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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Online Crackerbarrel: Ask Your Legislators about the Budget!

Update 2010.03.24:
Legislator Responses
and here!
The Madville Times is hosting an online crackerbarrel to give residents of District 8 an opportunity to ask their legislators important questions before they return to Pierre for Budget/Veto Day on March 29. Usually there's not much to discuss before Veto Day, but our legislators have yet to decide on budget cuts and pass the most important piece of legislation they consider, the state budget. They need our input, and you need to hear from them where they stand on budget priorities.

After two months in Pierre, our legislators may be too busy catching up at their day jobs to hold many public meetings, so I offer this crackerbarrel as a convenience for legislators and citizens alike. Here's how it will work:
  1. First, citizens, submit your questions here in the comment section. I'll take questions here through Thursday, March 18, at 5 p.m.
  2. My main focus is to get questions for our District 8 legislators: Senator Russell Olson, Representative Mitch Fargen, and Representative Gerry Lange. However, if you live in another district and want to submit a public question for your legislator, fire away.
  3. On Thursday around suppertime, I will e-mail Russ, Mitch, and Gerry the questions submitted here. I'll also send an e-mail notice to any other legislator to whom questions are directed.
  4. Legislators will have until Tuesday night, March 23, to send me their responses by e-mail. (Legislators can reply directly in the comment section if they want; I offer the e-mail route simply as a way to verify identity.)
  5. I will compile the legislators' e-mail responses and post them in full, verbatim, here on the Madville Times by the end of the day Wednesday, March 24.
  6. If further discussion ensues in the comment sections, that's great!
Big decisions remain for the South Dakota Legislature: make your voice heard! Submit your questions here, and let's see what our elected officials have to say about our budget and our shared future.


  1. Michael Black3/14/2010 1:21 PM

    All of South Dakota wants to know why the budget was put off until the last couple days of the session. It's the most important job of the legislature yet it seems that it received the least amount of attention. How can you justify weeks of inaction? By devoting more time to the budget could we not come up with a better package in the end?

  2. Steve Jacobsen3/14/2010 3:43 PM

    I'm curious about the amendments to cut the budget of South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Do you know which lawmakers introduced these amendments? Why is this such a difficult thing to find out?

  3. Why did no one address no bid contracts?

    Linda M

  4. Why put off the decision on the budget in anticipation of possible bailout by the federal gov't once again? This only makes the state more dependent on the federal gov't. Call the bluff of the federal gov't, streamline our budget, and live within our means.

    Neal McIntyre

  5. I would like to know if the legislature was aware that they would be expected to finance the Sanford Science Lab to the tune of over 5 million dollars while the State and the Federal agencies worked their magic! Seems like a huge amount of money to be allocated while all levels of education are experiencing freezes and cuts.

  6. For Rep Jackie Sly (and any others that wish to comment)

    Why did you vote in favor of equal time for "astrological causes" for global warming?

  7. The Madison Area Arts Council has been vocal advocates of the Arts, and we've been actively serving our community for well over 40 years, providing for and improving the quality of life for everyone within the Madison Area and beyond.

    What do you see as the Arts & Cultural needs of the Madison Community, and surrounding communities within your district, and how do you think that this programming should be supported, from the private sector, from the city, or more from the state and federal levels?

  8. Now that everyone else has had a chance, I'll add a question: The Madison Daily Leader reported last week that the proposed budget includes cuts in tech spending for the schools. The Leader article suggested the DDN videoconferencing network might be cut completely. Plus, the article said the K-12 Data Center might see cuts, leaving schools to try finding their own web hosting and similar services. I'd like our legislators to shed some light on just what these tech cuts will eliminate and what impacts that will have on the state budget, on local schools, and on DSU (which is involved in managing the k12.sd.us domain and services).


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