Rep. Jim Stalzer (R-11/Sioux Falls) is feeling the heat for leading the Republican stalling of the Governor’s sales tax plan to fund teacher pay increases. After flipping the parliamentary bird at educators and students who packed the House gallery Wednesday to watch the debate over House Bill 1182, Rep. Stalzer has received enough negative feedback that he feels the need to come whimpering to the cameras about how he needs more time to study the plan and some amendments:
[Representative] Jim Stalzer says when he got to the House Floor there were 8 amendments to the Education Funding bill, some he was seeing for the first time.
Once that vote was moved to first on the agenda, Stalzer felt he had no choice.
“So I chatted with a few of the people immediately around me and decided that I can’t vote for something I haven’t had a chance to read or study a little bit,” Stalzer said [Leland Steva, “Lawmaker Defends Decision to Push Back Vote,” KELO-TV, 2016.02.11].
Eight amendments? Well, golly, Rep. Stalzer, if you’d like our help, why don’t you drop your pledge of secrecy and post those amendments online? We’d be glad to to circulate those amendments publicly and help you make sense of them. The comment section is open.
But Rep. Stalzer probably won’t do that. He’s sounds more like he’s rationalizing a decision to delay and ultimately reject more pay for teachers:
“I will automatically vote against any bill where I haven’t had proper time to read the bill or the amendment and I didn’t think that was fair either so I just felt the only way I could do was invoke the rule,” Stalzer said.
…and to dismiss all the people telling him to get with the program and support teacher pay as meanies:
After that decision, the lawmaker claims he’s received some extremely negative feedback.
“People that did not understand the process at all but that doesn’t stop them from giving some uncivil comments,” Stalzer said [Steva, 2016.02.11].
Wow—Rep. Stalzer dismisses transgender kids as “whatever” and countenances his District 11 colleague Senator David Omdahl’s public declaration that transgender kids are “twisted” individuals in need of mental help, but people calling him to criticize his slap in the face to teachers are “uncivil.”
Toughen up, Rep. Stalzer, and work harder. Read those amendments, and share them with the public so we can help you evaluate them and avoid any need for further delay on the most important legislative initiative of this Session.
And hey, readers, call Rep. Stalzer and offer your help. That’s Rep. Jim Stalzer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 605-838-0354.
Cory, Educators and Students, You need to cut Rep Stalzer some slack. This bill introduced on 2-2-16 was not referred to a committee until late Friday 2-5. I got my comments to the committee late Friday evening and then the website was down all day Saturday.
Then all of a sudden the first thing Monday morning the bill is brought to the committee for hearing later that afternoon.
There were plenty in the education community there to testify before the committee but no opponents as the media was so want to point out on the news Monday evening.
I found it very strange that there could be all those proponents for the bill on hand with no advance notice of the bill going before the committee. After all, it’s not like Pierre is right across the street from any place else in the State than Ft Pierre.
I am in favor of increasing teacher pay, but as I have pointed out on this website, with all deference to Grudznik, and many times already to the legislators, sales tax is the most regressive tax and is highly unfair to renters and the poor.
I will automatically vote against any bill where I haven’t had proper time to read the bill or the amendment
Okay DFPers. Hold his feet to the fire on this declaration and make him keep his vow.
Lanny, there will be no slack for the legislature! They have taken years to finally address an issue that has been undermining our educational system. They have had more than ample time to study whether to support the increase or not. For goodness sake, funding education is the important thing they do in Pierre! It should be the top priority.
The amendments that I saw after driving 3 hours were not friendly to the bill. Cory has addressed Gosch’s amendment to strip out the emergency clause. Rep. Partridge’s amendment was basically unprecedented (that we should anticipate the possible future existence of internet sales tax revenue and automatically fund teacher pay with that source)! Good grief!
Gosch was the one who moved HB1182 up on the agenda and then his partner in crime against the bill (Stalzer) complains that he did not have enough time to study the amendments? Mind you this is before debate has even taken place on most of the supposed 8 amendments.
Call this what it is–political maneuvering. Political maneuvering that wasted a lot of the people’s time.
And as Cory has stated, where are these amendments so the citizens can study them and have input with our legislators? Stalzer needs time to study them, but the citizens are left in the dark?
As to the use of the sales tax as the regressive source for teacher pay increases, the Republicans have decided that we are going to maintain one of the most regressive tax systems in the nation. Given that fact, there is no other viable choice.
Yes yes yes. Give Stalzer and company more time to come up with a way to obstruct the plan to increase teacher pay. Give them time to consult the ALEC playbook for a secret tactic to derail this plan. Give them time to muck up the political water with the usual anti-teacher smears. Give them time.
@Darin Larson, Of course the legislature, (Partially with the help of the current and the former governor) has done a terrible job of funding education. I have been saying that for years. But that political maneuvering of which you speak is just exactly what I am talking about. Hardly ever, if ever does it take 3 1/2 days after a bill is introduced before a bill is assigned to a committee. How did the State website happen to be shutdown all day Saturday and then how did the committee happen to schedule the bill for hearing already on Monday afternoon, again usually the assignment for hearing is usually days not hours out. And finally how did the proponents happen to be there to testify and no opponents. Who tipped them off of the hurried up hearing?
Political maneuvering? Delaying? Why didn’t the governor have this bill outlined in the State of the State speech?
I will repeat, sales tax is highly regressive and unfair to renters and the poor. All of the sales tax bills being proposed are due to the freeze on property taxes. I listened yesterday to the hearing on the request for the additional 1 cent sales tax by municipalities. But they also have the option for an opt out for a specific situation, on property taxes.
Sioux Falls passed the bond proposal to build the new events center, last year at 115 million dollar cost, and now even those who have plenty have a hard time getting tickets because they are all sold to vendors first. I wanted to go to PBR bull riding last year but at 110 bucks a ticket, it was out of my league. We also found out this week that there was a 3 million dollar overrun on that building cost. We found it out more than a year after the building was done.
Want to fund government in this state, do it with an income tax, like other states do, or tax new auto purchase at the rates that our neighbor do, but quit taxing food and pushing that tax burden onto the poor.
The AP and several other news organizations, including The Volante, USD’s student newspaper, wrote stories on Monday and filed them Tuesday informing the entire state that the measure could be debated on Wednesday. Pretty sure every education-related organization that has a website posted similar information. The fact that the bill could come up for debate on Wednesday was hardly a surprise to anyone paying attention.
I believe Tony V. from the Guv’s office more than Stalzer. Tony told the Argus that the delay was an indication that opponents of the governor’s half-penny sales tax proposal didn’t have the votes necessary to kill it.
Again, we know an income tax will never happen in backwoods conservative SD, so why don’t they do the sin tax on alcohol, cigarettes and video lottery?
MN did this and it’s a prime factor in how they got their billion dollar surplus. Learn from the states that know how to budget without hitting the poor!
Here is the history of the bill I am talking about. As I said it was proposed early on 2/02. Since I have been interested in opposing the shifting of funding of state government from property to sales tax as is want the case this session, I watched this bill for committee assignment several times a day. It was highly unusual for a bill not to be assigned to a committee the same day it was introduced. It was finally assigned late Friday afternoon. It was then also very highly unusual for the bill to be heard by the committee the first business day after it was assigned, and particularly that the bill site did not ever show that a hearing had been scheduled. With the website down Saturday, how did those favoring the bill know of the hearing on Monday afternoon, and there were no opponents, who notified those in favor that the bill would be heard Monday afternoon?
Date Action Audio Location
02/02/2016 First Reading House H.J. 234
02/05/2016 Referred to House Committee on Appropriations H.J. 305
02/08/2016 Committee on Appropriations Do Pass, Passed, YEAS 9, NAYS 0. H.J. 332 :45
Jenny, most of the “sin” taxes as you describe them were sold to the voters of South Dakota as “to fund education”. But then magically, the money ends up in the general fund and the governors and legislatures for the past twenty years continue to cut the amount of funding that the State puts into funding education, and smears mud over the voters eyes by offering them property tax freeze and then property tax relief, as this bill again does, rather than putting the entire amount to funding teacher pay. That is one of things that I have hear several legislator complain about. South Dakota sits on billions not millions of dollars in their secret funds. If not, how is it that one of the bills to fund education proposes to move funds out of this fund and that fund to fund education?
You are correct Lanny.. The administration has employed some dubious tactics to fast tract this bill through and Cory is giving them a pass on it. If it were any other topic he would be praising the delay…
Thanks Bret, I’m glad I am not the only one who noticed.
Lanny: State offices were notified of maintenance on the state server weeks ago, and there were press releases, also. Dedicated BIT staff were working to improve the system, and they alert the rest of the departments because they know many state workers put in time on Saturdays. It wasn’t a conspiracy. It was a planned outage.
We are so hungry we are willing to take from the least so we have an extra bite. Whether it’s the RV vote or teachers pay. It’s about time citizens of SD demanded square shooters step to the plate in Pierre and make the so called hard decisions.
The gambling money into education did happen. They just transplanted former source funds to other areas.
Thanks for your persistence Lanny.
R, I appreciate the explanation, but that doesn’t square with Bob Mercer’s report this week that the cause of the outage Lanny refers to was unexplained:
I won’t say it was a conspiracy, but tech chief Zolnowsky isn’t saying it was planned maintenance, either.
@R and so the Governor and his minions who were the proponents of this bill, also knew about the outage, so did they say to whomever is in charge of scheduling the bill to a committee, wait until late Friday afternoon to schedule the bill? And you still did not answer how the bill was scheduled then on Monday mid morning for hearing that afternoon and mysteriously those in favor of the bill showed up to testify to the committee.
Are those who want to raise teachers pay willing to take the least best option just because they will also get some property tax relief? Never mind the poor schmuck who has a hard time feeding his family and has to give the state an extra 4 cents and most towns and cities another 2 cents on every dollar that he spends to feed them.
Any bill that does not give the entire amount of the taxation to food tax relief and the rest ALL to the teachers, is a sham. And incidentally, I don’t support that one either but it is more honest than HB 1182.
t was a planned outage. So were the rolling electric blackouts in California. Planned so End Run could manipulate the taxpayers of California for many billions of dollars to line Bush crony’s pockets. But that is a story for another life,which is when it may actually get investigated and prosecuted.
Lanny, Bret, your point about fast-tracking has some merit. I complained from November through January about the Governor’s foot-dragging on endorsing and laying out a specific legislative proposal for teacher pay. The Governor didn’t put actual bills in the hopper until February 2.
But the bill that went to debate Wednesday wasn’t complicated. It’s a half-penny increase in the sales tax with $40M in property tax relief. The main alternative is the Dems’ SB 151, the one-penny increase plus zeroing the food tax. If Stalzer was for either of those plans, he’d have let debate continued to a vote in front of the watchful teachers and other education advocates in the gallery.
If I believed Rep. Stalzer were an intellectually curious statesman, I could buy the criticism Lanny and Bret offer. But what some might call “fast-tracking” is another’s lack of courage to cast a big Grover-Norquist NO in front of interested constituents. Stalzer isn’t sitting at home poring over those amendments. He’s calling his buddies trying to line up one more vote against increasing pay for those lazy teachers, who probably just want to indoctrinate more kids into the ungodly principles of transgender acceptance and erotic freedom.
The delay was an insult to the education advocates assembled to watch the debate. Legislators have heard all sorts of amendments on the House and Senate floors and in committee without saying they need an extra 48 hours (or in this case, 144 hours, or longer, since Speaker Wink and others are saying in the press we can expect another Rule 5-17 trick on Tuesday) to makes sense of them.
We have waited thirty years and conducted at least eleven summer studies on this problem without taking action. We know the problem—lowest teacher pay in the nation—and the solution—raise revenue to pay teachers more. To pretend this issue is complicated is to unnecessarily extend our irresponsible delay in taking care of business.
But you know, Lanny and Bret, if this delay gives us more opportunity to trumpet the merits of the superior Democratic plan, I can live with it. The more time we wait, the more people may realize Senate Bill 151 is a simpler, more elegant, less regressive, and more direct solution to the problem.
Cory, I am not defending Stalzer, but what was he supposed to say? This bill sucks, lets not rush to judgement. I’m sorry that the educators had rushed to Pierre to hear this bill rushed through and approved and didn’t get to do that. I had ten friends there the same day who were proponents of the halt the death penalty bill and they didn’t even get to have their bill come out of committee. That’s what sucks about having the State Capitol in Pierre. I have gone there twice other than for pleasure, once for the Democratic caucus in 2004 and once to oppose the tax on food. And both times I felt like that long drive was a waste of time and money, as well as being boring as hell, other than coming down the hill at Chamberlain.
Would any of you vote for anything or anyone without at the very least reading it? Would you sign a petition without knowing what you are signing? I know some of you would, most of you would not.
He was presented with the amendments then told they will immediately debate and vote on the changes followed by the bill itself. Given how important this topic is we want to get it right.
Cory asked for the changes to be posted, that is a bit hard to do, when you don’t know the amendments even exist.
It was a very bold move, however I believe it was the right one. I know there were a lot of people who traveled to Pierre to hold their representatives accountable. I believe it is more important to get it right then to rush through and pass a bill that will cause more issues. But that’s me.
That’s you and a hell of a lot of the rest of us MC!!! This is the least good of the teacher pays available. Without taking the property tax relief out of it and putting the entire amount raised to teacher pay, I don’t understand how anyone could support this bill.
BTW that was attempted in committee.
Lanny, I will agree that asking people to trek to Pierre to participate in the process is an awful schedule risk. Paid lobbyists have an unfair advantage—it’s their job to lurk about all day looking for opportunities to influence their employers’ bills of choice, and they develop relationships that make it much easier for them to continually approach legislators and take up their time than any regular citizen enjoys. That’s all the more reason to build a more robust interactive online committee hearing system.
I agree with Lanny. This is too important (no matter how you feel about it) to be rushed through with no opportunity for both legislators and the public to review and give input.
And, this cuts both ways. If you think this can/should be rammed through without time to review, will you feel the same way on an issue you don’t agree or think you have ideas for amendment/improvement.
As normally in the minority, you should be praising Stalzer so you have ground to stand on later. By criticizing him, you make it easier to disregard your later protests.
MC, how about requiring that all amendments be posted online before the author can move the amendment? Parliamentary procedure already generally requires an amendment be submitted in writing to the chair. Why not use an electronic system in which legislators submit their amendments on an open blog system where everyone can see them even as we wait for the amendment to be moved?
I remain unconvinced that Stalzer and his fellow standers are studying the amendments. I look forward to be proven wrong by seeing Stalzer’s stallers next week offer intelligent, well-researched speeches on all of the amendments.
And Lanny, I agree, HB 1182 is not the best bill. I’d hoghouse it and replace it with the text of SB 151, the Democratic 1%/no-food-tax plan. But they can only delay it so long. There comes a time (i.e., next week Thursday, when Stalzer et al. will just have to pay-the-heck attention, charge through all those amendments on the spot, think on their feet, and do the right thing. That takes brains and concentration. If Stalzer can’t muster that, he should step aside and let someone qualified to legislate represent District 11.
So this bill was a rush to judgment, huh? Stalzer just needs more time to review the amendments, huh? He is really taking the time to consider the merits of the bill and amendments, huh? Pretty complicated bill and amendments, huh?
Give me a break! I think there has been a lot more complicated bills and amendments than this one and I don’t recall the last time rule 5-17 was used on them.
Lanny, do you think that your point of view that the Democratic plan (much of which I agree with btw) is going to prevail if the legislature has enough time to review and study it? The only reason that the rule was invoked by the Stalzer stallers was to give them time to try to pick off legislators that were going to pass the bill. They weren’t trying to make the bill better. They were trying to kill it! Your choices are not some panacea of Democratic wish lists. Your choices are the governor’s plan to increase teacher pay or no plan to increase teacher pay.
I will take the governor’s plan, not because it is the best plan (far from it), but because it is the only plan to increase teacher pay that has a chance to pass. We need this to pass to better the future of SD.
BTW, I am all in favor of the Dems submitting their competing bill and getting in the conversation about what is best for this state. As a practical matter, it has no chance to pass so we have to support the lesser of two evils lest we drive teacher morale to a new low and the SD educational system become a dumpster fire.
Cory, I too await the enlightened discourse that will follow the extra time allotted to the stallers to study this issue. I have a dream . . . .
Darin, It is astounding to me that the guy you put your trust in, just 6 short years ago tried to cut teacher pay by 10 percent, but was reigned in by the legislature and the cut was if memory serves, 6 1/2%. He never bothered to put the money that he cut back in and it took until last year for you folks to recover to the point that you had been before.
But as if that was not enough, that same guy got reelected a little over a year ago with something over 75% of the vote. There had to have been a lot of educators who voted for him, not just home owners waiting for another property tax cut.
I have said all I am going to say on this issue on this blog, but I will continue to lobby the legislature to defeat this bill if it is not amended to give the entire tax increase to teacher pay, or to pass something better. Take a half a loaf if you like but I think, if you do, you won’t get a raise for another 4 or 5 years, because they will keep taking more and more of the tax for property tax relief each year.
Mr. Larson, if the Stallers end up killing this 1182 law, that Mr. Gosh fellow has a plan “B” and a plan “C” cooking. His plans are being thought out very well right now and probably contain no French math or ideas that are insaner than most. He has had a long time to build his plans into well thought out laws. So if this 1182 gets killed then there is still hope, I’m just sayin…
Troy, I agree on the principle of thoughtful legislating, but does anyone believe that’s what Rep. Stalzer is doing this weekend?
Mr. Grudznick, I think Gosch’s plan amounts to suggesting the teachers get better paying summer jobs to make up the difference of their low-paying teaching jobs!
Oops! DiSanto said 6 amendments on her Facebook post! Get your story straight , rethuglicans.
As a matter of respect for the process, even if I agreed with the bill:
1). I would only vote for a smoke-out in the rarest of occasions
2). I would only vote for a hog house if I had at known the contents for a day.
3). And with this volume of amendments in something this significant, I would also need a day.
P.S. I don’t care if Stalzer is delaying to pass it or kill it. It deserves due consideration.
A few points:
1. I was in Pierre last Wednesday. I attended Dem caucus and Dr. Ring brought up the obscure procedure that he was hearing the Repubs may try to stall 1182. Chair Bartling agreed she’d heard some rumblings also, but didn’t know if they had the votes to pull it off.
2. The Dems said there were 6 amendments (had copies), and agreed the most harmful one was to remove the emergency clause. (Defeated on the floor.)
3. At the Crackerbarrel last Saturday, Stalzer said he was against 1182, but interested in amendments that were being offered–especially the one to phase in the funding over three years. Apparently he was aware of amendments then.
4. Once the motion was made to invoke rule 5-17, the needed votes stood immediately. It wasn’t that one or two stood up, then another, then another…it was immediate and in unison.
My take-away to all of this: It was a planned stall tactic because they didn’t have the votes to kill the bill. And, they didn’t want to debate it with the gallery overflowing with educators and have to be accountable for their words.
I appreciate both perspectives on the issue, Lanny and Darin. I think to take one side of this is like trying to decide if you’re in favor or against the Governor’s plan; there really isn’t a truly great position to be on.
I don’t trust the Governor’s plan. If Cory’s numbers are right, I’m going to get about the same amount of a pay raise that I have gotten the last couple of years, since I teach in one of the smallest school districts in the state (unless we eliminate positions to make the target student: teacher ratio…. Which is a bigger, more immediate problem for me and my colleagues, if we suddenly lose our jobs). This plan doesn’t help the smallest districts in any way, as it is.
I don’t trust Rep. Stalzer or his colleagues in the legislature, their intentions for funding teacher pay have never been in support of it. I do believe his move to delay vote on it was a cowardly act to avoid being held accountable to supporters of education in this state and to gather enough support to kill the bill outright.
So, what is the right answer? While I hate regressive taxes, the Democrats’ plan is far less so than the Governor’s, but because it’s reasonable and offered by the minority party, it will never be considered as a realistic option.
I have been skeptical of everything about this since last summer with the start of the BRTF committee was implemented, and I have yet to feel relieved or reassured that our state’s leadership is honestly trying do what’s right or education. It still feels like a shell game being played with our tax dollars, our children’s futures, and respect for an entire profession.
Again, I have to ask: what is the right answer? Which path is the lesser of two awful outcomes? I wish I knew…
Well said, Travis Wicks.
Mr Wicks-opportunity knocks in iowa and Minnesota and other progressive states where teachers are more appreciated and aren’t the pariahs wingnuts accuse them of being.
In the first place, this has little to do with teacher pay. Our state loses more than just teachers to young folks looking for the successful careers with pay to match.
Our current tax structure is one of the most regressive in the nation. It has benefitted a very few of our 800,000 citizens and loads the burden disproportionally onto the backs of the lower income.
There is hardly an industry in SD that is not in jeopardy of losing their best employees to another state and those that stay are only here by a thread of family or some other singular reason.
Fix our tax structure and the road issues, teacher issues, economic development issue……all have opportunity to blossom.
When teachers and the other professionals get on board with this, change will come.
The choice is the sales tax or nothing for teachers.
The point is in the humiliating of the people who came to watch the debate. A teacher would be castigated if caught not preparing to teach a class.
Troy, I agree that the reality of situation is that it’s a sales tax increase or nothing for increasing teacher pay, but I’d like to understand why an income tax can’t be considered. Why is it so abhorrent to discuss the consider the implementation of an income tax to a majority of conservatives, but a sales tax increase is easier to swallow?
I know I’m quite a ways left on the progressive/liberal spectrum, but I truly don’t get the attitude that we should never go anywhere near personal or corporate income taxes in this state.
That is not factual, Troy. It may be late in the game this year but teacher pay darn sure does not hinge only on sales tax.
The sales tax increase only provides another piece for the general fund. The teacher pay game has no certainty with it or any other tax increase.
Where are these six amendments? Why have they not been published yet? Whoever’s got copies, send them here!
Troy, if that dilemma is not false, if that really is the only choice we have, then our Legislature lacks vision and creativity.
Three-year phase-in is bad. Even Governor Daugaard has acknowledged that the crisis is now and that we must act now. Three years phasing in is three years more when we are not competitive, three years more of job applicants we lose for good, three years more that our schools lose talent and our kids lose opportunities. Three years isn’t even a half measure; it’s a third measure that leaves us even further behind other states. Act now.
Amendments on the floor are usually a surprise to most. These are probably some heinous amendments meant to cripple the money that would go to good teachers.