the new state senator for District # 16.   In 2016, the voters in District # 16 will very legitimately decide the same question.

“In 2015, the governor very legitimately gets to decide who will be the new state senator for District # 16. In 2016, the voters in District # 16 will very legitimately decide the same question.”  Hmmmm….. that kind of leaves the door open.

It wouldn’t be the first time a Gubernatorial appointee has been challenged within the party for Governor Daugaard. In the past, I’ve seen legislative appointees failing to successfully get through the general election at the rate of about 50% at one point in the Mickelson administration.  But generally Governor Daugaard has enjoyed electoral success.

For Daugaard, in Shorma & Bolin’s district, District 16, after David Anderson was appointed to take Patty Miller’s place, a hard right candidate Kevin Jensen, who was strongly supported by the South Dakota Gun Owners in a challenge for one of the seats ran for the office, but was soundly defeated by around 300 votes in the race.

In challenges outside of the Republican party which resulted in losses, Rep. Kent Juhnke who was appointed to fill a Senate seat for Cooper Garnos lost in 2012 to Larry Lucas in a newly redistricted seat. Chuck Jones of Flandreau who had been appointed to the State Senate by Daugaard lost to sitting Representative Scott Parsley in the general election.

But those are far fewer than the wins, as described above for the primary, and here in the general; Blake Curd, who was appointed to fill a District 12 seat has successfully run for re-election, as has Representative Kris Langer appointed by Governor Daugaard in 2013. Curd defeated his democratic opponent on a 60-40% basis, and Langer’s democratic opponents withdrew from the election.  Senator Alan Solano appointed in early 2014 joined Langer in running unopposed in the 2014 general election.

Although…. Possible spoiler alert: There was word going around the Capitol during the 2015 session that House Majority Leader Brian Gosch could possibly be contemplating a primary challenge to Senator Alan Solano for the District 32 State Senate seat in ’16. But with Solano having won election in his own right, it’s hard to call it an appointee challenge. (Not to say that it’s going to happen. But, as I’d said, the rumor was running around – PP.)

Rounds, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Navigable Waters in the United States

Rounds, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Navigable Waters in the United States

Bipartisan bill will direct EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised WOTUS rule that protects traditional navigable water from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) joined his colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S.1140).

The bipartisan legislation would protect traditional navigable waters of the United States. It also protects farmers, ranchers and private landowners by directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue a revised “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule that does not include things such as isolated ponds, ditches, agriculture water, storm water, groundwater, floodwater, municipal water supply systems, wastewater management systems, and streams without enough flow to carry pollutants to navigable waters.

“The administration’s proposed Waters of the U.S. rule is unnecessary and yet another example of unelected bureaucrats overstepping their boundaries when it comes to rulemaking,” said Rounds. “I agree with South Dakota farmers and ranchers, who continue to tell me this rule would bog down productivity by imposing massive new regulatory hurdles. In South Dakota, our producers are already good stewards of their land – they have to be because their livelihoods depend on it. I am pleased to be an original cosponsor of the Federal Water Quality Protection Act to protect South Dakota producers and put a stop to this unnecessary, burdensome and intrusive regulation.”

In addition to Rounds, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act is co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.), The Committee on Environment and Public Works Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-O.K.), Senators Roy Blunt (R-M.O.), John Barrasso (R-W.Y.), Pat Roberts (R-K.S.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Deb Fischer (R-N.E.), Dan Sullivan (R-A.K.), Joe Donnelly (D-I.N.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.).


EPA and the Corps of Engineers have proposed to expand the scope of federal authority over land and water to encompass all water in a flood plain, manmade water management systems, and water that infiltrates into the ground or moves overland, and any other water that they decide has a “significant nexus” to downstream water based on use by animals, insects and birds and water storage considerations, shifting the focus of the Clean Water Act from water quality protection and navigable waters to habitat and water supply.

To address these concerns and to ensure protection of water for communities across the country, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act directs the agencies to issue a revised proposal that adheres to the following principles-

o The Federal Water Pollution Control Act is an Act to protect traditional navigable waters from water pollution.

o Waters of the U.S. under that Act should include

o   Traditional navigable waters and interstate waters.

o   Streams identified on maps at the scale used by EPA to identify potential sources of drinking water.

o   Streams with enough flow to carry pollutants to a navigable water, based on a quantifiable and statistically valid measure of flow for that geographic area, and

o   Wetlands situated next to a water of the United States that protect water quality by preventing the movement of pollutants to navigable water.

o  Areas unlawfully filled without a required permit.

o Waters of the U.S. should not include

o   Water that is located below the surface of the land, including soil water and groundwater.

o   Water that is not located within a body of water (e.g., river, stream, lake, pond, wetland), including channels that have no bed, bank or ordinary high water mark or surface hydrologic connection to traditional navigable waters.

o   Isolated ponds.

o   Stormwater and floodwater management systems.

o   Wastewater management systems.

o   Municipal and industrial water supply management systems.

o   Agricultural water management systems.

o   Streams that do not have enough flow to carry pollutants to navigable waters.

o   Prior converted cropland.

o   Areas lawfully filled pursuant to a permit or areas exempt from permitting.

In identifying waters of the U.S., the agencies are directed that the following do not provide a basis for asserting federal control-

o The use of a body of water by an organism, including a migratory bird.

o The supply of water to a groundwater aquifer and the storage of water in an isolated waterbody.

o The water cycle, including the supply of water through evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, overland flow, and movement of water in an aquifer.

To ensure that Corps and EPA carry out the important analyses and consultations that are designed to improve regulation, a new regulatory proposal must be developed employing the following-

o Federalism consultation under Executive Order 13132.

o Economic analyses under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

o Small business and small governmental entity review under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.

o Review of the unfunded mandates under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

o Compliance with Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, on improving regulation.


What is, and what isn’t in the “public interest” when it comes to records available elsewhere?

The Argus Leader has a story today on the Division of Banking’s refusal to release applications and complaints on some lenders, despite the records being noted as public documents. But, there’s a curious carve-out that says otherwise:

The applications, according to Bret Afdahl, the director of the South Dakota Division of Banking, are not public documents. Afdahl denied an Argus Leader request for the applications, in part by quoting a law whose title notes that banking division records are “open to public inspection.” In his denial of the records, Afdahl noted that the “division must encourage full and complete disclosure of financial and background information” of those seeking a license under laws regulating money lenders.

Money lenders are a distinct class of business regulated by the division. They are typically associated with high-interest, short-term loans.

The Argus Leader also requested all consumer complaints received by the division since Jan. 1, 2014. Afdahl denied the paper’s request for those records, arguing they aren’t in the public interest and could be used to harm people or banks.

Read it here.

To understand why the Division of Banking is saying no, when the Argus is saying “yes,” you’ve got to go back to the law:

51A-2-35.   Records of division open to public inspection–Exceptions–Court order. The records of the division are open to public inspection. However:
             (1)      The director may withhold from public inspection any record, including any correspondence, for so long as deemed necessary for the protection of a person or bank or to be in the public interest;
             (2)      The director shall withhold from public inspection any record required to be confidential pursuant to federal statutes or rules or regulations of the board of governors of the federal reserve system or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and
             (3)      Reports of examination shall remain the property of the division and shall be furnished to the bank for its confidential use. Under no circumstances may the report or any supporting documentation be disclosed to anyone, other than directors and officers of the bank or anyone who is acting in a fiduciary capacity for the bank, without written permission from the director.
     Any record of the division shall be made available upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction if cause is shown.

Read the law here.

And that’s an exception that’s pretty wide open.

I have to concur with the state’s largest paper, who adds: “The application also asks whether an applicant or “control person” of the company has been convicted of a felony, been subject of previous regulatory actions, declared bankruptcy or possessed unsatisfied judgments or liens. All of that information is already publicly available.”

In fact, the ownership information of the banks is also going to be largely public through the Secretary of State’s Office corporate filings.

Given the fact that all of that information IS available through public sources in other places, is the “deemed necessary for the protection of a person or bank or to be in the public interest” carve-out from open record laws warranted or needed?

Gov. Daugaard To Appoint Shorma To District 16 State Senate Seat

Gov. Daugaard To Appoint Shorma To District 16 State Senate Seat

IMG_1405.PNGPIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that he will appoint William J. Shorma of Dakota Dunes to the vacant seat in the state Senate representing District 16. Shorma will succeed Sen. Dan Lederman, who resigned earlier this year.

“Bill Shorma learned the value of hard work from an entrepreneurial family, and he knows what it takes to start a business, create jobs and make a payroll,” said Gov. Daugaard. “He has also given back to his community in many ways, and I thank him for taking on this new public service role.”

Shorma grew up farming and ranching and working in his family’s businesses in Wahpeton, N.D. He was president and part owner of the Shorma family-owned Shur-Co and Truxedo, both of Yankton, S.D. Currently Shorma is CEO of Rush-Co, another Shorma family-owned company located in Springfield, S.D., that manufactures and combines metal and industrial fabric products.

“I am honored to serve District 16 and the great people of South Dakota,” Shorma said. “I look forwarding to meeting as many people as I can and hearing their ideas to keep South Dakota moving forward, while preserving the wonderful place that it is.”

Shorma is a former director of the Board of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank. He has served as chair of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, chair of the Yankton Area Chamber of Commerce, president of the Prairie Family Business Association and a member of the South Dakota Junior Achievement Board of Directors.

Shorma and his wife of 39 years, Marcie, have three grown daughters and eight grandchildren. They are members of Morningside Lutheran Church in Sioux City.

The appointment is effective immediately. Shorma will serve the remainder of Sen. Lederman’s term, which expires after the 2016 general election. District 16 includes all of Union County, and southern and eastern portions of Lincoln County, including the cities of Worthing, Canton, Beresford and Hudson.



Jackley: Crime in South Dakota 2014 Publication Released

Crime in South Dakota 2014 Publication Released

Marty JackleyPIERRE, S.D. -Attorney General Marty Jackley released today the Crime in South Dakota 2014 report. This report is compiled by the Attorney General’s Criminal Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) and is the most accurate and comprehensive compilation of South Dakota criminal statistics as it reflects the actual arrest and reporting information by South Dakota law enforcement. Criminal statistics help identify trend s in criminal activity that assists in crime prevention and enforcement efforts across South Dakota.

“Our criminal statistics reflect a 1% increase demonstrating that over all, South Dakota remains a safe place to live as a result of strong community involvement, law enforcement efforts, and supportive lawmakers. The criminal trends identify reductions in the areas of drug and alcohol offenses, as well as offenses involving juvenile offenders. The trends further identify the need to further strengthen crime prevention efforts for financial crimes, and sexual offenses against children,” said Jackley.

South Dakota law enforcement agencies reported a total of 37,857 arrests involving 65,093 offenses in 2014, a I % increase from 2013 (63,332). The more serious offenses included a total of 16,799 arrests and involve the following: homicide/negligent manslaughter- I 3, sex offenses-! 1 1, assault-4,328,
larceny/theft-3,420, fraud-441, drug/narcotic-5,577, prostitution-41 , kidnapping-29, robbery-63 , arson-27 , burglary-329 , motor vehicle theft- I 46, counterfeiting-79, embezzlement-36, stolen property-91 , destruction of property-579 , pornography/obscene material- I 9, solicitation of a minor- 31 and weapon law violations-163. Less serious offenses totaled 21 ,058 arrestees, involving the following, but not limited to DUl-6,182 (6,535 for 2013), liquor law violations-3 ,524 and disorderly conduct-2 ,362.

Some examples of the South Dakota numbers included a decrease in juvenile arrests 4,888 down from 5,583 in 2013 accounting for 12.9% of the total arrests and an increase in thefts totaling more than $23 million worth of property loss reported. Addressing our juvenile offender concerns needs to involve substantial cooperative efforts from parents, educators, and law enforcement.

The sex offenses and child pornography arrest categories do not include enticement/solicitation of a minor. An additional chart for this category can be found at the end of this release.

For comparison purposes note that some statistics reflect arrest statistics and other identify incident reports.

You can obtain a copy of this year’s Crime in South Dakota report from our website.

(Or you can read it below – PP)

2014 Crime in South Dakota

Are you going? AFP Defending the American Dream Summit August 21 & 22 in Columbus, OH

Are you a freedom & liberty minded Republican? Then you need to join me in Columbus, OH in August.

According to the Americans For Prosperity web site:

The 9th Annual Defending the American Dream Summit is headed to Columbus, Ohio on August 21 and 22! The event moves around the country each year and it’s a chance for thousands of defenders of freedom to come together to learn, be inspired, and celebrate our liberty. This year’s conference will be one of the most exciting, educational, motivational and inspiring events you have ever attended.

The agenda will be packed with dozens of business and civic luminaries, public officials and national media personalities, who all have stories to share about the American dream and insights into how we can work to preserve it.

Last year, more than 3,000 rallied in Dallas, Texas to hear Governor Rick Perry, Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, and other notables like Dr. Ben Carson and NASCAR legend Kyle Petty. They all had the crowd on their feet– and 2015’s Summit promises to be even bigger and better!

Read it all here.

Many of the major Republican presidential candidates are going to be there addressing the group, and it’s a great opportunity to vet who might represent us in the 2016 Presidential election. I’m in the initial stages of planning my trip, and it’s my intent to be live-tweeting and blogging as I go.

But I’d like to see you there too, to get your reaction live on the floor of the summit when you hear speeches from the people competing to be our next president.

For more information, drop a note to the South Dakota Americans for Prosperity office through Chad Krier or Ben Lee.