March 20th, 2017 – City Hall Council Chambers

5:30 P.M.

1. Call to Order – Roll Call – Pledge of Allegiance

2. Approval of Agenda

3. Approval of Minutes – March 6th, 2017 Minutes

4. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

5. Department Head Discussion

Public Works Director – General Discussion

            Finance Officer – General Discussion

6. Public Presentations – Public Hearings

            a. Second Reading – Ordinance #788 – Planning Commission Composition

            b. First Reading – Ordinance #789 – Vacation Home Rental License

c. Resolution #03-06-17A – Alley Vacation – Block 48

            d. Resolution #03-20-17A – Acknowledging that the City’s has Water & Wastewater Emergency Plans


7. Old Business



8. New Business

            a. Wreaths Across America Request – Brock Hoagland

            b. Easement for the Life of Structure – 13 Lincoln Street

            c. 2017 Pool Management Contract – Custer YMCA

            d.  Tesla Rally Street Closure, Showmobile & Brown Bag Request – Custer Chamber of Commerce

            e. Gold Discovery Days Street Closure, Park Usage, Showmobile, Parade Request – Custer Chamber of Commerce

            f. Community Garden Agreement


9.  Presentation of Claims –

10. Committee Reports –

11. Executive Session – Personnel, Proposed Litigation, & Contract Negotiations (SDCL 1-25-2)

12. Adjournment


Board of Equalization Meeting – March 20th, 2017 4:30 P.M. 

Park & Recreation Committee Meeting – March 21st, 2017 5:30 P.M. 

Public Works Committee Meeting – March 27th, 2017 5:00 P.M. 

Regular City Council Meeting – April 3rd, 2017 5:30 P.M.

General Government Committee Meeting – April 10th, 2017 4:00 P.M.

Planning Commission Meeting – April 11th, 2017 7:00 P.M. 

Regular City Council Meeting – April 17th, 2017 5:30 P.M.

Daugaard Signs Additional Measures To Replace IM 22

March 14, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard today signed four ethics bills to replace concepts of Initiated Measure 22 which were supported by the public. The bills are in addition to the five IM 22 replacement measures signed into law last week.

“State officials on both sides of the aisle worked together to deliver on the promise of replacing Initiated Measure 22 with constitutional, workable legislation,” Gov. Daugaard said. “Nine replacement measures were passed to honor the citizens’ expectation of honest government, an open and transparent campaign finance system, and a legislative process which allows lobbyist influence only through their arguments.

Among the bills signed was Senate Bill 151, a measure sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Blake Curd. SB 151 creates an ethics complaint process for elected officials and other public employees and gives the Secretary of State the authority to levy penalties and refer repeated violations to the Division of Criminal Investigation.

Gov. Daugaard also signed Senate Bill 54, which includes makes a number of clean up and clarification provisions. The bills also establish prohibitions on the use of campaign money. Candidates may only use campaign funds for campaign expenses, expenses created by being a current or former elected official, or donations to other political campaigns.

“SB 54 creates a sensible change in campaign finance law. Campaign funds should be limited to the three uses spelled out in the bill and should not be rolled into a candidate’s or elected official’s personal account,” said the Governor.

The two other measures signed today, Senate Bill 171 and Senate Bill 27, create a task force on campaign finance and allow tougher criminal penalties for conflict of interest cases where a public official used public money illegally.

On Friday, March 10, Gov. Daugaard signed into law Rep. Karen Soli’s bill to establish a government accountability board and Speaker Mark Mickelson’s lobbyist gift ban bill, as well as three other ethics measures.


Shantel Krebs Photo:

March 13, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. – Shantel Krebs announced Monday that she intends to run for South Dakota’s lone seat in the United States House of Representatives.

“I believe for the first time in my life, we have an opportunity to make the federal government more responsive to what we expect and deserve”, Krebs said in a press release. “Just like we do in South Dakota and just like I’ve done in my office.”

Krebs currently serves as South Dakota’s 28th Secretary of State. Prior to that she spent ten years in the legislature and held leadership roles in both the house and senate and Krebs was the first woman in the state’s history to serve as chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Dusty Johnson is also in the race for South Dakota’s seat.

Congressional Candidate Dusty Johnson has released the following statement regarding Secretary of State Shantel Krebs’ U.S. House candidacy:
“These days it seems like candidates are supposed to attack each other. Well, not me and not today. Shantel is a friend and I welcome her to the Congressional race.”
Source KSFY

Gov. Daugaard Signs Public Safety Bill

March 13, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard this afternoon signed into law Senate Bill 176, an Act to preserve the use of public land, to ensure free travel, to enhance emergency response, and to declare an emergency. The bill which passed with a two-thirds majority last week is effective immediately.

“My administration brought this bill to protect those who want to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights, as well as the people who reside in and travel through our state,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Legislators on both sides of the aisle voted to support this bill and I appreciate their recognition of the urgency of this issue.”

SB 176 prohibits individuals from blocking highways and interfering with traffic, and allows the South Dakota Department of Transportation to temporarily establish no parking zones. The new law also gives the Chief Justice authority to temporarily license outside attorneys to assist counties with an increase in criminal cases.

After hearing lawmakers’ concerns about dialogue with tribal governments, Gov. Daugaard last week sent a letter to all nine tribes inviting conversation on potential protests. In the letter the Governor says his administration will hold roundtable discussions for tribal chairs to attend and participate.

In addition to SB 176 and the land sale measures, Gov. Daugaard also signed the following bills into law today:

HB 1034 – An Act to establish certain fees for receiving electronic files of petitions, to revise certain provisions concerning filing petitions and other documents, and to revise certain provisions concerning elections and voting.

HB 1035 – An Act to revise and provide certain procedures for filing, certifying, and challenging petitions.

HB 1082 – An Act to grant limited immunity from arrest and prosecution for certain related offenses to persons who assist certain persons in need of emergency assistance or who are themselves in need of emergency assistance.

HB 1112 – An Act to revise certain provisions related to construction managers on certain public improvement projects

HB 1159 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the regulation of commercial breeding operations.

HB 1179 – An Act to revise certain provisions related to exemptions from licensure for nonresidential mortgage loans.

HB 1185 – An Act to revise certain provisions concerning recreational facilities provided by municipalities.

SB 103 – An Act to revise certain provisions concerning the process for truancy citations and formal petitions and to declare an emergency.
SB 104 – An Act to protect certain easement holders and rural customers from shutoffs by certain energy companies.

SB 120 – An Act to repeal the Legislative Planning Committee and revise certain provisions regarding agency performance reviews.

SB 130 – An Act to revise provisions regarding the amount licensing agents may collect on the sale of certain licenses and permits for the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to designate the use of certain funds received by the department, and to establish certain reporting requirements.

SB 138 – An Act to provide certain provisions regarding asbestos bankruptcy trust claims.

SB 141 – An Act to revise certain provisions relating to child support.

SB 147 – An Act to establish a rate-setting methodology for services delivered by community-based health and human services providers.

SB 166 – An Act to provide certain provisions excluding business-to-business lending from certain money lending limitations.

Gov. Daugaard Signs Surplus Land Bills

March 13, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard this morning signed a package of bills which allow the sale of surplus lands owned by the state. The measures include lands and properties on the STAR Academy, State Veterans Home, and State Training School campuses.

“Though stewardship efforts such as these may seem run-of-the-mill during a busy legislative session, they are important,” Gov. Daugaard said. “We owe it to the taxpayers to keep the state’s footprint to a minimum, to avoid spending tax dollars on maintenance of unneeded facilities and to return these properties to the tax rolls when possible. It may be an unglamorous undertaking, but it’s a necessary one.”

The following surplus land bills were signed today:

·         House Bill 1205 allows for the sale of unused property formerly belonging to Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City.

·         House Bill 1206 allows for the sale of the former State Training School campus near Plankinton.

·         House Bill 1207 authorizes the transfer of several vacant buildings and adjoining lands from the South Dakota Developmental Center to the city of Redfield.

·         House Bill 1208 allows for the sale of underutilized buildings and land on the State Veterans Home campus in Hot Springs.

·         House Bill 1209 allows for the sale of STAR Academy property near Custer.

·         House Bill 1210 allows for the sale of South Dakota School for the Deaf property in Sioux Falls.

The bills do not require any sale, and provide for an appraisal process to ensure the state receives fair value for the property.

The proceeds from the sale of STAR Academy and Aurora Plains would be deposited in the DOC training school trust fund to support juvenile services. Proceeds from the Veterans Home and Western Dakota Tech land sales would go to the general fund. The bill pertaining to the South Dakota Developmental Center directs any profit to the SDDC trust fund. Proceeds from the sale of the School for the Deaf property would be deposited in a trust fund for the benefit of School for the Deaf programming.

Gov. Daugaard Signs More Bills Into Law

 Bills Signed by Governor

March 10, 2017

Gov. Daugaard Signs More Bills Into Law 

PIERRE, S.D. – In addition to the Initiated Measure 22 replacement measures, Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed the following bills into law today:

HB 1001 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding prison or jail population cost estimates.

HB 1014 – An Act to make an appropriation for the purchase of land by the South Dakota Department of the Military for use by the South Dakota Army National Guard and to declare an emergency.

HB 1063 – An Act to repeal certain provisions relating to the payment of special assessments.

HB 1090 – An Act to define certain fees incident to the extension of credit.

HB 1092 –An Act to revise certain alcoholic beverage licensing provisions concerning the manufacturing and sale of cider.

HB 1097 – An Act to revise certain unemployment insurance contribution rates, to provide for an unemployment insurance administrative fee, and to provide for the distribution of the fee.

HB 1101 – An Act to increase the penalty for performing an abortion of an unborn child capable of feeling pain.

HB 1103 – An Act to allow for service by publication for certain paternity and child custody actions.

HB 1113 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding protection orders.

HB 1141 – An Act to provide for a legislative task force to consider certain legislation proposed to revise provisions regarding the constitutional amendment, initiative and referendum process in South Dakota.

HB 1143 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding underage prostitution.

HB 1147 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding concealed carry permits and to declare an emergency.

HB 1155 – An Act to revise the penalty for aggravated assault with the intent to disfigure the victim.

HB 1184 – An Act to exempt certain persons working in postsecondary technical institutes from collective bargaining provisions.

HB 1191 – An Act to require cooperation with the Division of Child Support as a condition of eligibility for the SNAP program.

SB 22 – An Act to exempt certain unmanned aircraft systems from the requirement to be registered as aircraft.

SB 23 – An Act to revise the authority of the Transportation Commission to make loans from the state highway fund to local governments for highway and bridge construction and maintenance purposes.

SB 29 – An Act to provide for the use of mobile breath alcohol testing in the 24/7 sobriety program.

SB 34 – An Act to revise certain provisions related to securities held as unclaimed property and to declare an emergency.

SB 44 – An Act to revise the definition of individuals with a serious emotional disturbance.

SB 60 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the sale of consumers power district assets.

SB 74 – An Act to exempt the elected members of the governing board of any federally recognized Indian tribe from the requirement to register as lobbyists.

SB 81 – An Act to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or possession of alcohol in a powdered, condensed, or other concentrated form under most circumstances.

SB 82 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the review of juvenile corrections.

SB 84 – An Act to provide for the suspension of the probationary period for juvenile probationers under certain conditions.

SB 86 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the deposit of county funds.

SB 88 – An Act to revise the definition of an electric transmission facility.

SB 90 – An Act to repeal certain provisions related to certain prior statements of a witness subject to discovery and to establish the rationale and effect of the repeal.

SB 98 – An Act to revise provisions regarding deadlines for municipal election recounts.

SB 99 – An Act to revise certain provisions regarding the petition signature requirements for municipal electio

SB 102 – An Act to require that the name and telephone number of an organization fighting to end sex trafficking be given, in writing, to any woman seeking an abortion.

SB 113 – An Act to require certain provisions to be met before distribution of the 911 emergency surcharge revenue and to revise the effective date for the sunset clause provisions that lower the 911 emergency surcharge and revise the method of distributing funds.

SB 136 – An Act to permit and regulate the practice of licensed certified professional midwives.

SB 140 – An Act to require schools to provide instruction in hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

SB 143 – An Act to create an off-sale delivery license and to allow certain off-sale licensees to deliver alcohol.

SB 145 – An Act to provide limitation on liability for certain architects and engineers

SB 149 – An Act to provide certain protections to faith-based or religious child-placement agencies.

State Officials Of All Stripes Upholding IM 22 Promise – UPDATE – Daugaard Signs IM 22 Replacement Measures

March 10. 2017   

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard this morning signed five measures to replace concepts of Initiated Measure 22 which were supported by the public.

“State officials of all stripes undertook the difficult work of replacing Initiated Measure 22 with constitutional, workable legislation that meets the goals advanced by the IM 22,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Public servants from West River and East River, on the right and the left, and in the legislative and executive branches came together on these bills.”

Among the bills signed was House Bill 1073, the lobbyist gift ban bill brought by Speaker Mark Mickelson. HB 1073 prohibits legislators, statewide elected officials and heads of Executive Branch agencies from accepting pricey gifts from lobbyists.

“Proponents of IM 22 sold the measure by promoting a perception that state lawmakers are receiving expensive gifts from lobbyists. The speaker’s bill addresses that concern by helping to ensure a legislative process which allows lobbyist influence only through their arguments,” the Governor said.

Gov. Daugaard also signed House Bill 1076, Rep. Karen Soli’s bill to establish a government accountability board. The board is made up of four retired judges and has the authority to turn issues of concern over to the Division of Criminal Investigation. Rep. Soli worked with her colleagues across the aisle and Executive Branch officials to form the proposal.

In addition to HB 1073 and HB 1076, the Governor also signed:

HB 1052 – An Act to provide certain protections for public employees.

HB 1165 – An Act to provide for annually updated financial interest statements for any person elected to statewide or local office.

SB 131 – An Act to revise certain provisions concerning the period of time certain persons are prohibited from lobbying after leaving office.


A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

 March 10, 2017

PIERRE, SD – During the first few weeks of the 2017 Legislative Session, Initiated Measure 22 dominated the headlines. The 14,000-word initiated measure became the center of attention because of the constitutional problems it posed and the bizarre unintended consequences it would create. For example, IM 22 could have been read to say that a teacher in Sioux Falls would be a criminal if her husband is a state legislator.

Leaving Initiated Measure 22 in place was not a viable option, due to its constitutional issues and other problems. It could not be enforced as written. Another option was to repeal Initiated Measure 22, and return to the old laws. That was also not a good option, because it would have ignored the will of the voters.

I joined legislators in following a middle path. Together we repealed the unworkable law and made a promise to honor the voters’ intent.

Legislators brought forward proposals aimed at the citizens’ expectation of honest government, an open and transparent campaign finance system, and a legislative process which allows lobbyist influence only through their arguments. As I write this, four of these proposals are on their way to my desk.

Democratic Rep. Karen Soli’s House Bill 1076 creates a government accountability board to hold formal hearings on state government matters. The board is made up of four retired judges who will have the ability to consider allegations against state officials and turn issues of concern over to the Division of Criminal Investigation. Rep. Soli worked with her colleagues across the aisle and Executive Branch officials to form this proposal which was widely supported.

The lobbyist gift ban bill proposed by Speaker Mark Mickelson is also on its way to my desk. This bill prohibits public officials from accepting expensive gifts from lobbyists.

Two other measures, House Bill 1052 and Senate Bill 27, have passed both houses. House Bill 1052 expands whistle blower protections for state employees and Senate Bill 27 deals with conflicts of interest and increases the penalty for illegal use of public funds.

I support all of these bills, and by the time you read this, the measures may already have been signed into law. As I write this, there are other IM 22 replacement bills dealing with ethics and campaign finance which will likely pass also.

State officials of all stripes undertook the difficult work of replacing Initiated Measure 22 with constitutional, workable legislation that meets the goals advanced by IM 22. Public servants from West River and East River, on the right and the left, and in the legislative and executive branches came together on these bills. As session comes to a close, I’m pleased with these accomplishments.



By Eunice Hyon Min Rho, ACLU
March 9, 2017
Amidst the chaos and perpetual deluge of shocking headlines out of D.C., state legislatures are quietly moving forward with their anti-LGBT agenda, disguised as a more palatable “protection of religious freedom.”
The earliest out of the gate this year is South Dakota, which just passed a law that would allow child-placement agencies receiving state funds to refuse to provide services to children and families if they have religious objections. You won’t find any references to sexual orientation or gender identity in Senate Bill 149, but this and the dozens of other bills percolating across the country are being promoted by the same groups that are fighting tooth and nail to undermine equality for LGBT people.
What makes the South Dakota bill and others pending in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas especially galling is the callous disregard for kids in the foster care system who desperately need loving families to care for them. These bills prioritize the agencies’ religious beliefs over the needs of these states’ most vulnerable children, allowing agencies to use religious criteria to screen out qualified prospective parents.
South Dakotans who are ready, willing, and able to take care of kids in need could be rejected simply because they are LGBT, divorced, or don’t attend church regularly. The Child Welfare League of America opposed the bill, warning the legislature that “[t]his sweeping bill could be devastating for children in South Dakota’s foster care system, including the more than 300 awaiting adoption and the nearly 1000 children substantiated as abused and neglected.”
Bill Mawhiney, a gay man and a foster and adoptive parent in South Dakota, criticized the legislature for hurting “children in need of a home and the families who want to provide it.” He described the “exhaustive” process he and his partner underwent to become foster parents, which included classes, fingerprinting by both the local police and FBI, disclosing financial information, physicals, and letters of recommendation. If SB 149 becomes law, he warned that children could lose access to countless well-qualified families: “It breaks my heart to think that children could be left behind, denied the family they deserve, because of this misguided legislation.”
This is our last chance to stop SB 149 before this discriminatory bill becomes law. Send a message to the governor and urge him to protect children and veto SB 149.
Ensuring that all kids have loving homes should be a no-brainer and should not be a partisan issue. In fact, in 2015, a conservative Florida legislator shut down attempts to pass a similar law. “[T]here have been absolutely no indications that same-sex adoptions or same-sex foster care placements have had any negative effects on children,” he pointed out. “My goal here is to get more children—and more special needs children—adopted. … I don’t want there to be any barriers to those children having loving, permanent homes.”
He’s right. Anthony Siegrist, a kid adopted by a lesbian couple in Florida, wrote a blog because he wanted his legislators to know that:
“Being adopted and becoming a permanent member of this family has been the greatest gift of my life. … Allowing agencies to put their own interests above the needs of the children in their care is so cruel that I can’t understand how my state’s leaders are even considering it.”
Freedom of religion is one our most fundamental values, and the ACLU fights to defend it. But freedom of religion does not give anyone the right to impose their beliefs on others, to harm others, or to discriminate.
Over the last several years, state legislatures have acted aggressively in their attempts to pass broadly written religious exemption laws, like Religious Freedom Restoration Acts and First Amendment Defense Acts. The public saw through the sometimes obfuscating language and rejected these bills for what they are: measures that would allow religion to be used to discriminate against LGBT people in all walks of life. Indeed, the backlash was swift and painful, with lawsuits, boycotts, economic damage, and tarnished reputations.
Now they are shifting their strategy — by narrowing the scope of their discriminatory bills, these legislators are trying to sneak one past us. Don’t let them. Tell them discrimination is wrong no matter how it is dressed up, and our children and families deserve better.

SD District 30 Rep. Tim Goodwin Against SB176 – The Creation of Public Safety Zones

District 30 Representative Tim Goodwin

March 6, 2017

Greetings!  As mentioned, nine of us representatives in the House, Frye-Mueller and myself included, 3 senators including Sen. Lance Russell, wrote the attorney general in regard to the constitutionality of vehicle bills.  Well, Marty Jackley made a ruling that they are not unconstitutional (darn!).  The legislature as a body could pass a bill stopping vehicle bills in the future (not all bad).

This leads into SB176, you guessed it, a vehicle bill.  This bill was introduced in the Senate on Feb. 3rd, the last day that bills could be introduced.  It was 32 words long, with the thrust being, “the protection of the safety of the citizens of SD.”  By Feb. 15th, this 32-word bill had become a 1500-word bill, with 7 sections to it.  (Look up SD176 at .  This bill has passed the senate, 21 yeas and 14 nays, (Sen. Russell was a nay).  What concerns me is that this bill is aimed at protestors against the Keystone Pipeline, once it starts in west river and the Dakota Access pipeline, once it starts east river.

For the record, I’m for pipelines and truly believe it is the most efficient and environmentally safe way to transport oil.  I’m not for adding additional laws on the books when we have more than enough laws now.  This hog-housed vehicle bill, SB176, has language that gives the governor the authority to declare public safety zones, and make it a felony for anyone who trespasses in these zones more than twice in 2 years.  There is also language that no more than 20 people can gather near these safety zones.

I’m sure the governor’s intentions are good, as he’s trying to get out ahead and not let what happened in North Dakota happen in South Dakota.  For this I applaud his efforts.  I’m just not willing to give him authority to create safety zones and turn peaceful protestors into felons.

Monday, March 6th, starts the last week of the 92nd legislative session, so SD176 has to be voted on in the House, and if I have anything to do with it, defeated.  It will take 35 other representatives to vote with me to stop this bill.  In my opinion, it is government overreach big time.

We do go back to Pierre for one day, March 27, to address any vetoes the governor has signed.  He has gone public and said that he would veto HB1072 and HB1156, Constitutional Carry and Capitol Carry, respectively.

A few potpourri items:  At the Chamber Crackerbarrell, in Rapid City March 4th, the question was asked if the legislature would be in favor of a state income tax.?!  After this question was asked, the crowd erupted in applause!  The other Rapid City legislators did their best tap dance, talked about raising 4-1/2 cent sales tax to 5 cents, but didn’t throw out the state income tax idea.  I took the mic and said that not only was I totally against the state income tax, but that as long as I was in the legislature and still breathing, it would never pass!!  I know I probably came across a bit strong, but give me a break!!  This governor with the approval of the last two legislative sessions, has raised taxes $335 million.  Go back to 2015 and read SD1.  It will make your blood boil!!  My point is that if you keep feeding this alligator, it will only grow bigger, and bigger, and it will never be satisfied.

The reason I ran to represent the citizens of District 30 was to rein in government, not grow it.  Thanks for reading, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent you in Pierre.  Until next week…

Tim R. Goodwin, Representative, District 30

South Dakota’s Seat At The Table – A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard

March 3, 2017

PIERRE, SD – “Action is not a choice, it is a necessity.” Those were President Trump’s words on Obamacare to Congress. As the President mentioned in that speech, one-third of America’s counties now have only one insurer. A number of insurance companies have left the market. Others have been forced to raise premiums or narrow their networks, leaving South Dakotans and consumers nationwide with fewer options, which for many, are unaffordable.

Prior to Obamacare, as many as 17 separate insurance companies were offering individual health insurance plans in South Dakota. As Obamacare was adopted in 2010, companies began leaving the market. Last fall, one of South Dakota’s largest carriers, Wellmark, announced that it would no longer offer individual health insurance plans in South Dakota. This affected 8,000 South Dakotans, whose plans were terminated on Dec. 31. DakotaCare has also ceased offering health insurance plans. The company could no longer sustain the costs. Avera, which now owns DakotaCare, and Sanford are now the only two insurance options for individuals in South Dakota today.

Governors know that as Congress and the President consider the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, they will be reconsidering the expansion of Medicaid. This also offers an opportunity fundamentally to reform the Medicaid program. If Medicaid is to be sustainable, attention must be given to controlling Medicaid cost growth, for both the federal government and the states. As Medicaid cost control is considered, states should neither be rewarded nor penalized for having expanded or not expanded Medicaid eligibility under Obamacare.

Many states want the authority to require Medicaid beneficiaries, if they are able, to work, look for work or be trained for work. States also want the flexibility to require beneficiaries to engage in preventative care and wellness behaviors.

I recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend National Governor’s Association meetings, where I heard from Republican and Democrat congressional leaders. Republican leaders shared their belief that repeal and reform will take place on three fronts: a reconciliation bill, requiring just 51 votes in the Senate; administrative acts by U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price (using existing authority); and a further bill, which will require at least 60 votes in the Senate.

While in D.C., S.D. Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon and I joined state Senate Majority Leader Blake Curd at a private meeting with Secretary Price. At that meeting, we discussed South Dakota’s concern over IHS failures and the shift of Native American healthcare costs onto the state.

Thanks to Sen. John Thune’s office, we also had the chance to discuss IHS problems with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s chief health policy advisor. We also met with House Energy and Commerce Committee staff members, and with the chief counsel for the Senate Finance Committee. These committees will have jurisdiction over healthcare reform legislation.

It is clear that much work remains to determine how Congress will move forward on Medicaid and health care reform. Although I have no vote in this process, I am working to educate Congress and the Trump administration about South Dakota’s particular circumstances. As the debate continues, I will remain engaged. I will work to ensure South Dakota’s Medicaid program can meet the needs of the most vulnerable people in our state. I will also do what I can to bend the future cost curve so the program is sustainable over the long term.