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South Dakota Sees Falling Scores, A Tough Legislative Session

July 24, 2017

South Dakota Sees Falling Scores, A Tough Legislative Session

WASHINGTON DC – The American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) has just released its ratings for the 2017 meeting of the South Dakota State Legislature. These ratings, a portion of the comprehensive and nationwide ratings released by the ACUF, are designed to reflect how elected officials view the role of government and are helpful in illustrating how both chambers of the legislature as well as individual members’ prioritize a wide variety of issue areas that directly affect South Dakotans.

The ACUF has reviewed each piece of legislation voted on in both the Senate and House of Representatives to produce average scores for each chamber as well as individual scores for each sitting member.

South Dakota lawmakers took pen to paper on various issues during the 2017 legislative session including nursing and farm regulations, food stamp reform, property rights, gun permits, and alcohol. The 2017 South Dakota State Legislature saw both chambers working closely together, passing a good number of bills in both the House and the Senate. Most notably, the legislature voted to:

· Allow nurse practitioners and midwives to practice without an agreement with a physician once completing 1,400 hours of training;

· Eliminate the requirement that farm corporations file annual reports with the Secretary of State detailing their operations from the previous year;

· Require food stamp recipients to cooperate with the state Division of Child Support in order to receive benefits; and

· Allow members of the National Guard and Armed Forces reserve to carry a pistol without a permit;

Despite the two chambers working together to pass a handful of beneficial legislation this year, the average scores for the South Dakota State Senate and House both fell this year, suggesting the legislative body has room for improvement. The South Dakota Senate’s average score decreased by 2% points this year – from 59% in 2016 to 57% in 2017 – and the House’s score decreased by 3% – from 63% in 2016 to 60% this year.

To view the 2017 Ratings of South Dakota, click here.

For questions or media inquiries regarding ACUF state ratings, email Jackie Anderson, Director of Policy and Public Affairs for the American Conservative Union Foundation, at janderson@conservative.org.

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