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 »

The Lure of Common Core

Posted February 10th, 2014 in Common Core, Weekly Article by isaac

Temptatation There has been a lot of misinformation about common core education standards, and understandably parents are becoming more interested and concerned about the direction we are moving with education in South Dakota. I think the increased awareness and parental involvement is fantastic. Some are believe that this is an effort by state educators to give up local control of education or to adopt curriculum that is contrary to the values of South Dakotans.

But what I have learned as I have spoken to superintendents and the state department of education is that they have their own reasons for adopting the common core standards which have little to do with the decades-long march to nationalize education standards, textbooks, tests, and methods for all 50 states. The proponents of nationalized education system are very vocal about this agenda, but local educators do not believe adopting these standards equates to endorsing this goal or losing local control. Personally, I disagree. These standards were adopted without parental involvement, which was a huge mistake. We are naive if we do not wake up and realize the common core “carrot” is simply leading us down a path of nationalization that ends with a big, ugly stick.

Continue Reading »

Press Release: Resolution Calling for a Convention of States Introduced in South Dakota

Posted February 5th, 2014 in Uncategorized by isaac

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 3.09.39 PMFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Pierre, SD – Representative Isaac Latterell (R-Sioux Falls) has filed House Joint Resolution 1005, calling for an Article V convention of the 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 that as so many South Dakotans rise up to join this effort, their optimism for America rises also, as we finally work together on a solution as big as the problem.” Continue Reading »

Proposals for School & Fire Districts Affect District 6

Posted February 3rd, 2014 in Uncategorized by isaac

This year, I continue to serve on the Taxation Committee and Local Government committees. Bills dealing with these subjects are first read on the House floor and then are referred to the respective committee, which operates much like a school board or city council meeting. The sponsor and proponents come forward to describe the bill and persuade us why the law should be changed, and then opponents come forward and make their case against it. We then move on to questions, committee discussion, and action.

If the bill does not receive a favorable vote of the majority of the members on the committee, the bill is usually considered dead. But if it passes the committee, we send it to the House floor with a “Do Pass” recommendation, where it is debated again and every member of the house gets a chance to vote on it.

Both Rep. Herman Otten and I serve on the Local Government committee, and last week we heard House Bill 1087, which would allow Rural Fire Protection Districts to Continue Reading »