Legislative Highlights (District 23) 1-16-13

Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:07 am

This questionnaire was sent to Rep. Hoffman by the Faulk County Record

LEGISLATIVE QUESTIONAIRE:

1. What do you think needs to happen at the legislature this year?

For every legislator who started his or her tenure in the legislature in 2009 this will be the first year we will be operating with a positive cash flow able to fund any special interest projects without taking money from reserves or stimulus money to do so. What this really means is that for all of us the pencil needs to be truly sharpened with only long term positive projects of one time appropriations being looked at and forward funded interests of extreme high necessities. In light of what has happened with regard to school shootings a statewide plan of better protecting our children must be put together with school administrators,

teachers, state and local law enforcement and certain school board members. The national debate on this will continue but in the meantime we must come up with something to insure that what happened in Connecticut never happens in South Dakota if at all possible.

2. What committees will you be serving on?

For the upcoming session I will be serving on the House Judiciary which meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10 a.m. in room 413 and Chair the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee which meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:45 a.m. in room 464. If you wish to listen to the hearings at home on your computer you will find them broadcast on South Dakota Public Broadcasting at this web site; http://www.sdpb.org/, or better yet come to your Capitol and attend any committee we have. The legislature is your legislature and the more you are involved the more we will all be better off because of it.

3.What will be your main goals this session?

First on the list of goals for the 2013 session will be running theHouse Ag committee as well as it has ever been run. Working with the Game Fish and Parks in coming up with some solutions to our continued loss of nesting habitat for upland game another huge issue if we are to maintain our number one pheasant hunting status and keep our out of state friends coming back to enjoy our great outdoors. With over $100,000,000 invested into our state from pheasant hunting alone we really need to figure out how to maintain public hunting and high pheasant numbers in order to keep that economic plus from shrinking.

4. Is there any legislation that you are especially interested in?

The SD Legislature’s summer study oil committee is proposing around 10 pieces of legislation which will place us in similar statutorily context as North Dakota and if passed here will greatly improve our relationship with that industry. It will also protect mineral owners and landowners and simplify the movement of that industry into South Dakota should that become a reality. Other than shepherding those bills through the Ag committee I have a myriad of other interesting bills which should be entertaining to watch flow through the legislature. As they come up you can be certain that I will be writing about them here.

5. The information where you can reach me is copied below and will be under all my future postings. I can honestly say it is an honor serving you in the legislature and I am humbled with the trust placed in doing so.

Charlie Hoffman, District 23 Representative

Cell: 605-216-0027

Home: 605-577-6530

Email; hmanangus@valleytel.net.

34328 106th St.

Eureka, SD 57437

Happy New Year to you all! It is once again my great pleasure to serve District 23 as your State Representative for this my third term. I was also again elected to serve as the Assistant Majority Leader in the House of Representatives again and look forward to working with my two very accomplished and hardworking district mates Senator Corey Brown and Representative Charlie Hoffman. We have a great team in district 23 and hope to prove once again that you all made the right choice.

District 23 had three major changes to its makeup over the last election. Hyde County is no longer in the makeup. Hand, eastern McPherson and two of the southwest townships of Spink are now included in District 23. Hope to see many of you during session!!!

The 88th Legislative Session is up and running as of Tuesday, Jan. 8, consisting of four sessions and running through Friday, Jan. 11. Governor Dennis Daugaard gave his State of the State address on Tuesday the 8th , in which he expressed his gratitude for all of last the years progress as well as encouraging efforts of continuing state growth through education. He was followed by Chief Justice David Gilbertson’s State of the Judiciary Message Wednesday, Jan. 9. Chief Justice Gilbertson addressed the issues for “abused children’s, people addicted to drugs and alcohol, and veterans who have fallen on hard times.” The third and fourth session days, January 10 and 11, covered proposed House Bills under consideration.

The State of the State address Tuesday, Jan. 8 consisted of Governor Daugaard applauding previous “tough budget decision[s]” that were made last year, proposing this year’s WINS agenda, and to encourage investing in teaching. Governor Daugaard’s current agenda is for the South Dakota Workforce Initiatives (WINS), to help “get more South Dakotans trained and ready to work.” The WINS effort consists of a 20-point plan split into four categories: Preparing our children, Training for skilled jobs, Promoting Rural Health Occupations, and New South Dakotans. Daugaard suggests that by implementing more opportunities for scientists and engineers more jobs will be created and filled. As for Governor Daugaard’s call for investment in teaching, the word investment will not be coined strictly to a monetary increase. He expressed that throwing more money into the system has not shown better achievements and that we must instead invest in keeping and hiring effective teachers. Investing in teachers will be conducted by implementing a teachers training program, dropping No Child Left Behind, and having a better teacher evaluation system.� However, although Daugaard does not think a budget increase will help achievements, by 2014 the state may see a 3% increase for K-12 education. Daugaard also suggested that future teacher’s tenure change, therefore “ending availability of tenure, effective July 1 of this year”.

The State of the Judiciary Message, given by Chief Justice David Gilbertson Wednesday, Jan. 9, covered the expansion of substance abuse courts, veterans and the need for more programs, and a three-point plan aimed at keeping attorneys in rural areas. Chief Justice Gilbertson’s personal experience has led him to conclude that the state of South Dakota needs to take action in implementing more rehabilitation centers. Patterns of repeat offenders, he believes, are due to the fact that those incarcerated have historically only been given one of two options: either return to incarceration or be put out on probation. Gilbertson had called for a third option, drug courts, and continues to encourage their growth and implementation of Alcohol courts as well. Current drug courts have shown signs of success as forty-one people have graduated from the programs with only seven relapsing. Therefore, the courts allow for an 81 percent success rate. Veterans were also a key issue in the speech as Gilbertson wanted to implement programs for veterans to try and help them cope with changes in their lives instead of prosecuting them in times of hardships. Gilbertson also asked that the state works on increasing the access to attorneys in rural areas by providing resources, developing incentives, and creating a website.

Sessions slowed down on the 10th and 11th with house cleanup which consisted of the motion to roll over the House rules of the eighty-seventh legislative session into the eighty-eighth session. This motion was carried and affirmed January 10. This week’s House Bills 1036 and 1063 were passed and the committee of State Affairs is still taking into consideration House Bill 1012 after proposed amendments. The Committee on Judiciary is also taking into consideration House Bills 1008 and 1009. Both committees recommend that all bills do pass after listed amendments for HB 1012 are made. The last day of session was a short one, beginning at 12:30 Friday, Jan. 11 and ending at 12:42.

As always your input and concerns are appreciated. I can be contacted by phone @ 605-769-1017 (please leave a message if you do not get me). I can also be contacted by email at either my personal justinRcronin@gmail.com or my state Rep.Cronin@state.sd.us . Traditional mail may be sent to PO Box 42 Gettysburg SD 57442.

The legislature completed its first week of session. We began the week with updates from both the Governor and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Both reflected a relatively positive outlook for the state this next year.

One of the major themes of both updates was the coordinated effort to reform the sentencing and rehabilitation efforts of our criminal justice system. Over the past summer there was a workgroup comprised of input from hundreds of stakeholders. Their task was to find a way to appropriately sentence our non-violent offenders. I stress non-violent.

If current estimates hold, the state would probably be forced to build at least one new prison in the next five years. That would cost tens of millions of dollars. Rather, by focusing our efforts now on initiatives like expanded drug and alcohol courts, research and other states have demonstrated that we could dramatically reduce prison populations, use our limited resources much more efficiently, and ultimately help rehabilitate offenders much more effectively.

I would expect this will be one of the biggest bills to watch this session. It was introduced as Senate Bill 70 (or SB70). If you are interested in tracking this, or any other bill, I would encourage you to use the legislature’s website. It contains a wealth of information and does a great job of providing timely updates to the status of all the bills. You can access the website at: http://legis.state.sd.us

At this point, most of the bills that have been introduced come from the executive branch. Many of them are corrections or efforts to reduce the number of laws on the books. Over this next week, we will see more individual bills from legislators and I would imagine some of the more controversial topics.

On the first day of the session, I was honored to be selected by the other senators as the President Pro Tempore of the senate. In this position, I will serve as the presiding officer of the senate in the absence of the Lt. Governor who typically runs the day-to-day sessions of the senate. I am also responsible for assigning the rest of the senators to their respective committees. In addition to those duties, I will assign the bills to the various committees and serve as one of the members of the leadership team.

As one of your voices in Pierre, I hope that you will contact me as these issues are debated throughout the session. You can reach me via email at: coreywbrown@gmail.com, by phone at: (605) 769-0540, or by mail at: 316 S Potter ST, Gettysburg SD 57442.

Legislative Highlights

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