PIERRE, S.D. – Doug Hainje of Dell Rapids Lumber in Dell Rapids was among the business owners and operators who served as Business Delegates for a legislative briefing sponsored by the South Dakota Retailers Association (SDRA) on Monday, January 11th in Pierre.
As part of the Business Delegate program, business people from each legislative district were invited by SDRA to participate in a legislative briefing regarding key issues expected to be considered during this year’s state legislative session.
The briefing kicked off with Gov. Dennis Daugaard providing an overview of the issues he planned to address in his State of the State Address to the Legislature the next day.
Attendees also heard presentations from Senate Majority Leader Corey Brown of Gettysburg, Assistant Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert of Mission, political news reporter Bob Mercer and SDRA Executive Director Shawn Lyons, who offered their thoughts on some of the retail issues to be considered during this year’s legislative session. The delegates had an opportunity to ask questions and voice their opinions about the issues.
Among the issues discussed at the briefing were proposals regarding county government funding, state sales tax increase for education and Medicaid expansion in South Dakota.
The briefing was followed by a dinner attended by SDRA Business Delegates, legislators, state constitutional officers and cabinet secretaries.
Lyons said the SDRA Business Delegate program is now in its nineteenth year.
“Connecting legislators with business owners is important,” he said. “This event gives legislators the opportunity to hear about real issues affecting their business community while educating retailers about becoming more active in the legislative process.”
He noted that it’s important for legislators to understand how the laws they pass will impact the business community, and for retailers to understand how they can have a voice in the process.
“There are many issues seeking additional funding this year and retailers collect the sales tax that makes a large part of the state’s budget,” Lyons noted. “State legislator and retailer dialogue is crucial to sound decisions being made.”
The South Dakota Business Delegate program is believed to be the only one of its type among state retail associations nationwide.
About the South Dakota Retailers Association
The South Dakota Retailers Association is an almost 4,000-member statewide business organization which represents retailers in the legislative and regulatory process; provides information to businesses; and offers money-saving member services such as credit card processing, group health insurance and workers’ comp insurance. SDRA was organized in 1897, and is one of the five largest state retail associations in the nation.