From the desk of the Executive Director
Hello everyone! The New Year is well underway and already in high gear which started out with our annual Board/Annual Meeting and Hog Roast event that took place on Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 in Pierre, SD. It was a great turn out with over 80 legislators in attendance.
The 2020 Legislative session began on Tuesday, January 14th with Governor Noem delivering the State of State address emphasizing the benefits of doing business in South Dakota and outlining her plan to aggressively growing the state’s economy. It will be a very busy time for legislators with only 37 days in this year’s legislative session to work through this process.
We anticipate this to be another very busy and hectic session for the association working with legislators on bills that may affect the industry. These bills will be monitored by our lobbyist and our board throughout the session. We will also list those bills on our website: www.sdliquorandgaming.com and any other pertinent information pertaining to them for the next 2 months. In this issue, there will be a record of all the legislators and their contact information. It’s important for you to get to know your legislators in your area, if you don’t already. Our Hog Roast has always been a great opportunity to visit in person, one – on –one with the legislators regarding any bills that have come to light for the upcoming session. All members are encouraged and are welcome to attend this event free of charge each January and would certainly be time well spent if you can make a trip to Pierre during that time.
This is a very crucial time of the year not only for the association but also for all of those in the alcohol beverage/gaming industries. As you know, so many factors are weighed in both positively and negatively when a bill is presented that can make a major change in the way that you do business. So, what can you do to help during the session? In addition to our lobbyist visiting with legislators, as well as our board, it is helpful for members and non-members to visit with their legislators and keep abreast of what is happening with the bills on a daily/weekly basis. We may need you to testify on behalf of the industry that affects you as a business owner or make a phone call to your local legislator to hear from one of their constituents on matters they may not know anything about. Did you know that a call from you can make a HUGE difference in helping a bill to pass or not to pass by letting them know how it can affect you and the industry? As they say, always stronger in numbers, and that is what we need throughout the session. You and your fellow business owners need to make your presence known.
There are several ways to contact a legislator. This can be done by email or by phoning the capitol and leaving a message with one of the “pages” (interns)” for the legislators. Again, don’t hesitate to contact our office (Phone: #800-721-1789) for any information about a bill that is being heard, who your legislators are, or any contact information that you may need during the session. You can also monitor the bills as to the status of the bill, sponsors, votes, and where they are in committee, etc. by going to the South Dakota Legislative website, www.legis.sd.gov which will bring you to the SD legislative official site listing. There you can see all bills, both House and Senate, and a brief description of the bills. If you click on the bill no. it will further give you the status of the bill, what committees have heard the bill, and where it is going from there and those dates. If you have the time to listen to a hearing regarding a certain bill, you can also go to the SD legislature website and listen to them live. Each bill will list the date and time of the hearing being scheduled. Again, don’t hesitate to contact our office for any questions or help you may need in this regard.
As always, we look forward to hearing from you. We wish you all a great 2020! Please watch our website for further updates in the near future. You can view the current website at: www.sdliquorandgaming.com.
Cathy Berg, Executive Director