Week 3

On January 26, 2007, in Letters from Val, by Valentine Rausch

Hello again to Dist 4,

It has been another busy week in the appropriations committee with over 20 hours of hearings being held for the week. As you can tell the Appropriations committee has a very predictable schedule early in the session. The only difference from last week is the agency and departments that presented their budgets. The Departments this week included the Board of Regents, Dept. of Public Safety, Dept. of Military & Veteran Affairs, Public Utilities Commission, Investment Council and the Dept. of Tourism and State Development. On Friday, the House Appropriations met and heard testimony for 6 bills that were requesting special funding. In those bills funding for the State Fair was asked for, along with issues such as temporary snowmobile license, fighting the pine beetle, soil and water conservation, and to help fund externships in the dental field.

This week’s sessions are becoming busy but not hectic. The amount of bills that we need to work on is not too bad yet. Monday will start the deadlines for introducing new bills so Thursday & Friday has seen legislators scrambling to get there signatures need to file their bills. It is fun to watch all the action.

This week visitors included AARP, SD Athletic Trainers, Pork Producers, Veterinary Medical Assoc., Retail Liquor Dealers Assoc., Specialty Care Providers, Health Care Assoc., Trucking Assoc., Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, SD Newspaper Assoc., Chiropractors Assoc., Emergency Medical Technicians’ Assoc., Automobile Dealers Assoc., Dental Hygienists Assoc. and I’m sure I missed 1 or 2. The nice surprise is seeing people from Dist. 4 at almost every function. I try to get to all the activities and look for Dist. 4 folks, but if I missed you I’m sorry, but I try my best. I’m still working on how to bi-locate, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

As everyone has heard the Senate took on the unfortunate task of the hearings with Sen. Sutton. They will conclude before you read this, but they are still finishing up today (Friday). I know it gets a lot of press time and it may seem that it keeps us from doing the work of the people, but for the most part the Senate and the House have kept up with their work loads. I hope the truth is known and the healing can begin, please pray for all involved.

It sounds like there will be some very interesting and challenging bills coming forward. There will be some very contentious issues. From the death penalty to property taxes, so please follow the bills and by all means feel free to email HYPERLINK “mailto:rep.rausch@state.sd.us” rep.rausch@state.sd.us or call 605-880-5015.

Until next week God Bless,

Rep. Val Rausch


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