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The pandemic heavily impacted South Dakota in 2020 and will continue to affect the upcoming legislative session. Governor Noem issued several executive orders relaxing regulations to give South Dakotans more options. We encourage our lawmakers to consider making many of these temporary steps prompted by the pandemic – such as the easing of regulations—permanent to continue improving the lives of all South Dakotans.
All students and families should be empowered to freely pursue the right education to fit their unique needs regardless of ZIP code or family income levels. Extending educational resources to thousands of South Dakota families and students will help create educational opportunities that best meet their unique needs and embrace the freedom of innovation and the dignity of the individual.
It’s time to re-imagine how school funding flows to allow educational funding to follow individual students. This year we will support legislation that enhances parental choice through options like charter schools and vouchers or Education Savings Accounts (ESAs).
We will also support legislation that would permanently repeal many of the regulations that were lifted in the executive orders of Governor Noem at the beginning of the pandemic, to include waiving instruction day requirements and testing requirements.
South Dakotans shouldn’t need a permission slip from the government to get to work. Our state is in the middle of the pack nationally when it comes to burdensome occupational licensing requirements, so there is work to be done. These obstacles to employment are threatening individual’s ability to find fulfilling work and preventing them from pursuing their American dream. This year, we will support legislation that supports occupational licensing recognition across state lines and a comprehensive sunrise/sunset review process to find and eliminate excessive licensing requirements, fees, and continuing education requirements.
AFP-SD will also focus its efforts on reining in excessive regulations to foster a regulatory environment that incentivizes innovation. We look forward to working with lawmakers to eliminate burdensome and costly barriers to better help businesses operate in our state.
South Dakota has one of the highest per capita incarceration rates in the United States. Too many people in our state who have been convicted of low-level, nonviolent crimes face needless barriers to employment, housing, and higher education, making it harder for them to become lawful, productive members of our communities.
We must eliminate barriers that block formerly incarcerated individuals from successfully returning to our communities after they’ve served their time and focus on treating addiction rather than incarcerating those charged with low-level drug offenses. We will also support legislation to abolish the unconstitutional taking of property by civil forfeiture to better protect citizen property rights in South Dakota.
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