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 Jason Frerichs Final Legislative Update from the 2010 Legislative Session

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PostSubject: Jason Frerichs Final Legislative Update from the 2010 Legislative Session   Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:26 pm

Hello,

Posted below is my Final Legislative Update from the 2010 Legislative Session.

If you are in the Webster Area on Wednesday join me for a Fundraiser that I will host to support Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin. For more details visit this link: http://jasonfrerichs.com/2010/04/04/354/

--jason
_________________________________________________________________________________
Governor Rounds finally gave his approval to House Bill 1155. This is a bill that I had drafted to address the issue of anemometer towers which are hard to see by our crop duster pilots. Truly a work in progress from the beginning as this bill was first tabled by the Commerce committee. In the end we reached a compromise between the wind companies and crop duster pilots. The State Department of Transportation was very helpful in providing facts and assisting to help solve the problem of visibility of these aluminum pipe towers.

This past week I had some discussion with Governor Rounds about the condition of roads and the flooding in northeast South Dakota. First off the Governor informed me that he and his staff are working with FEMA to see if roads that have severe issues due to all of the water could qualify for disaster assistance. Currently under the Federal rules only roads that have water that runs over them would qualify. All of us are quite familiar with roads that have been damaged from subsurface issues and are in severe need of being rebuilt. I hope the Governor and his staff continue to press this issue, and that requires all of us to continue to remind those folks of issues with roads and the water in northeast South Dakota.

By now I am sure most of you have heard of the budget cuts that were adopted by the Legislature. I did not vote for the budget bill that was presented to us on Tuesday evening. The severe cuts to rural communities such as the extension service, agriculture experiment station, and the State Fair are short-sighted and I did not support that effort to cut back programming in those areas. Education received serious reductions in higher education as well as K12 programs being cut along with the 0% increase in the per student allocation from the State. What does that mean if we do not send an increase to K12 education? All of us as local property taxpayers will have to keep our school districts afloat. Agriculture and education are my passions in life which I value only less than my Faith, Family and Friends. It is very disappointing that agriculture and education have to shoulder the cuts in South Dakota where those two areas define our State.

As Democrats we offered an amendment to the budget bill that would have allowed for the opportunity to spend the Federal Medicaid funds should the funds be provided to the State of South Dakota. This option would provide a 1.2% increase to K12 education, a 1.2% provider increase, as well as a one-time $500 bonus to full-time state employees. We looked at this amendment as a chance to be one-step ahead of the situation as well as provide much needed support to South Dakotans.

Looking ahead to next year one of the issues that still must be resolved is properly assessing the value of grassland for agriculture property taxes. Senator Jim Peterson has truly been a role-model for me in determining my path in the State Legislature and he has been the driving force on adapting to the productivity method for agriculture land. Sen. Peterson has continued to keep me informed on how we can further adapt this fair valuation of land. I wish to also take this opportunity to thank Sen. Gary Hanson for his service to District One. Gary has been a solid support to give me help as I continue to navigate the Legislative process.

Please keep me informed of any events that you would like me to attend in the future. You can continue to reach me at 949-2204 and email rep.frerichs@state.sd.us. Have an enjoyable Spring and letís hope Mother Nature will work with us this Summer!
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