First Legislative Coffee Takes Place

Sioux Falls, S.D.- Legislative Coffees are a great opportunity for the public to hear local legislators speak on new bills brought to elected officials.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to hear what the public is concerned about and for them to listen to our explanations.  They get information directly from us,” says Representative Thomas Holmes.

The Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce hosted the first of three legislative coffees at the Holiday Inn in downtown Sioux Falls.

Topics covered included the half-penny sales tax, immigration bills, clean energy concerns and potential pay raises for law makers.

Representatives say these coffees are important to connect with the public about their concerns.

“Well I think legislative coffees are just so great, and I really appreciate the community coming out and telling us what they think.  I mean in South Dakota, we’re a citizen legislature, we live and work beside everybody that’s represented, and so we love it when we come and hear their opinion because that’s what it’s all about,” says Senator Deb Soholt.

At the same time, it also gives legislators the floor to discuss matters that are very important to them.

“I think we need to have a state-wide preschool system.  And that’s why, with help, I’ve established an endowment that would be privately funded and privately administered,” Representative Holmes tells us.

Senator Soholt says these legislative coffees are a great way to have civil discussions about these issues.

“When you look at everything on social media, there’s just a lot of trying to ignite strong emotion and what I would ask people to do is take a breath and talk to us about your position in a calm manner because i really want to hear what it is,” says Senator Soholt.

The other two legislative coffees at the Holiday Inn will be on February 10th and the 24th.

The coffee on February 10th will feature legislators from districts nine, 13 and 15, while the final coffee on the 24th will have legislators from districts six, 11 and 12.

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