How a child’s wish becomes a state law

Posted March 19th, 2015 in Uncategorized by isaac

11058435_10152720604032321_1709965334440321165_oRarely 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:

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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!

Planned Parenthood beheading children and lying about it

Posted February 17th, 2015 in Uncategorized by isaac

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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”.

This is why I have introduced House Bill 1230, the Preborn Infant Beheading Ban of 2015. It passed the House Health and Human Services Committee today with a vote of 11-2.

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 

Press Release: South Dakota legislators join nationwide effort to call for a Convention of States to restrain the federal government

Posted February 4th, 2015 in Uncategorized by isaac


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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.”

 

Week 3: HCR1004 is a must-read

Posted February 2nd, 2015 in Life by isaac

Anthony KennedyThe 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.

 

Week 2: Don’t block experienced professionals from contributing

Posted January 26th, 2015 in Uncategorized by isaac
This week, the House passed a bill by a vote of 40-27 which would mandate certain social worker positions to be held only by those who have a four-year degree in social work. While this may seem obvious at first glance, 27 Representatives including myself voted against the measure.
The bill would also repeal a provision which allowed those with a four-year degree in another field, 2 years of relevant social work experience, andcompletion of additional courses equivalent to a social work program to also qualify for these positions.
So under the current law, someone with a Phd. in Psychology, Counseling, or some other relevant field who has social work experience would be allowed to hold the position, provided they completed necessary additional training. But if this new law passes, these candidates will no longer be able to apply. Nearly all of us could name someone who does not hold a degree in a specific field, but due to their experience and skills are far more qualified than some who do hold a four year degree in that specific field.
While the passage or failure of this bill will affect few people today, since those currently holding positions are “grandfathered,” it brings to light a broader trend which we deal with every day in the Legislature. Many bills that are brought before us under the guise of quality control or consumer protection really are designed to protect the power and funding streams of an exclusive club at the expense of the people.
The result is higher prices for employers and consumers, a false sense of security and protection, and a boxing out of otherwise well-qualified applicants who wish to use their talents and experience to make a meaningful contribution to a new profession.

South Dakota’s 90th Legislative Session Begins

Posted January 19th, 2015 in Uncategorized by isaac

 

The late Will Rogers once remarked ”The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” Last week, we opened the 90th session of the South Dakota State Congress—or Legislature—and right out of the gate, discussion began on increased vehicle and fuel taxes.

 

Central to the discussion is the fact that our taxes per mile have actually been going down, especially when adjusted for inflation. But as the Federal Reserve continuously prints money, and Obama’s draconian policies prohibit more U.S. oil production, costs to build and repair roads have been going up.

 

There have been multiple proposals, one by a summer study group which proposed $100 million tax increase, as well as one presented by the Governor during his State of the State address, which proposed increases totaling $50 million. The Governor’s proposal includes a $0.02 increase to the $0.22 per gallon state fuel tax (about a 9% increase), with an annual $0.02 increase until it is ended by the legislature. The Governor stated that If the legislature had indexed the gas tax to inflation for construction costs, the fuel tax would be $0.45 today.

 

If you want to understand the Governor’s proposal in detail, I would highly suggest watching his presentation. There is link to the video and outline on my website, isaaclatterell.com.

 

While there are many details that should and will be discussed about these proposals, I want to share a few big-picture things I keep in mind as I seek to represent your interests. First, $100 million would be the largest tax increase in South Dakota history. Many priorities, such as Education, are just as critical to our long-term success and these have to be considered in light of each other.

 

Second, the reason we have these discussions at all is because the Federal Government and Federal Reserve are out of control, far beyond their intended authority. With the Fed printing money (which devalues your dollar and causes inflation), and burdensome taxes and regulation increasing the costs of everything, now is the time to pass amendments to the Constitution using Article V which will return the power to you locally.

 

Third, fixing roads now is projected to save money and ensure lower taxes in the long term. If we allow too many roads to fall into fair and poor condition, we could end up spending more than double on maintenance than if we keep most of our roads in good or excellent condition.

 

Finally, just as important as authorizing tax increases is the spending authorization. The proposal in its current form also authorizes perpetual spending authority, without any oversight by the Legislature. We need to avoid situations with little accountability that lead to corruption or favoritism. If this is not changed, I know I won’t be able to support the proposal.

 

In the end, I will have to decide whether to improve the proposal and support it, or oppose it and work toward a better solution next year. Most importantly, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this proposal and any other issues we discuss this session. I can be contacted at 368-1002 or isaac@isaaclatterell.com

Governor’s State of the State Address


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Representative Latterell joins Craig Dewey on The Facts Sunday

Posted January 4th, 2015 in Uncategorized by isaac

I had a great discussion with Craig Dewey, host of The Facts on KCPO TV, which airs today.

We talked about the upcoming legiative session, my new position on the Judiciary committee, and various issues that will be decided this year. We spent considerable time discussing the proposed $100 million tax increase for highway funding.

Proponents of the plan say that if we don’t fix our roads and bridges now, costs of repair will escalate in the future and we will need even more funds over the long term. Also, fuel taxes per mile driven have actually declined over time creating a shortfall in available funds.

On the one hand, many believe that infastructure is the most basic function of government. And, if it ends up being true that investing $1 now will mitigate $3-$5 of costs in the future, a conservative approach would direct resources towards roads today to ensure resource availability for other areas tomorrow.

But it’s also important to consider this proposal in a broader context. The Governor announced in his budget address that sales tax revenues came in below estimates, signs that the Fed’s money printing and phony stimulus bubble is showing signs of bursting. This would be the largest tax increase in South Dakota history, at a time when our national debt, inflation, and economic situation have gotten even more dangerous and I am predicting will see another severe correction in 2015.

As far as the specifics of the proposal, there are a few concerning points that jump out immediately. I am opposed to the wholesale (hidden) tax increase that switches from cents per gallon to a percentage basis. It creates volatility, automatic gas tax increases when gas prices rise and consumers are already hurting, and places a unnecessary burdens on businesses to upgrade or replace their software systems. Also, if we are going to continue to lean toward user fees as a better way to fund government, I believe our structure should better reflect that heavy trucks may, according to one study, do up to 99% of the damage to roads, while paying around a third of the revenue.

We also discussed he balanced budget amendment andconvention of states project, as well as a bill I will bring to help children with Down Syndrome have a better chance at life.

There’s not enough money in politics

Posted March 18th, 2014 in Uncategorized by isaac

When I was elected to the legislature, my goal was to empower the people. Like many I have met in our district, I am not satisfied with the political legislative process where entrenched special interest groups, represented by high-power lobbyists and lawyers, are able to pass or preserve laws that benefit a select few at the expense of the people. In most cases, the people are unaware of the protectionist laws that increase your cost of business, reduce your choices, or fund an old program that has been made obsolete by technology.

 

These laws and programs are nearly impossible to repeal, and new ones are added every year at your expense. Why don’t enough legislators say no to laws that benefit lobbyist-backed groups, but harm the people? First, the benefit to the special interest group is substantial, but the harm to each individual person is small. For example, a law that costs the average South Dakotan $20/year in higher prices could create an economic windfall for a group of 1,000 specialists to the tune of $16,000 each!

Continue Reading »

Why dogs bite

Posted March 3rd, 2014 in Uncategorized by isaac

LionDogs bite. Also, you should never slap a lion in the face. Why? Read on!

This week the House had on its agenda SB 75, which would require that city ordinances regarding dog ownership apply to all dogs, and not single out a specific breed.

We all want safe neighborhoods, and most everyone agrees habitually bad owners should be banned from having any dogs, but the evidence presented to me in committee showed that breed-neutral ordinances will encourage public safety and prevent good dog owners from being unfairly targeted because someone misidentified their dog’s breed, or a bad owner across town had a similar breed of dog.

While pit bulls have gained a reputation for being tenacious and powerful, there are some compelling reasons why we should pause before we strip away the property rights of our upstanding neighbors Continue Reading »

Why we must stop the dismemberment of living children

Posted February 17th, 2014 in Weekly Article by isaac

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 9.40.13 AMLast week, SB 46 passed unanimously through the South Dakota Senate. It is a bill that would make it a felony to “intentionally, willfully, and maliciously inflict gross physical abuse on an animal that causes prolonged pain, that causes serious physical injury, or that results in the death of the animal.”

Imagine discovering that it was actually a veterinarian who regularly ripped the heads off of puppies and crushed their skulls. It would be hard to decide whether to call the police or to deal with the veterinarian yourself.

Now suppose you discovered that doctors regularly ripped the heads off of babies and tore apart their limbs while they were still alive. What would you do? Now is the time to decide, because here is evidence of this happening. Continue Reading »