CURRENT ISSUE
JUNE 4, 2018 - VOL. 54 No. 8

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Enjoy a cup of Legislative Coffee

By Mike Lynch
Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

One of the most important responsibilities of Chamber public affairs/communications staff is to help members stay current on advocacy and convey how the decisions of elected officials may affect their business. Beyond following us on Twitter @SFAdvocate, reading articles such as this in Chamber News as well as a weekly calendar of upcoming events in Quickly, members also have an opportunity to attend several events firsthand.

During the legislative session, these events include the Good Morning Sioux Falls breakfast, held annually in January, and Sioux Falls Day at the Legislature, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19. Your Chamber has also scheduled three Legislative Coffees to provide a forum where constituents can hear about current bills and communicate with their elected officials.

LEGISLATIVE COFFEES

Holiday Inn City Centre,
100 W. 8th St.
10-11:45 a.m.

Saturday, Feb. 6
Districts 10, 11 & 12

Saturday, Feb. 20
Districts 13, 14 & 15

Saturday, Feb. 27
Districts 6, 9, 16 & 25

Legislative Coffees provide a great opportunity to learn more about legislators´ positions and also allow citizens to ask questions and formulate a better understanding of the impact that a prospective law would have upon them. The format includes a moderator who will provide pace and organization to the sessions, as well as take written questions from the audience.

We once again are partnering with several organizations to sponsor these Coffees free to the public. Dates this year are Saturday, Feb. 6 (Districts 10, 11 and 12); Saturday, Feb. 20 (Districts 13, 14 and 15); and Saturday, Feb. 27 (Districts 6, 9, 16 and 25). They will be held at the Holiday Inn City Centre from 10-11:45 a.m.

The dates for these legislative coffees are deliberate. Feb. 6 follows the day that all bills must be introduced and when committee work is at a high pitch. Feb. 20 precedes "Crossover Day" when all bills need to be out of their house of origin so committee and floor action is at a peak.

At the conclusion of the 2015 session, 260 bills had been passed from 429 introduced, which was the highest percentage (61 percent) of bills passed into law within the past several years. Ultimately, an $85.8 million highway, bridge and road funding bill was passed. This year, K-12 education funding and Medicaid expansion are taking center stage though many other issues important to South Dakotans will continue to be vetted until session ends in March.

The Chamber´s Legislative Coffee partners this year include the League of Women Voters, AARP, Minnehaha County Republican Party, Minnehaha County Democratic Party, Democratic Forum, Sioux Falls Education Association, American Association of University Women, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), Americans for Prosperity-South Dakota, and Minnehaha and Lincoln County Republican Women.

Coffee communiqués, distributed to the Legislative Coffee sponsors before and after the events and subsequently throughout their constituencies, provide a summary of issues as well as a look ahead. The intent behind the communiqués is to help inform constituents of the most timely and relevant issues being discussed by their elected officials.

Legislative Coffees are an integral part of the democratic process as they establish an important link between constituents and lawmakers. These are your legislators and you deserve to know their stance on topics that interest and affect you. We hope you are able to attend these Coffees to become more engaged in the lawmaking process.

AGENDA

6:15 a.m.
Bus loads in Sioux Falls at The Empire Mall
Complimentary coffee, fruit and donut holes
will be available on the bus.

6:30 a.m.
Bus departs for Pierre

10 a.m.
Arrive in Pierre at State Capitol
Listen in on any of the following committees in progress:
Senate Health & Human Services, Senate State Affairs,
Senate Taxation, House Commerce & Energy, House Judiciary

11:15 a.m.
Lunch with Sioux Falls Area Legislators
Inside the State Capitol
Sioux Falls will host the luncheon inside the Capitol for legislators,
state employees and other guests. Sioux Falls area legislators will
attend as they are able prior to heading to their respective caucuses.
11:55 a.m.
Group photo

1 p.m.
Session starts

1:45 p.m.
Hear from Chief of Staff Tony Venhuizen
Pierre Lutheran Memorial Church
(walking distance from the Capitol)

3 p.m.
Bus departs for Sioux Falls


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