State Representative , South Dakota State Legislature
2016 — 2019
Quotes on the Issues
The health of South Dakotans is critical to the well-being of our state. Investing in preventative care, today, will reduce our health care costs in the future. People should have access to quality health care regardless of geography or financial means. In Washington, I will work to create a healthcare system that is affordable, promotes innovation and respects our free enterprise system.
I'm committed to improving the lives of South Dakota's workers and their families. South Dakota has the highest percentage of dual income families in the nation. We need more skilled workers in South Dakota. We can accomplish this through increasing opportunities for citizens to obtain a higher ed degree. A fully funded needs-base scholarship will enable more South Dakotans to get a degree and meet these workforce needs.
South Dakota veterans deserve efficient and compassionate, life-long care. I believe that all veterans should have access to VA care no matter their level of income or disability. Currently, our state vets home cannot serve veterans that are categorized as "assisted living". These veterans are forced to relocate to a different facility. As your U.S. Senator is will submit legislation calling for Congress to include assisted living reimbursements, so we can provide a continuum of care at the State Veterans Home in Hot Springs.
It is essential that our state protect our water, air, land and other natural resources. Protecting our resources is both essential and beneficial to responsible economic development and quality of life. We need to manage these resources in a way that strengthen South Dakota's vital industries like hunting and tourism. Our polices should promote sound conservation practices geared toward long-term sustainability. These policies need to include all forms of energy (including coal) and emphasize and encourage energy conservation.
For the past 3 years, I have worked in our public schools and understand the struggles to provide services and education to this great group of students. As a state legislator, I passed legislation to improve access to services and helped improve the special education funding formula in South Dakota. I will work in Washington to improve special education funding, so schools can provide more staff and educational opportunities for these students.
Good jobs follow a good education. We must ensure a high quality education by investing in our schools, teachers and most importantly, our children. In the past 2 years, I have passed legislation to improve educational delivery for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, fought to increase access and funding for college scholarships and helped increase funding to K-12 education. We did this without raising your taxes.
I have been a business owner in Dell Rapids for 20 years. Small business is the foundation of a strong local economy. South Dakota should invest in our companies, entrepreneurs and workers.