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 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!

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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 »

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.

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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 »

An Extra Dose of Love

Posted January 27th, 2014 in Weekly Article by isaac

Eva

My youngest sister, Eva, just turned 12 this past December 31st. Each year, my parents invite friends and family over to celebrate the new year and the birth of our favorite family member at our New Years “Eva” party. Now I know, we aren’t supposed to have favorites, and our large family would seem to make unanimous consent impossible.

Maybe it’s because she’s the baby of the family. But there is something special about Eva, qualities she possesses that I believe truly make her a superior human being. First, she has an extra dose of Continue Reading »