SD Lawmakers & Citizens Weigh in at Legislative Forum

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-Bills and proposals dealing with hot-button issues are brewing in the South Dakota State Capitol. Before any of them become law, some voters got to weigh in over a cup of coffee with their representatives.

Many voters made their voices heard in Sioux Falls on topics such as making early education more widely available. Haley Hoium is a 4th grade teacher who wants to see change.

“Why are some of these students failing? Why are some of these educational gaps getting larger? And if we had early childhood education that would be one way to start preventing some of those problems we see long term,” said Hoium.

Hoium was happy to see legislators discuss house bill 1175 which would create an early learning advisory council to study this issue.

“Educating our little people in this state. It’s giving people the start that they need to be successful in life,” said Rep. Jamie Smith, DSioux Falls.

Several others touched on nursing home funding reform.

“We are in a crisis right now, so we need to find ways to fund more nursing home beds closer to home for families, so they can live out their ending years in dignity,” said Rep. Linda Duba, D-Sioux Falls.

Also mentioned is legalizing industrial hemp. Some legislators support the idea.

“We need to move forward and offer another crop here for our South Dakota farmers to grow. It’s another tool in the tool box for our farmers,” said Rep. Smith.

Lawmakers say it was a great discussion and they’d like to see even more of the community get involved in the future.

“We’re just their representatives. It’s not suppose to be our place to just choose what we want to do. We want to represent our people and our district and we need their feedback. It’s important,” said Rep. Manny Steele, (R)-Sioux Falls.

The last public forum of this legislative session in Sioux Falls will be held Saturday, February 23rd at 10 in the morning at Southeast Tech.

 

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