I strongly support SB131, the governor’s bill that sends more money to schools and will ensure school boards prioritize raising teacher salaries to an average of $48,500. South Dakota ranks 37th in the nation for education funding, but 51st for teacher pay, which is set by local school boards. Even though our local districts in Tea, Lennox, and Harrisburg have made tough choices and directed many extra dollars to teachers, an examination of all school district budgets reveals that not every district follows suit. Additionally, it is impossible to achieve the salary target set by the blue ribbon task force at the current level of funding–and even more impossible in our districts, which face the double pressure of rapid growth and small geographic tax bases.
While there is broad support for SB131, which increases both funding and flexibility of funds, the blue ribbon task force itself proposed multiple funding options. On page 3, it urged we “use existing funds to the greatest extent possible” before it recommended increasing the sales tax for additional ongoing revenue.
I am extremely disappointed that some supporters of the sales tax increase option have been willing to mislead constituents by portraying HB1182 as the teacher pay bill, and opponents of 1182 as opponents of teacher pay. Many media outlets are advancing this narrative, and nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact is, 1182 as introduced said nothing about teachers or salaries, precisely because it only dealt with tax rates–which was appropriate given that our constitution requires each bill address a single subject. After weeks of teachers hearing that 1182 increased teacher pay, and with the gallery filled with those who were told that opponents of 1182 were against teacher pay, there still weren’t enough votes to pass the tax increase. So minutes before the vote, an amendment was added to get more votes by including ideas from SB131 and require some of the additional money go to teacher salaries.
Then, another amendment was added to earmark some of the money for salary increases for tech school teachers. Even with all this, it still failed. Opponents of the tax increase believe we should be handling this in a much more transparent and straightforward manner and that we follow the blue ribbon recommendation to use existing funds to the greatest extent possible.
The governor proposed $65 million in additional funding. Tax increase supporters don’t just want to increase teacher salaries, but to grow other areas of government as well. With no new taxes, and keeping other budget areas flat, the state has $80m more ongoing revenue than last year. School district reserve funds in aggregate total $420m. SD has $972m in tax exemptions, $50m of which I support eliminating.
There are 34 professions in this state that are 51st in pay, and we owe it to those families to look at every possible funding option before we increase taxes. The tax increase bill should not have been voted on before voting on the teacher pay bill.
Thankfully, the anger and fear surrounding the vote on the tax increase is unfounded, because nearly every legislator is committed to funding it one way or another. It is our duty to examine all revenue sources and set priorities in our 4 billion dollar budget, and I am confident that teachers will see significant increases in pay this session–supported by ongoing revenues–whether a tax increase passes or not.
It’s January, and that means the South Dakota Legislature is back in session. The two proposals with the largest fiscal impact are proposed changes to the education funding formula and the Governor’s proposal to implement the Affordable Care Act in South Dakota and expand Medicaid.
The current education funding formula is a long-standing but complex mix of sales tax and property tax (referred to as state aid and local effort) based on a per-student allocation. The new formula would maintain the state and local mix, but instead target staff to student ratios and teacher salaries. In addition, it maintains local control over teacher salaries so school districts will still be able to adjust in the ways their specific needs require.
Under our current education system and salaries, we have about one applicant for every job opening, when averaged statewide. Any business owner knows that you are not attracting and retaining the top talent with that ratio, and to reach the target salary of $48,000 it will require $62 million in additional funding.
The Governor has proposed increasing the State Sales Tax rate from 4% to 4.5%, an increase of 12.5%, in order to make up the difference. This would put additional strain on low and fixed income citizens, and I believe there are achievable solutions using current revenue growth combined with cutting fraud and abuse in the healthcare portion of our state budget.
Voters have repeatedly rejected new taxes even when focused on education, which means they expect us to prioritize and economize just like they are forced to do with their own budgets. Every year there are numerous new programs, increases in state department budgets, money spent to “freeze” higher education tuition, and increases in state employee salaries. I believe these noble ideas should have been–and must be–put on hold while we focus on improving our K-12 education situation.
Which brings me to the Governor’s proposal on medicaid expansion. There are many health care interests that would like to see an increase in federal money flowing into the state, but there are some brief points of principle on this issue that I consider critical.
First, the proposal hinges on the Obama Administration giving us their word that they will finally honor their treaty obligations (which require them to cover 100% of the health care costs for Native Americans) if we implement the Affordable Care Act in South Dakota. This seems a little like bringing someone a helicopter because they promise to release a hostage. But if we resolved just this one issue without expanding medicaid, we would be able to fully pay for the new education funding formula.
Second, the expansion would create a new class of dependents in South Dakota–able bodied adults–and create a new incentive for people to move here not for work, but to have their healthcare paid for by the rest of us.
Third, the Federal Government does not have the money and would be printing or borrowing half a billion dollars from our children and grandchildren every year to pay for this new entitlement, further devaluing the U.S. dollar.
Lastly, South Dakota would become a state with a vested interest in not repealing the “Affordable Care Act,” which ironically, has led to an acceleration in healthcare costs. This has made teacher pay dwindle further as more is spent on health insurance. A new administration may change the law or change the agreement, leaving South Dakota stuck with the bill.
The Planned Parenthood website states that their Sioux Falls clinic receives South Dakota taxpayers’ dollars through SD Medicaid.
All Planned Parenthood affiliates are implicated by the recent series of sting videos put out by the Center for Medical Progress, since the national head of medical services admits that they regularly do not follow the law, saying it is “up to interpretation.”
Planned Parenthood’s “affiliate” arrangement is set up specifically to avoid accountability in the event that one affiliate is found to be breaking the law.
Until Planned Parenthood of South Dakota stops doing abortions and breaks all ties with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, we must not allow any SD taxpayer dollars to fund this evil organization
Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards recently admitted in sworn house testimony that it derives 86% of its non-government revenue from killing unborn children.
When we think it can’t be uglier, the abortion industry continues to shock us with its violent and evil abortion system, as well as its willingness to disregard the law and lie on their reports to state agencies to increase their abortion income. Please join us to urge South Dakota’s leaders to take action now to investigate Planned Parenthood and prevent further unspeakable abuse of South Dakota women and their children.
Representative Isaac Latterell, Sioux Falls
We, the undersigned, call on Governor Daugaard and/or Attorney General Jackley to launch a thorough, in-person audit of actual clinic practices and records and stop all Medicaid payments and taxpayer dollars from going to any clinic affiliated with Planned Parenthood of America.
South Dakota House of Representatives
Office of Rep. Isaac Latterell
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
My colleagues and I join with the communities of Harrisburg, Tea, Lennox, and Sioux Falls and extend our prayers today on behalf Principal Kevin Lein, as well as for the students, faculty, and families affected by this morning’s events at Harrisburg High School. We also give thanks to God that no one was killed or more critically injured and we pray for a quick recovery for all involved physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Though his identity and motive have yet to be released, we are also praying for the shooter and for his family.
We owe tremendous gratitude and deep respect to the swift, efficient response of school officials, law enforcement and first responders from multiple state and local agencies who executed their coordinated response plans and provided security for students across the district.
I am personally thankful that our communities are filled with so many heroes with selfless courage who run towards danger and risk their lives in order to protect others.
I am especially amazed and inspired by the love and courage of Assistant Principal Ryan Rollinger, who put his life on the line to protect his students and staff. His selfless act was an example of the love Jesus showed us on the cross and called us to emulate in John chapter 15:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Thank you to everyone who did their jobs with excellence and courage today and to those who are continuing the work of justice and healing moving forward.
State Representative – District 6
Serving Harrisburg, Tea, Lennox and Sioux Falls
500 E. Capitol Ave. Pierre, S.D. 57501
PO Box 801 Tea, SD 57064
Office of Rep. Isaac Latterell 500 E. Capitol Ave. Pierre, S.D. 57501
CONTACT: Isaac Latterell at 605-368-1002 or email Rep.Latterell@state.sd.us
July 17, 2015
REPRESENTATIVE ISAAC LATTERELL CALLS ON GOVERNOR DAUGAARD AND ATTORNEY GENERAL JACKLEY TO INVESTIGATE PLANNED PARENTHOOD FOR ILLEGAL ORGAN HARVESTING AND TRAFFICKING
PIERRE, SD – Representative Isaac Latterell, member of South Dakota’s House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement in response to a release by a group called The Center for Medical Progress of a hidden-camera video showing remarks by Deborah Nucatola, senior director for medical services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) since 2009:
It is appalling and inhumane to see the top doctor for the national Planned Parenthood organization admit, on videotape, that Planned Parenthood affiliates and abortionists daily review pre-orders for baby organs and body parts, then tailor abortion procedures to facilitate the harvesting of the baby’s intact parts and organs for resale. Planned Parenthood treats those who enter their facilities not as patients, but as unwitting hosts to produce baby body parts to bolster their bottom line.
In addition, Planned Parenthood states they regularly skirt the federal ban on Partial-Birth abortion and use a nearly identical procedure to dismember the child feet first, sever the child’s head and remove it intact for resale. Dr. Nucatola demonstrates Planned Parenthood’s complete disregard for the law, claiming “The federal [partial-birth] abortion ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation” … “If I say on day one I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter.”
In light of numerous horrific admissions by Dr. Nucatola and her implication of Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country, I call on Governor Daugaard and Attorney General Jackley to investigate Planned Parenthood of Sioux Falls for violations of S.D. Codified Laws Ann. 34-23A-17 and 34-23A-27.
34-23A-17. An unborn or newborn child who has been subject to an induced abortion other than an abortion necessary to prevent the death of the mother or any tissue or organ thereof may not be used in animal or human research or for animal or human transplantation.
34-23A-27. No person may perform a partial-birth abortion which results in the death of a human fetus or infant. A violation of this section is a Class 6 felony.
Dr. Nucatola specifically describes abortionists manipulating unborn children in order to remove them feet first, to facilitate obtaining an intact head, apparently to preserve an intact brain. This statement and others raise a host of ethical questions, including whether pregnant women are being given detailed information in advance about exactly what is going to be done to them and their babies.
Moreover, Dr. Nucatola discusses how Planned Parenthood abortion clinics profit from organ harvesting and trafficking, “I think for affiliates, at the end of the day, they’re a non-profit, they just don’t want to—they want to break even. And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.”
South Dakota has multiple facilities that do abortions all throughout pregnancy. Because trafficking in human organs and tissue occurs all throughout pregnancy, S.D. Codified Laws Ann. 34-23A-17 may be violated at any stage of pregnancy. Whether profit is made is irrelevant: harvesting and trafficking of human organs and tissue is illegal.
I have repeatedly called for laws banning the dismemberment and beheading of unborn children, procedures which are admitted to on video by Planned Parenthood’s top medical director. Preventing these procedures will prevent the possibility of organ harvesting and trafficking. In light of recent developments, it is all the more important for South Dakota to pass this law.
Lawmakers should now be asked whether they will continue to oppose legislation to restrict the dismemberment of unborn children, as Planned Parenthood insists – and if so, whether they are motivated in any degree by a desire to preserve Planned Parenthood’s ability to deliver intact, well-developed baby body parts to order.
When we think it can’t be uglier, the abortion industry continues to shock us with its violent and evil abortion system, as well as its willingness to disregard the law and lie on their reports to state agencies to increase their abortions and income. South Dakota must take action now to investigate Planned Parenthood and prevent further unspeakable abuse of South Dakota women and their children.
I commend United States Congress, multiple Governors, and Attorneys General for beginning investigations into Planned Parenthood’s national, state, and local affiliates. South Dakota’s Governor and Attorney General must do likewise and investigate Planned Parenthood and conduct strict audits of hospitals conducting abortions in our state.
Rarely in legislature can it be said that the process is delightful, and rarely does a bill introduced purely at the request of one constituent make it all the way through the process. Last week I had the pleasure to experience both, and witness a brave young lady make South Dakota history!
Before session started, my friend Senator Brock Greenfield from Clark received a phone call from a young constituent in his district asking if she could meet with him and present him with a letter. When they met, six year old Hadley presented him with a handwritten letter:
Now when Hadley and Brock talked, He said “you know, there would be some concerned with allowing fireworks to be shot year around, explosions and so on and so forth all throughout the night” and she understood that, but he told her “I think I can work with you hadley, I think I can probably bring something so that you could maybe shoot some parachutes throughout the course of the year.”
So at the beginning of session, Brock asked for SB 161 to be drafted, with Brock as the Senate sponsor and myself as the House sponsor. The draft exempted several small fireworks, like sparklers, parachutes, snakes, and smoke bombs, but we tried to address some of the fire concerns, not allowing parachutes with a flare or traveling fireworks. We were presented with the initial draft, and hadn’t heard any concerns going into the hearing so we thought maybe everything was ok.
But when we showed up for Senate committee (Hadley testified herself with handmade note cards), opponents came out of the woodwork. It turned out this little six year old caused quite a stir amongst some of the interested parties in Pierre! So the bill was amended to remove sparklers, but still accomplish Hadley’s mission, passing committee and the Senate floor.
In the House committee, Brock and I, who would normally start off introducing the bill, didn’t hear the chair call the bill number for proponents. So brave Hadley, seeing the need, stepped right up to the plate with her note cards. I believe it was the first time in South Dakota history that a six year old gave the opening bill testimony before a committee. I also testified afterward, but her testimony was so compelling that I was careful to make it as brief as possible!
Often we get asked to introduce a bill or speak against something, and somewhere down the line we might hear a thank you. But this little six year old girl put pen to paper right away and was kind and gracious enough to send a note and drawing to each co-sponsor to say thank you. She wrote: “Thank you for writing a bill and bringing it to the floor. From Hadley”
She was a little optimistic when she wrote it, since we weren’t sure it would even make it out of committee. But thanks to her initiative and bravery, Hadley will now be able to chase parachutes with her cousins, who can only come visit her after the 4th of July.
In a humorous twist, my district mate Representative Otten sits on that committee and said thank you to Hadley, realizing that because they shoot parachutes after the 4th, his family really needs this bill to pass t00!
Most states including South Dakota allow for the death penalty for murderers. There are certain revolting methods of execution, such as beheading, that no state would ever permit, even against murderers who use this method on their victims. It is this revulsion that leads us to rightly condemn the beheadings committed by unconscionably violent soldiers in the Middle East. As David Brooks commented in a New York Times article:
“A beheading … is not just an injury or a crime. It is an indignity. A beheading is more like rape, castration or cannibalism. It is a defacement of something sacred that should be inviolable … We’re repulsed by a beheading because the body has a spiritual essence.”
“A beheading feels different because it reveals something about the minds of the killers. The journalist Lance Morrow once wrote that “evil is often happiest when it operates in the autonomy of the gratuitous.” By going beneath even the minimal standards of modern civilization, the militants in the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria get to show contempt for us and our morality. They get to deny the slightest acknowledgment of our common humanity. They can take the bully’s maximum relish in their power over the weak and innocent.”
Planned Parenthood abortionists in Sioux Falls are similarly beheading unborn children during dismemberment abortions. This method has been described by the Supreme Court in Gonzales v. Carhart as a procedure that is: “laden with the power to devalue human life,” and is as brutal, if not more so, than Intact Dilation and Extraction (D&X or partial birth) abortions.”
Most people are unaware that this is happening, because Planned Parenthood of Sioux Falls denies that they behead or otherwise dismember unborn children. As RH Reality Check wrote:
“The clinic does not provide surgical abortions in which a D and E is required. The clinic told RH Reality Check that all patients who need D and E services are referred to clinics in other states. Technically, hospitals can perform such procedures in the state, but none of the hospitals in the state do.”
But South Dakota’s Department of Health’s website shows at least 7 such extreme and dangerous abortions have been done since 2008. There are probably many more where the method used was unstated or stated incorrectly. Considering Planned Parenthood is the only clinic that does abortions, it is clear that they are lying either to the media or to the department of health.
I am beyond angry at what Planned Parenthood is doing to us and to our children. In the words of David Brooks, their actions and their lies “show contempt for us and our morality”, “deny the slightest acknowledgment of our common humanity”, and “take the bully’s maximum relish in their power over the weak and innocent”.
It simply states: “No licensed physician may knowingly behead a living unborn child with the intent of endangering the life or health of the child.”
No state, no religion, and no organization should ever be allowed to use this unspeakably horrifying method. While we rightly take the speck out of our neighbor’s eye by holding ISIS accountable, let us be sure to take the plank out of our own eye by holding Planned Parenthood accountable.
Please consider making a donation today to help me shed light on Planned Parenthood and its barbaric practices, as well as defend against the onslaught of attacks from people who want to silence me and are working to remove me from office
Pierre, SD – Representative Isaac Latterell (R-Sioux Falls) has filed House Joint Resolution 1006, calling for an Article V Convention of States for the limited purpose of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution which would impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for federal officials and members of Congress.
“I have always believed that the solutions to America’s problems will come from the people, not from Washington,” said Rep. Latterell. “Fortunately, the authors of the Constitution gave us the power to fix Washington without the approval of Congress or the President, who will never vote to limit their own power. I am excited to see so many South Dakotans rising up to join this nationwide effort as the People and the states work together on a solution as big as the problem.”
Senator Dan Lederman (R-Dakota Dunes), the primary Senate sponsor of the resolution, noted that it’s far past time Congress got its fiscal house in order. “Federal spending is out of control, and Congress has proven time and again that they will not limit spending, balance our budget, or abide by the limits placed on them by our Constitution. The American public has grown weary of the constant brinksmanship that Washington engages in, shutting down government only to extend spending authority. It’s is time for our federal government to live within its means.”
Under Article V of the United States Constitution, states are given the power to call for a Convention of States to discuss and propose amendments to the
U.S. Constitution. If two-thirds of state legislatures submit applications on the same topic, a meeting is called, but the scope is limited to proposing only those amendments allowed under the resolution topic. Additionally, none of the proposals are adopted or have any effect unless they are ratified by three-fourths of the states. This guarantees that only amendments that are within the limited scope and have the broad support of the people will ever be added to the Constitution.
With the introduction of HJR 1006, South Dakota joins 16 other states who have already filed this year and over a dozen more who plan to file the same resolution in the 2015 legislative session. Rep. Latterell believes that grassroots volunteers are the key to success and wants to connect with South Dakotans who are interested in helping. “This monumental but very achievable plan will require hundreds of thousands of Americans rallying together to push the process forward, demanding their state legislators call for a Convention of States to return the power where it truly belongs–with the people. Visit COSaction.com to learn how you can get involved in this exciting effort.”
One of the reasons this is gaining momentum here, says Rep. Latterell, is that South Dakotans have a strong belief in local control: “South Dakotans are passionate about self-governance, but are growing increasingly concerned that the Federal Government’s continued overreach and insolvency are erasing our children’s hope for a bright future. Using Article V, we will put the federal government back in its proper place, so we can focus on living our lives the South Dakota way.”
The very fact that you are reading this article means that you want to be an informed and educated person who understands the issues of the day and can intelligently discuss them with your neighbors.
But until you read the text of HCR1004, which was passed 60-10 by the house last week, you will not be informed on the most consequential and unbelievable situation we face as a state, or what the legislature believes should be done about it. I urge you to stop reading this article–don’t even finish it–Go read HCR1004. It’s absolutely eye-opening. Even if you think you know the issue, it will enlighten, infuriate, and motivate you. If I accomplish nothing else but this, this article will have done its job.
In a free society, the primary role of government is to protect the God-given, inalienable, inherent rights of its citizens, including the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
As for the state of South Dakota, we recognize that the State has both the right and the unqualified duty to protect every human being and their personal intrinsic rights. This includes a pregnant mother’s intrinsic right to her relationship with her child, as well as the child’s intrinsic right to life. These cherished rights are compatible and harmonious, regardless of unfortunate circumstances that could sadly invoke thoughts that she should terminate her own rights as well as terminate her child’s life.
It is the law, as it represents the collective interests of the individuals for whom the law exists, that must protect life. Long ago, our law protected life and the mother’s beautiful interest in her child’s life. It protected innocent children over the misguided philosophies and trends in social thought, which come and go.
But there remains today such a tragic case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which together with its progeny, continues to violate the intrinsic rights of two large classes of human beings, and bars the people of the Sovereign States, and their elected representatives, from taking effective, corrective action to protect the intrinsic rights of those human beings.
The decision of the United States Supreme Court in 1973 in the case of Roe v. Wade has never been nor should be accepted as a valid constitutional decision by most legal experts. Roe v. Wade has been the subject of constant criticism from the people of the states, and legal scholars. They are not nor should be accepted by the People of South Dakota and they are not nor should be accepted by us, their elected representatives. In short, the errors of the court in Roe v. Wade and its following cases still stand in the way of our ability to fulfill our duty to the people we represent.
It is our most solemn duty as a people to protect life, and to protect the mother’s interest in her child’s life. The South Dakota Legislature has a history of advancing legislation to reflect the will of the people to protect life, as well as shed light on one of America’s darkest evils, the horror of abortion—the dismemberment of living unborn human beings.
Virtually every statute we have passed to protect the interests of pregnant mothers has been attacked in Court by an abortion clinic and its physicians claiming that Roe v. Wade prohibits our rational and carefully thought out legislation. Much of that legislation was designed to protect the pregnant mothers against the negligence and dereliction of the abortion providers themselves.
Despite clear conflict of interest, the abortion providers claimed in Court to represent the rights of the pregnant mothers, and based upon Roe v. Wade and its cases, the federal district court permitted the abortion providers to stand in the place of the very women whose rights they violated. In December, 2012, litigation over South Dakota’s 2005 Informed Consent Law was finally concluded.
South Dakota prevailed on all of the issues, but the case took seven and a half years to litigate and South Dakota had to prevail in three different decisions of the United States Court of Appeals, including two separate opinions by two en banc courts, a very rare circumstance where the entire case was re-heard and overturned by the full court panel due to the exceptionally serious nature of the issue.
The defense of the litigation over laws designed to protect the women of our state was time consuming and lower court injunctions prevented the laws from becoming effective for a number of years, robbing the children and their mothers of the Law’s protection. The fact that abortion providers know that courts following Roe often produce erroneous outcomes to their advantage has actually encouraged bad lawsuits.
Calling on the Supreme court to overturn its erroneous decision in Roe v. Wade is not without historical precedent. In fact, the court has reversed itself over 230 times. Some of the Court’s previous errors so violated the intrinsic rights of the people that they gave rise to an active national resistance. In the 1856 case Dred Scott v. Sanford, the court ruled that a class of human beings could be bought and sold as property. Additional rulings like Plessy v. Ferguson or Brown v. Board of Education similarly illustrate how erroneous court decisions can intrinsically violate the rights of human beings, will never be accepted by the people, and must be reversed.
Please take the time to read HCR1004, you’ll be glad you did.
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