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State Pays Dues for Five Legislative Research Groups, ALEC Dues for Five Legislators

In addition to spending tens of thousands of dollars to pay for legislators’ out-of-state travel, we taxpayers are also footing the bill for all legislators to belong to a handful legislative organizations. A Pierre-connected source provides these figures on dues paid for the Legislature in the current fiscal year:

One can argue that membership in these bipartisan/non-partisan organizations is a reasonable investment in research and services to help all legislators do their job better. These organizations are certainly a cut above the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate lobbying group trying to turn every state legislature into a subsidiary of Koch Brothers, Inc.

We taxpayers may not be paying for memberships to the corporate-fatcat ALEC for every legislator, but in addition to funding trips to those corporate propaganda sessions, we taxpayers have covered $100, two-year ALEC memberships for five legislators in the last two years: Rep. Larry Zikmund, Rep. Sue Peterson, Rep. Leslie Heinemann, Rep. Brian Gosch, and Sen. Kris Langer.


  1. leslie 2017-12-29 20:04

    no surprise. republicans in sd will usurp public money for any scheme to give them a cheaters’ edge up. We are watching the death spiral of the GOP nationally and if Trump wasn’t clogging the airwaves with idiocy, we’d be focused on it. But as stated earlier, Trump is in fact holding hostage 800,000 Dreamers for wall money. Spend it on ALEC, spend it on a wall, sabatoge the nation’s health care, make billionaires a trillion richer in a year. That’s our GOP . destroying 13,000,000 citizens’s lives here, 800,000 Dreamers there….ugh

  2. John 2017-12-30 09:02

    I wrote earlier – recreate the legislature to the 33-representative non-partisan unicameral to improve governance, efficiency, effectiveness, and increase their pay with the same salary funds. There should be a ban on paying ALEC memberships; they are partisan.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-12-30 10:30

    I’m afraid the only way we’ll effectively ban payments for ALEC memberships is to elect Democratic majorities, because no Democratic Speaker or President Pro-Tem will authorize those payments. (and if they turn around and pay dues for Democratic members’ out-of-state travel to some wild Democratic partisan conclave, I’ll blog them out, too!)

  4. CLCJM 2018-01-01 10:14

    How is it legal for our tax dollars to be spent on all these partisan memberships and indoctrination sessions? Is it allowed under our constitution? I’m sure there are no rules against it!

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-01 14:15

    Definitely the latter, CLCJM. Of course, Mickelson and Greenfield also have a statute granting them exclusive and unchecked authority to sign off on reimbursements for members’ out-of-state travel and other indulgences.

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