We believe in the importance of educating and informing our members and the community on issues that could affect them, either personally or professionally. Sometimes these issues are local and other times they are state-wide or national.
During this legislative session, we have proudly hosted four Legislative Cracker Barrels and also implemented an Advisory Committee. This small team of individuals evaluates local, state, and national issues and what effects they have on Aberdeen businesses and the community. The past couple of months have been quite busy with the committee discussing several issues and the Chamber Board of Directors have taken the following positions:
SB70, which authorizes other languages to be used in the process of issuing certain drivers licenses and permits. The application, study manual and written test would all be printed in Spanish, However, the skills portion of the test would be in English. The Board of Directors believes this is a straight-forward issue as there is a shortage of workers and Spanish speaking individuals can fill vacant jobs. Mobility is necessary to have a job and having a job helps our immigrant population integrate into our community faster, which includes speaking English. The Chamber Board supported SB70.
SB72, which establishes the Dakota’s promise scholarship program, to establish the Dakota’s promise fund, and to make an appropriation therefor. The purpose of the program is to provide scholarships through the Board of Regents to eligible students to allow the students to receive an affordable education at any university or college accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and that provides instruction from a campus located in South Dakota. The Chamber Board supported SB72.
HB 1251 – which is an act to establish membership of the Board of Regents. It would reduce the number of regents from 9 to 5; not allow a regent who is a resident of a county in which an institution of higher education under the board’s control maintains its principal physical presence; and would repeal the student regent position appointed by Governor. The Chamber Board opposed HB 1251. This bill was killed in committee.
If there are issues you are concerned about through the year, whether local, statewide, or national please contact the Chamber and the Advisory Committee can discuss them further.