PIERRE, S.D. – As the South Dakota Legislature convenes today, State Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton of Burke, begins his 8th year in the State Senate.
Senator Billie Sutton, a rancher, financial professional, fifth-generation South Dakotan, and candidate for Governor, issued the following statement outlining his priorities for the 2018 Legislative Session.
Government accountability is a topic I hear about from constituents and people across the state. Folks are concerned about how much of their tax dollars are being squandered through government corruption and mismanagement. To address these concerns, I am bringing two packages of bills to restore “Integrity in Government” and “Integrity in Campaigns.” These bills will help ensure our government has adequate oversight, transparency, and accountability by providing public access to additional government records, requiring additional retention of government fiscal records so we can determine if taxpayer money has been spent wisely—not misdirected or steered to political insiders for personal gain—and restoring voter-approved campaign finance limits to help combat the influence of money in politics.
Economic development and growing our economy is another top priority of mine this Legislative Session. As many are feeling firsthand, ag income and non-farm income are both struggling in South Dakota. Housing starts are falling behind, and unemployment has risen. In tough times, we must prioritize making strategic investments that improve the economy and help South Dakota families working hard but barely getting by. I will be bringing legislation to make smart investments in skills and job training programs in our schools; to offer needs-based scholarships for those looking to advance their careers; to support early childhood education; and to improve affordable housing options in the state through Building South Dakota. All of these policies will improve the economic condition of South Dakota families and the South Dakota economy for all of us.
Finally, we all share the value of living within our means and balancing our budget responsibly. As a member of the appropriations committee that handles the budget, I know firsthand that we can cut unnecessary spending while still making the necessary investments that will grow our economy and strengthen our state and its people.
I look forward to, once again, working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to finish the work South Dakota voters sent us to Pierre to get done. The priorities I am fighting for this Legislative Session will help build a stronger South Dakota for you and your family.