Governor Establishing Council To Study Indian Education

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the state’s tribal leaders are joining together to improve the achievement levels and graduation rates of Native American students.

The Governor has established the Native American Student Achievement Advisory Council, which will consist of a variety of stakeholders including tribal leaders and representatives from the Indian Education Advisory Council, the South Dakota departments of Education and Tribal Relations, and education groups.

“Today’s world demands that, in order to succeed, students must graduate from the K-12 system prepared for postsecondary education and careers, and many of our Native American students face unique challenges in achieving these goals,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “This is an issue we must all confront. By bringing stakeholders together, I am confident we will establish an effective dialogue and move toward solutions.”

The council will report its findings to the Legislature and the Governor by Dec. 1, 2015.

The Governor signed the attached executive order to create the council.


Representative Julie Bartling

The mid-point of the 90th Legislative Session has come and bills have begun their rapid trek through committees, the House floor and onward to the Senate.

Bills coming before the House State Affairs committee are ones that certainly weigh on one’s personal convictions.  Two bills dealt with the state’s death penalty: one that would allow a victim’s opposition to the death penalty, voiced through family members, is allowed at the sentencing of a convicted murderer.  The second would allow for South Dakotans to note their opposition to the death penalty on their driver’s licenses.  Both bills failed in committee with issues as to rulings by the Supreme Court and administration concerns, respectively.  Two bills on the Senate side dealing with complete repeal of the death penalty and allowance of the death penalty if the convicted person is a danger to prison officials or other inmates.  Both of those bills also failed.

There have been several bills that desire to change the concealed weapons permit statutes.  I believe the current statutes are sufficient, in that they give law enforcement needed authority when dealing with situations involving reasonable suspicion to apprehend a weapon.  Our 2nd Amendment rights are not being violated, while necessary actions are taken to insure safety for our citizens across the state/nation.

Education funding will be the hot topic for the remainder of the session.  HB 1207 will be coming before House taxation, with many concerns as to the implications of the bill.  The measure seeks to slow the growth of the Capital Outlay funds in our schools.  While serving on the interim Agland Assessment Task Force, it become apparent that some schools’ capital outlay funds have grown significantly as the valuations of agricultural land (crop land) are required to increase to meet the parameters of the production assessment provision in law.  Schools request their funds for Capital Outlay and Pension in dollars per thousand of valuation.  The majority of schools have adjusted their levy requests as values have increased; however, some have not, thus the issue before the legislature.  The bills is far from its final form, and I will do all I can to make sure that schools who are using their capital outlay funds prudently are held harmless.  I have always said that if the State of South Dakota adequately funded our schools in the first place, we would not need to have concerns with the other funds of the schools.

Legislation that will attempt Medicaid expansion in South Dakota is still being worked through with interested parties meeting to put together a viable plan that will help many South Dakotans who do not have health insurance at this time.  I believe it is just and moral for South Dakota to expand coverage and help so many receive health care at the optimum times and locations, all for a healthier South Dakota.

The Appropriation Bill continues to be vetted by the Joint Appropriations committee and I am following that closely as well.  School funding, the Juvenile Justice Re-Investment initiative and Highway funding bills will have significant impacts on the revenue and expenditure side the budget as the session moves on and comes to a close.  I certainly will address these issues as they before the House.


Please join Senator Sutton, Representative Qualm and myself this weekend, February 21st, for our second round of cracker barrels in Avon at 9:00 a.m. at the A-1 Gas Stop, in Wagner at 10:30 a.m. at Boom’s, and in Lake Andes at 1:00 p.m. at the Community Center.   Please check your local paper for confirmed times and locations.  I look forward to visiting with all in attendance about matters of importance to each of us.

I invite you to contact me with your questions and concerns.  I may be reached by phone at 605-773-5255 (Capitol), 605-835-8120 (home) or 605-222-3378 (cell), or you may email me at  HYPERLINK “”  Thank you to all in District 21 for the opportunity and honor to serve each of you as your State Representative.  Take care and have a great week!

Representative Julie Bartling

District 21

Lee Qualm

Session passed the half way point this week and the pace is moving very quickly now.  Over the past week, substantial debate focused on legislation regarding guns, abortion, death penalty, highway funding, taxes and a balanced budget amendment.  Education funding is also a major topic of discussion.  So far the Governor has signed 16 bills into law and an additional 16 bills are on his desk waiting for approval.

On Tuesday the House passed HB 1179 with a vote of 63-4, a bill to change the definition of a veteran so South Dakota members of the National Guard and Reserve would become classified as veterans in state law regardless of whether or not they have seen active duty.  The bill does not make them eligible for federal veteran’s benefits, but it recognizes the service of many of our citizen’s to our state and nation as the National Guard plays a significant role in the defense of our country.  The legislation would impact about 25,000 guardsmen and reserve members who don’t currently qualify.

On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed SB 190- an act to clarify health coverage for applied behavior analysis (ABA) which is defined as the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental modifications, using behavioral stimuli and consequences, to produce socially significant improvement in human behavior, including the use of direct observation, measurement, and functional analysis of the relationship between environment and behavior.   The bill states that every policy, contract, certificate, or plan subject to the provisions of this Act shall provide coverage for applied behavior analysis for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders.  It also sets coverage amounts for different age groups.

On Wednesday, the Senate passed SB 1 with a vote of 26-8.  Senate Bill 1 is the legislation that was originally introduced by the summer study task force chaired by Senator Vehle.  The bill was amended to more closely reflect the bill introduced by Governor Daugaard (HB 1131).  House Bill 1131 is scheduled for hearing in House State Affairs on Wednesday, February 18th.

This week the Senate and House killed 4 death penalty bills.  The House State Affairs Committee killed two death penalty bills on Wednesday.  HB 1158 would have required that a victim’s opposition to the death penalty be presented at a presentence hearing.  The bill failed with a 10-2 vote.  HB 1159 would have permitted South Dakotans to express opposition to the death penalty when applying for a state issued identification card.  The bill failed 10-2.  Senate State Affairs killed two death penalty bills on Wednesday also.  SB 121 would have repealed the death penalty.  The bill failed 7-2.  SB 122 would have revised provisions to the death penalty including the addition of a requirement that a jury would have to find that the defendant is too dangerous to be incarcerated and is an ongoing danger to the public and the prison community.  The bill failed 7-2.

So far there have been 8 gun bills addressed in committee or seen on the floors.  HB 1096 would revise certain procedures for issuing a permit to carry a concealed pistol.  The bill passed the House 52-5.  HB 1215 would provide for an optional enhanced permit to carry a concealed pistol by enhancing reciprocity with other states.  It passed House State Affairs 12-0.  SB 192 would permit the sergeant-at-arms to carry concealed firearms in the state capital building under certain conditions.  On Thursday, it passed Senate Judiciary 5-2.  HB 1206 would authorize the concealed carry of pistols on public university campuses under certain circumstances.  The bill passed House Local Government Committee Thursday with a vote of 8-5.  HB 1183 would repeal the prohibition against carrying permitted concealed weapons in the state capitol building. The bill has been assigned to House Local Government Committee and has been deferred to next week.  HB1205 would provide for the certification by a chief law enforcement officer of the transfer of certain firearms.  The bill has been assigned to House Judiciary and scheduled for hearing on February 18.  There have been two gun bills that have been killed… SB 129 would revise provisions relating to trespass associated with hunting.  The bill passed Ag Committee 8-0 but failed on the Senate floor 12-21.  SB 162 would permit certain legislators to carry concealed firearms in the state capitol building under certain conditions.  On Thursday, it failed in Senate Judiciary with a vote of 1-6.

Some of the miscellaneous bills are:  SB 57- Authorize and regulate the playing of craps, roulette, and keno within Deadwood.  It passed Senate 27-7.  SB 73- Improve Public Safety Regarding Juvenile Justice passed the Senate 35-0.  HB 1195 – Declare void the transgender policy of the South Dakota High School Activities Association and to establish a determinant in identifying a student’s sexual identity for the purpose of participating in high school athletics.  The bill passed the House 51-16.  HB 1216- Repeal the limitation on the total amount or revenue payable from taxes on real property for all taxing districts, except school districts.  The bill failed the House 22-46.

We have three cracker barrels this coming Saturday the 21st of February.  The first is in Avon at 9:00 AM in the convenience store on the highway, next is in Wagner at 10:30 AM in Booms Restaurant and then in Lake Andes at 1:00 PM in the Community Building on Main St.  I look forward to seeing many of you at these events.

Thank you again for giving me the privilege to serve you in the South Dakota House.   Please feel free to contact me any time at or my cell phone (605) 207-0406.   Have a wonderful and blessed week.

Representative Lee Qualm

Chairman of House Ag and Natural Resources Committee

House Local Government Committee

State and Tribal Relations Committee

Billie Sutton

Week 5 of the 2015 Legislative Session is now in the books, which means that we are over halfway done.  Many big issues are yet to be addressed, with crossover day quickly approaching on the 25th, which means that all bills have to pass their house of origin in order for them to continue through the process.

So far this legislative session, we have seen some encouraging signs that lawmakers and the executive branch are willing and ready to make smart investments in health care.  We are facing serious workforce shortages in health care across South Dakota, and especially in our rural areas.  Many of the challenges facing rural areas are due to low wages.  It can be very difficult to attract and retain valuable employees when fast food chain restaurants are able to offer a higher starting salary than a healthcare provider.  Much of this goes back to South Dakota’s low Medicaid reimbursement rates as compared to other states.  The most critical issue in the healthcare industry is workforce turnover. The Association of Health Care Providers has been tracking turnover since 2011 and shows a turnover of 57% for direct care providers in FY14.  South Dakota’s high turnover rate in our health care industry especially impacts the care of children and those with disabilities as it creates a break in treatment.  The Governor is proposing a two percent increase to provider reimbursement rates and as the session comes to a close I will be looking to find more dollars to put toward provider reimbursement rates.

SB 190 passed the Senate last week and would require insurance companies to offer coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis (“ABA”) for children with Autism.  This has been something that I have supported the last several years, but it hasn’t gotten much traction until this year.  The bill resulted from a Summer Study on insurance coverage for certain types of autism treatment.  Four public forums were held across the state this past summer.  Private insurance or Medicaid in South Dakota generally does not cover ABA services.  Thirty-seven other states have adopted some sort of coverage guarantee for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Treatment of autism is also an important healthcare and workforce issue because it has been proven that new therapies for autism are very successful in helping many children succeed in school and then in the workforce.

The annual maximum benefit would be $36K for ages 0-6; $25K ages 7-13; and; $12.5K ages 14-18.  Some would argue that this does not go far enough, as ABA Therapy can be much more costly than this depending on the need of the child.  Even so, this is definitely a step in the right direction.  It seems that SB 190 is a good compromise after a bitter battle last year, and let’s hope we can get it passed so it will help families with autistic children.

There are a number of bills this Session that seek to make adjustments to a schools capital outlay fund by lowering the cap on mill levies as well as capping the growth of property tax valuations as it pertains to capital outlay.  This proposal would very simply seek to capture some of those future savings and shift them to the General Fund as local effort, effectively decreasing the state’s share of education for future years.  This proposal could potentially be very detrimental to a school’s option to make capital improvements to their buildings and infrastructure as well as letting the state off the hook by shifting more cost for education to property tax payers.

There are 151 school districts in South Dakota and each and every one has a unique story. Every school district has a reason for why they need these Capital Outlay dollars, and that is why we elect school board members.  This is an issue that is dealt with at the local level and that is the way it should stay.

District 21 legislators will be hosting three legislative forum’s this coming weekend, and we want to welcome anyone and everyone to attend in order to get an update on the legislative session as well ask any questions that you may have of your legislators.  All three forums will be held on Saturday, February 21st as follows:  Avon at 9:00 a.m. at the A-1 gas stop, Wagner at 11:00 a.m. at Booms, and Lake Andes at 1:00 p.m. at the Community Building on Main Street.

Even though we are now over halfway done with the 2015 session, we have a lot to do and very little time to do it in.  I encourage anyone to contact me with questions, concerns, and new ideas about how we can improve South Dakota as we move through the rest of this session.  It is an honor to be your Senator, and I will continue working hard for all of you and for the great state of South Dakota.



District 21 Senator

Minority Leader

Billie H. Sutton

Cast Chosen for Play

The cast has been chose for the upcoming production of the Winner Community Playhouse.

“The Red Velvet Cake War” will be presented March 13-14 and March 20-21.

The cast includes eight women and four men. Members of the cast are:  Kenzie Irick, Barb DeSersa, Tami Comp, Maurice Gustafson, Michele Hagenlock, Sarah Gustafson, Kara Connot, Tia DeSersa, Jack Frantz, Linda Watson, Wyatt DeJong and Chris Frantz.

The play is directed by Sandra York with Dan Patmore as the technical director.

This comedy is a Jones, Hooper and Wooten play and the playhouse has done a couple of other productions by this same group of writers.

USD’s Dean List

Winner students have been named to the fall semester dean’s list at the University of South Dakota.

Students on the dean’s list are: Allison Duffy, Clay Hoffman, Ashley Curtis, Natalie Gronlund, Tracy Routh, Shawntessa Lester, Michelle Novak, Autumn Tucker (academic recognition), Jill McMurtrey (academic recognition), Maria George (academic recognition), all of Winner.

Government Offices to Close for Presidents’ Day

Government offices in Winner will be closed Monday, Feb. 16, in observance of Presidents’ Day.

The Tripp County Courthouse will be closed as well as the Tripp County Library.

The city of Winner office will be closed on Feb. 16.

All state and federal offices in Winner will be closed on Monday. The Winner Post Office will be closed and there will be no city or rural mail delivery.

Wells Fargo Bank will be open on Presidents’ Day.

First Fidelity Banks of Winner and Colome, BankWest and Sentinel Federal Credit Union will all be closed on Feb. 16.

There will be no noon meal served on Monday at the Winner senior citizens center.

Southern Plains Behavioral Health Services and Main Gate Counseling will be closed on Feb. 16.

School Expands Head Lice Policy

By Dan Bechtold, Editor

An expanded head lice policy was approved by the Winner School Board at Monday’s meeting.

The policy is based on recommendations of the National Association of School Nurses, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center of Disease Control and S.D. Department of Health.

The policy says the school district will conduct at least four head checks per year for all students.

Parents/guardians will be informed by mail or School Reach anytime school administration feels there is an abnormal amount of infestations detected during the head lice checks.

The board approved the extracurricular contract for Kevin Keiser as middle school track coach.

The contract with Randy Kludt for mowing school grounds during the summer was approved. The total package is $9,430.

The board approved the contract with Schoenfish and Co., Parkston to do the 2014-2015 school audit.

The March 9 school board meeting was moved to Monday, March 16.

The board heard reports from school administrators.

Kim DeMers, curriculum coordinator, said teachers are getting ready for the Smarter Balance test which will be given in April.

Elementary principal Brian Naasz said enrollment at the school climbed by seven students.

He said on Feb. 26 the school will celebrate 100 days of school.

Read Across America will be held on March 2 with Winner High School students coming to the school to read to students.

A 4th and 5th grade music concert will be held on March 10.

Winner High School/middle school principal Gerald Witte said the enrollment at the school is up 3 at 330 students.

He said FCCLA week activities will be held at the school and the following week FFA events will be held.

Witte told the board on Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. a financial aid night will be held in the Winner Armory.

Supt. Bruce Carrier reported total enrollment in the district is at 676 students which is an increase of 11.

The superintendent went over education bills that are in the legislature.

The school board met in executive session for personnel and a student matter.

Following executive session, the school board approved several motions.

They approved offering 2015-2016 certified staff contracts as recommended by Supt. Carrier, salary and fringe benefits to be determined at a later date.

Approval was given to offer  classified staff contracts with salary and fringe benefits to be determined later.

The board approved extracurricular assignments for 2015-2016 with salary to be determined at a later date.

A summer 20 day contract was approved for Wyatt DeJong and Danielle Pemberton.

The board extended Gerald Witte’s two year contract as middle school/high school principal, technology coordinator to the 2016-2017 school year. Salary and fringe benefits will be determined at a later date.

The board extended Brian Naasz’ two year contract as elementary principal/special education coordinator to the 2016-2017 school year. Salary and fringe benefits will be determined at a later date.

The board approved extending Dan Aaker’s two year contract as assistant middle school/high school principal/activities director to the 2016-2017 school year. Salary and fringe benefits will be determined at a later date.

Haley, Naasz Sign Letters of Intent to Play Football at DWU

Sam Naasz and Tyrel Haley have signed letters of intent to play football at Dakota Wesleyan University.

National signing day was Feb. 4 and DWU has inked 41 players.

Haley is a member of the 2012 Winner state championship football team. He finished his senior year with 43 tackles and 600 yards rushing. He was named all-state linebacker and the Argus Leader Elite 45 honorable mention team.

Haley is member of the Winner wrestling and track teams. He is a two time placer at the state wrestling meet. He is a four year member of the honor roll.

Haley is the brother of DWU offensive lineman Taylor Hayley. Haley is the son of Jim and Tracie Haley and plans to major in biology and pre-med. He will play cornerback for the Tigers.