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SD Lawmakers Respond To Gov.'s Address



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Although Governor Dennis Daugaard's State-of-the-State Address was shorter in length than usual, lawmakers were quick to say they look forward to what's in store for this legislative session.

It was clear on Tuesday, the Governor's proposed bill to change law enforcement and improve public safety in the state spiked lawmaker's interest.

State Senator Angie Buhl said she looks forward to hearing more about the Governor Daugaard's public safety initiative.
 
"I was encouraged to hear about the changes we're going to see on criminal justice," said Buhl.

"If our state policy does not change South Dakota's prison population will grow by more than 900 inmates in the next decade," said Governor Daugaard. 

"We're going to get smarter on crime, making the state safer as well at the same, saving taxpayer money," said Buhl.

State Representative Don Haggar said he believes the correction reform will be a central issue during the Legislative Session, but hopes to continue focusing on job creation.
 
"Specifically creating a tax climate, economic climate that encourages job creation," said Haggar.

Other concerns lawmakers want to focus on is education and social services, categories Haggar said won't be missed during legislative discussions.
 
"Education and social services spending, like Medicare and Medicaid, that makes up over half our spending at a state level, so that will always be an issue that we'll look at closely," said Haggar.

 In the end, both State Senator Buhl and State Representative Haggar, said they're pleased with the Governor's State-of-the-State Address.

"I think the Governor has some good initiatives, we have a lot of work to do," said Haggar.

"None of his solutions are ever my way or the highway. There really is a, here's an idea I'm throwing out there, here's how we can kind of come together and tweak it," said Buhl.

Governor Daugaard already has a criminal justice reform bill ready and lawmakers will be looking at it soon.

The reform follows numbers the governor received that said South Dakota's incarceration rate is higher than any other neighboring state.
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