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Democratic Leadership Column from Jamie Smith – Week 6

Updated: Apr 22

PIERRE, SD (February 18th, 2022) – Greetings from Pierre! We have just completed the sixth week of the Ninety-Seventh Legislative Session. Things are ramping up once again with Crossover Day around the corner and many committees doing double duty with morning and afternoon hearings. Regardless, we are working tirelessly in the best interest of the people of South Dakota.

Earlier this week, the Senate heard a bill that would have expanded Medicaid which would give medical insurance to an additional 40,000 South Dakotans. Unsurprisingly, this bill failed. South Dakotans support Medicaid Expansion, which will be on the ballot in November. I urge you to get out to vote and vote yes on Medicaid Expansion to help your fellow South Dakotans.

We are upset to see the passage of legislation that imposes on teachers and our students. Banning certain subjects from schools and classrooms limits educators in a way the government should not. As legislators, we should not tell teachers how or what to teach. We need to focus on making sure our schools and teachers have the resources they need to do their jobs. We need to trust, support, and invest in our teachers, not attack them.

This week Democrats fought the good fight, just like we always do. I want to thank my colleagues who have brought impactful and positive legislation for the people of our state. We may be the minority caucus, but we get things done. We bring good legislation that helps all South Dakotans. On Wednesday night, the Democratic caucus, along with Hughes and Stanley County Democrats, volunteered at Feeding South Dakota, packing 550 boxes of food. I encourage you to get involved at the local level and help your neighbors whenever you can. By working together and helping our neighbors we can make South Dakota better for all of us!

Democrats are here to work for you and want to hear from you! Please contact us to share your questions or concerns about the current session. Our caucus meetings have always been open to the public each day, an hour before floor session. Your voice matters to us, and we believe that together, we can create a South Dakota that works for all of us.

House Minority Leader Jamie Smith

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