We tried this heading into the 2014 Session; let’s try it again!
Dakota Free Press readers include some of the sharpest policy thinkers in state. So let’s put on our thinking caps and come up with some proposals for the 2016 South Dakota Legislature to consider that would make our state better.
Two years ago, you readers came up with a basket of proposals, which we narrowed down to five specific bills for the Legislature to legalize industrial hemp, reduce the Governor’s authority to fill vacancies in the Legislature, reduce the tax on food and raise the tax on booze, require the state to match economic development spending with boosts to K-12 and higher ed funding, and a combo bill creating a unicameral Legislature and creating a bipartisan redistricting commission.
A redistricting commission proposal is already headed for our 2016 ballot. The other topics above certainly remain relevant. But what else can you come up with? Perhaps a funding and accountability mechanism for the Blue Ribbon K-12 teacher pay recommendations? (Remember, you’re competing with Rep. Lance Russell, Rep. Lee Schoenbeck, Stan Adelstein, and me for ideas there!) Perhaps a reduced cap on no-bid contracts or the elimination of education service agencies to prevent corruption?
Or how about some repeals? What laws can you think of that we could strike from the books and make an immediate and positive difference in South Dakotans’ lives?
Submit and debate your proposals in the comment section. After Christmas, I’ll unscientifically select the most promising and/or provocative topics and poll them here on Dakota Free Press. Then we can draft and refine the most popular measures into honest-to-goodness proposals for legislation that some brave legislator could throw in the hopper by the time the 2016 Session opens on January 12.
Remember, we want South Dakota proposals, real bills that Pierre could pass and act on. Save your resolutions and calls for an Article V Constitutional Convention for your own thumb-twiddling legislators—we want real problem-solving!