Week 1

On January 12, 2007, in Letters from Val, by Valentine Rausch

Hello to Dist 4,

It is hard to believe it has been 10 months since I last reported to you about Pierre and the activities at the Capitol, but the time has come so here we go!!

First of all I would like to again thank the voters for the confidence and trust they have entrusted to me to represent you and Dist 4 in Pierre, it is truly an honor that I take very seriously and am every grateful for.

This year started off very differently than the last two years because of the Inaugural.  The activities started at Noon with or Oath of Office and then at 1pm the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and the Constitutional Officers all took their Oaths in the Capitol Rotunda.  It was the 1st time I was able to witness this ceremony.  It was very impressive.

In the Evening, at 6 pm, the Grand March took place for the Inaugural Ball.  The Capitol was all decked out with frills & decoration and the event was absolutely beautiful.  The descent of the Governor and First Lady down the grand marble stair case following all the other Constitutional Officials was an event that is well worth taking in.  Paula and I were so glad we were able to come and enjoy it together.  The Capitol was filled with Tuxedo’s and Formals, even Paula and myself.   My wife was beautiful and they thought I cleaned up pretty well too.

The fun quickly gave way to the start of the session which officially started on Tuesday.  We start with the Oath for those who were not able to attend the Saturday events and then we listened to the State of the State address given by the Governor.  On Wednesday the appropriations committee began our task of going through the budget.   The Department of Corrections, Bureau  of Administration, the Governors Office, the Attorney Generals office, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Game, Fish & Parks were the budget items we heard on Wed, Thurs, and Friday, so I was very busy.  No action in Session yet because the committees are getting organized and hearing the bills before they send them to the floor for our consideration.  Next week will be busier for bills.

We also had a very busy week with visitors.  Members from the Retailers Association were here Monday, the Pierre Chamber members on Tuesday, Rural Water Association on Wednesday, FFA Breakfast and SD Rural Electric on Thursday and Finally the National Guard hosted us for breakfast on Friday.   It was very nice to see so many from Dist 4, I really appreciate the opportunity to visit and get to them.  I hope those I did not get a chance to see understand the busy schedule and will only tease me about it, instead of be mad!!  Just kidding!!

I know Steve, Jim and I all appreciate the visitors and hope you let us know when you come so we can see you, we do work for each of you.

God Bless and have a good week,

Rep. Val Rausch


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