Billie Sutton: An Bipartisan Leader Who Gets the Job Done

Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton has a strong record of reaching across the aisle to get the job done for South Dakotans:

  • Campaign Finance Reform: Billie worked with lawmakers of both parties to pass legislation that limits personal use of campaign contributions to ensure nobody can get rich off being a politician.

  • Respecting Teachers: In 2016, Billie lead the charge on the Blue Ribbon Task Force to raise South Dakota teacher pay out of last place in the nation, a ranking South Dakota held for 30 years.

  • Building South Dakota: In large part because of Billie’s ability to bring people together,  leaders of both parties in the legislature created a new concept in economic development that put a greater focus on education, affordable housing, local infrastructure, rural development in small towns and higher wages for workers. The consensus would not have happened without Billie’s ability and patience in working with both sides.

  • Healthcare for our Kids: Billie created a law that passed the State Senate unanimously to provide insurance coverage for the treatment of hearing impairments for South Dakota children with hearing difficulties.

  • Open Government: In 2018, Billie worked across the aisle to move the needle on transparency in state government. Billie built consensus among elected officials of both parties to put in place stronger record retention rules and require printed names on state contracts for a more accountable government.

  • Roads and Bridges: South Dakota’s transportation infrastructure was reaching a crisis point in 2015 when lawmakers finally agreed to take action. On this issue, the fight was between rural counties that faced very different needs from more urban areas. Billie worked with his colleagues to find compromises that provided better support for rural counties to create enough support for the issue to move forward.