2016 Legislative Session Day 34 – Bridge Builders

Pierre BridgeLast week Norman Woods, FHA Action Lobbyist, and I were down by the river and Norman took this photo of the Pierre Bridge.  I like it!  It is a great reminder of the fact that in our work here at the Capitol we had better be Bridge Builders if we expect to influence Legislators in the passage and/or defeat of certain bills and/or resolutions.

On this truth the wisdom of Solomon shines through in Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one, because they get more done by working together.”

The FoursomeIt was a pleasure for Norman and I to have worked together so closely this session, on several bills, with Representative Scott Craig (pictured far left) of Rapid City, District 33 and Matthew Sharp of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).  We made for a great team as we focused on doing what was right on bills like HB1008 (Student Physical Privacy Act) and HB1107 (Government Nondiscrimination Act).

day34We were encouraged throughout this session to welcome to the Capitol a number of FHA friends and family like the FHA Board Members pictured here.  Seated with me is Dr. Patrick Clinch, FHA Action Board Chair [PHOTO] and standing with me is FHA Board Member, Dr. Brent Bradley.

This session has certainly had its UPS and DOWNS when it comes to those bills the FHA ACTION either supported or opposed.

It was disappointing to see HB 1008…the Student Physical Privacy Act…vetoed by our Governor.   The aim of this bill was as well meaning and void of malice as it was accommodating for people on both sides of the issue.  It genuinely sought to address what likely is going to be a prolonged debate in the not-so-distant future in our state.

We sincerely believe that the Governor missed an opportunity to get out in front of this issue and help accommodate both sides in a peaceful and respectful manner.  All this bill sought was to protect the physical privacy of 100% of our public school students.

We appreciate the seventy-eight Legislators who stood on principle and voted in support of HB10-08.

We are thankful to all those who called or emailed their Legislators and the Governor asking for support, and for all those on both sides of the debate who opted for civil discourse in the discussion of this issue.  So stay tuned, as this issue is not going away.

We are grateful for the passage in the HOUSE this week of the following bills, which will now need the Governor’s signature.   They are….

SB159 that is a bill that empowers lower income families, who choose to provide a private school education to their children, to be able to afford it. Sixteen other states have adopted this method successfully to provide more parental choice in the education of their children.

SB129 now being called “Jason’s Law” would require that Teachers be given one hour suicide prevention training as a part of their teacher re-certification process.

SB26 will revise certain provisions concerning sex offender registration and will require an offender to notify law enforcement of intended foreign travel.  Currently, here in South Dakota we have 3,448 sex offenders on our registry.  This bill will simply help law enforcement track their whereabouts in our state.  Typically at any one time 25 of them would be out of compliance.  So that means that we have an amazing 99% compliance rate in SD.  SB26 will only but improve that already remarkable rate.

SB72 will prohibit the abortion of an unborn child who is capable of experiencing pain and provide a penalty thereof.  It is called the ‘Pain Capable Bill’.  It has been well documented that unborn babies experience pain during abortion.  Because the unborn child’s pain inhibitors have not been fully developed, their pain is even more excruciating.  Although we believe abortion at any stage of development is a monumental injustice to the unborn, the pain capable prohibition is set at 20 weeks gestation.

SB72 has had several amendments and currently needs the Senate to concur on the House amendments.

The pro-abortion lobby is pressuring the Governor to veto the bill.  Your calls and e-mails are needed to the Governor asking him to sign SB72, the Pain Capable Bill.

ACTION:   To email Governor Daugaard urging him to sign SB72, the Pain Capable Bill, click here right here, and follow the instructions.  In addition phone his office at (605) 773-3212 and leave a quick message.  You can do this!

We are also grateful for the passage in the SENATE this week of the following bills which will now need the Governor’s signature and they are….

HB1110, which will provide pre-natal medical care for certain non-citizen mothers.

HB1157 will require that a doctor provide a woman additional information as a part of informed consent prior to performing an abortion.  It has become known as the ‘Informed Consent Bill for Chemical Abortions’!  This bill simply provides the mother with better decision-making options.


Friends, in closing, you are invited to attend one of our three, upcoming, Legislative Session Debrief Events sponsored by the Family Heritage Alliance.   Please make plans now to attend one Tuesday – Thursday, March 15-17.  Sharing a wrap-up of this year’s 91st South Dakota Legislative Session – the good, the bad and the ugly – will be FHA Lobbyist Norman Woods along with myself.  For more information and/or to register go to click here!

Until Next Time….Keep looking up and forward my friends!

2016 Legislative Session Day 29 — Happy Leap Year!

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  – Romans 12:12

Please join our FHA Action Team in praying for the following two important matters –


This Bill ensures reasonable accommodations for transgender students in SD Public Schools while also protecting the privacy rights of other students when it comes to their use of bathrooms or locker rooms. HB1008 passed the House and Senate and is currently sitting on the Governor’s Desk with a deadline of Tuesday, March 1, on his decision to sign it into law or not.  It is a South Dakota commonsense bill that protects the rights and interests of all SD public school students.  Instead of a winner-take-all approach favored by the left, this bill helps create a win-win outcome for everyone.  We pray and trust the Governor respectfully signs it into SD law.


Del Tackett, the founder of the Truth Project – a comprehensive Biblical worldview project that the FHA has promoted over the years, has issued a call to prayer tomorrow, March 1, – Super Tuesday. Take time now to read his exhortation to be on our knees in repentance for our nation.

Reinhold Family at the CapitolToday it was a blessing to run into the Larry and Robin Reinhold Family at the Capitol.  This family has been, over the years, a huge blessing to hundreds of young folks who have enjoyed their Rainbow Bible Ranch experience.


HB1107,  An Act to ensure government nondiscrimination in matters of religious beliefs and moral convictions, was tabled by the sponsor, Rep. Scott Craig (R-Dist. 33).  Rep. Craig stated before the Senate Judiciary Committee, “In discussing House Bill 1107 with various individuals and interested parties, we’ve heard various concerns expressed, and before we move forward, we want to address those concerns and ensure that everyone understands the intent of this legislation and what we’re trying to accomplish.  We look forward to ongoing dialogue about this legislation in the coming months.  It is respectfully requested that this committee table HB1107.”  So HB1107 may be done for this Legislative Session but stay tuned as it’s coming back next year stronger and better understood!!!

Here’s a few of the Bill’s were actively following at the moment.   Please go to our legislative radar and TAKE ACTION on each of them!

The Sale of Alcohol on SD College Campuses

SB102,  An Act to allow certain alcoholic beverage licenses and special event alcoholic beverage licenses to be issued on certain lands and facilities located on state educational institution campuses, passed in the House Commerce and Energy Committee, Monday, February 29.  Click here to check the votes.  SB102 would allow beer and wine sales at the state’s public universities for special events including sports events.  Now we must defeat it on the House Floor as early as Tuesday, March 1.  We believe allowing the sale of alcohol beverages at college events would be irresponsible.  Rather, efforts should be made to reduce the availability of alcohol on our college campuses.

Informed Consent Bill – Chemical Abortion

HB1157, An Act to require that a doctor provide a woman additional information as a part of informed consent prior to performing an abortion. HB1157, an informed consent bill, involves the two-drug abortion regiment commonly referred to as RU-486.  The bill requires that the abortion-minded woman be told that if she should change her mind after taking the first drug, Mifepristone, it is still possible to save her baby’s life by not taking the second drug, Misoprostol.  RU-486, a chemical abortion, is different from a surgical abortion in that the mother is self-aborting, which may cause some anguish and cause her to change her mind about continuing with the chemical abortion.  Informed consent provides the mother with better decision-making options.  HB1157 passed in the Senate Health Committee this morning with a vote of 4-2. Check the votes here.  It should be voted on the Senate Floor Tuesday or Wednesday.

Scholarship/Non-Public Schools

SB159, An Act to provide a tax credit to insurance companies that contribute to an organization providing educational scholarships to certain students, passed in the Senate with a vote of 24-11.  Check the votes here.  Click here to learn more about this concept.  SB159 will now be heard in the House Appropriations Committee this Wednesday.

Until NEXT TIME please keep looking up and forward my friends!

2016 Legislative Session Day 27

Well TODAY is the 27th day of the South Dakota Legislative Session’s 38 days.

handsraisedMany of you have been following, and rightly so, the process whereby we hope and pray that House Bill 1008, a bill that is designed to protect the privacy of ALL of our public school children – becomes law.  HB 1008 has now been delivered to our Governor Daugaard’s Desk.  It is our understanding that by midnight on Tuesday, March 1, he must sign this bill into law, veto this bill, or simply allow it to become law without his signature.

This bill, which was passed with the support of 75% of our Legislators, will require every elementary and secondary public school in the state to protect the privacy of boys and girls by ensuring that boys and girls do not use the same restrooms, locker rooms, or shower rooms together.

We, the people of South Dakota, are legitimately concerned about safety and privacy, especially when it comes to children, but we are also concerned about treating everyone fairly, including people dealing with gender dysphoria. Our South Dakota legislators have struck a balance that respects all concerned and shines a clear path out of a tricky issue.

We certainly anticipate HB 1008 will come off of the Governor’s Desk with his Signature because it’s South Dakota Common Sense.  Please, take a moment, CALL Governor Daugaard (605-773-3212) and respectfully ask him to SIGN HB 1008 into law.

Senate Bill 129 now being called “Jason’s Law” has passed off of the Senate Floor with a unanimous vote.  This bill would require that Teachers be given a one-hour suicide prevention training as a part of their teacher re-certification process.

Senate Bill 159 also flew out of the Senate and we are grateful.  This bill empowers lower income families who choose to provide a private school education to their children, to be able to afford it. Sixteen other states have adopted this method successfully to provide more parental choice in the education of their children.

We were pleased recently to give testimony for and see passed on the Senate floor two bills, which will directly protect our children in a greater way.  They are:

Senate Bill 168, which seeks to protect juveniles from being victimized by the criminal activity of Human Trafficking.  In this bill a person, usually called the John, who pimps a child into this DARK lifestyle will now be charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

And then there is SB 169 a bill, which seeks to revise our child pornography laws.  Although this is a ‘baby step’ of a bill….it is a step in the right direction as it moves the selling of child pornography from a Class 2 charge to a more serious….Class 4 charge.
summit2As I close I’d like to share that our SD Ministry Leaders’ Capitol Summit held on Monday, Feb. 22 here in Pierre at the State Capitol was a terrific success.   Our keynote speaker, Mark Gonzales (Black Robed Regiment) blessed the 120 Pastors and Ministry Leaders who converged on the Capitol for a day of prayer, information, inspiration and influence.  I am so grateful to an FHA Staff that goes above and beyond the call of duty to help execute an event such as this.  Yes, it was “all hands on deck” and all our hard work paid off as all were blessed!

Until NEXT TIME please keep looking up and forward my friends!


House Bill 1008 Is A South Dakota Modesty Bill

daleNo parent wants to hear their school-aged daughter saying, through sobs, “A boy walked into my locker room at school and saw me changing after gym.”  The people of South Dakota have an opportunity to make sure that doesn’t happen.

The South Dakota Senate is about to consider HB 1008, a bill that is designed to protect the privacy of our school children.  If the bill passes, and Governor Daugaard signs it, it will require every elementary and secondary public school in the state to protect the privacy of boys and girls by ensuring that boys and girls do not use the same restrooms, locker rooms, or shower rooms together.  Rather, if a child has the physical attributes of a male when he’s born, he will need to use the facilities for males.  And if a child has the physical attributes of a female when she’s born, she will need to use the facilities for females.

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2016 Legislative Session Day 20

2016day20b2016day20a2016day20cOne word which typifies the heart of the FHA Action is the word – RELATIONSHIPS.  I am thrilled to run into friends, many of whom hold to the same Christian Worldview as I do, here at the Capitol.  It was great visiting with Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender as he was at the Capitol attending several meetings.  Hot Springs Pastor and friend, Phillip Shively, came to the Capitol for THREE days and spent his time shadowing both Rep. Scott Craig, pictured here, along with FHA Lobbyist Norman Woods and myself.  Another Pastor showed up on the Capitol’s doorstep this past week in Pastor Sean McPherson of Rapid City.  Sean’s also thrown his hat into the ring as a Candidate for the SD House in District 32.  I really appreciate his Campaign’s motto as it reads:  “Family Focused – Family First”.

2016day20Kitty WerthmannThis year….PRO-LIFE BILLS ABOUND…and it’s wonderful!  It is so good to see our friend and SD Eagle Forum President Kitty Werthmann still lobbying hard at the Capitol for our Christian Values.  This week Kitty took to the testimony chair as she supported SB 72.  This is a Bill crafted by the South Dakota Right to Life and it will prohibit the abortion of an unborn child who is capable of experiencing pain.  This is frequently referred to as the Pain Capable Child Protection Act and it will heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this Wednesday, Feb. 17.

BTW – This week HB1008, a Bill called our Student Physical Privacy Act and supported by FHA Action, was passed out of the Senate Education Committee on a vote of 4 to 2.  It will now be voted on by the full Senate as early as this Tuesday, Feb. 16.  HB 1008 simply requires students to use the bathrooms of their biological sex and accommodates for those walking through gender confusion.  Please visit our LEGISLATIVE RADAR for this and other bills we are working.  To send your Senate a clear and passionate email asking him/her to VOTE YES on HB 1008, click here!

Until NEXT TIME please keep looking up and forward my friends!

2016 Legislative Session Day 16

2016day16Once again an early morning at the Capitol and all is well…for the time being 🙂  The People’s House…our SD State Capitol really is a beautiful building.

This week HB1008, a Bill called our Student Physical Privacy Act and supported by the FHA Action, came to the House Floor for a vote after having passed out of the House State Affairs Committee on a strong vote.  I was inspired by the dedication of this Bill’s Prime Sponsor, Rep. Fred Deutsch, who stood to pitch the bill to the 70 Representatives gathered.  A number of his colleagues stood one right after another in support of HB1008 and none was more passionate and articulate than was Rep. Scott Craig of Rapid City.  When all was said and done this Bill cleared the House floor on an amazing vote of 58 to 10.  HB1008 will now be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Thursday, Feb. 11.

I am grateful to the support we are experiencing from our FHA Action friends across the state.  One such supporter is a lady named Sue who just today wrote me the following:

“Dear Dale, Speaking of “appreciating”, we are so in awe of all you do for Faith, Family, and Freedom during Legislative session!!  THANK YOU!!  I do check your FHA News and your FHA Action website quite often and have used the link for sending messages to legislators. I get a lot of email pleas from various groups to contact them and often pass them on or include the information in my emails. We are “called to be faithful citizens” as well as faithful believers!”

Take a look at the number of Bills the FHA Action is currently following:  Supporting – 30;  Opposing – 3.  Some of those we are supporting are:

  • HB 1008 – The Student Physical Privacy Act will protect the privacy of every public school student, while being sensitive to the student who has confusion about their gender.
  • HB 1107 – Referred to as GNDA and it will ensure state government nondiscrimination in matters of religious beliefs and moral convictions.
  • HB 1112 – Seeks to void and replace the transgender policy that the SDHSAA passed in 2014 which allows a student to play on the sports team they feel they belong on, rather than the team their birth-sex dictates.
  • SB 159 – Seeks to provide financial assistance for low-income families to send their children to a private school.

2016day16bAs many of you know, in 2015 the FHA Action and her South Dakota friends blessed 75 of our Elected Officials in Pierre with a leather bound copy of The Founder’s Bible. This is a copy of Scripture which contains some 900 pages of historical documents and stories of our Founding Fathers.  This week I was thrilled to present a copy of this Bible to Ryan Brunner, South Dakota’s Commissioner of School and Public Lands. Ryan is a friend of the Family Heritage Alliance and more importantly he holds to a Biblical Christian Worldview.  We thank Ryan for his service to our great state.

Until NEXT TIME please keep looking up and forward my friends!

2016 Legislative Session Day 10

2016day10aOnce again it’s an early morning at the Capitol and all is well…for the time being 🙂  As promised yesterday I’d like to introduce to you this week’s FHA Action Intern.  His name is Joseph Shivley and he’s an 18 year old young man with the heart of a Patriot.  He lives in Hot Springs, SD, and is currently a Home Schooled Senior in High School.  Joseph is also a member of the coveted TeenPact of South Dakota.  We thank this young man for his willingness to learn more about the Legislative process and also serve FHA Action during this week of his life.

2016day10bToday we were surprised by the appearance of Pastor Michael Boyle.   Pastor Boyle serves the Memorial Baptist Church in Parkston, SD.  He is a friend of the Family Heritage Alliance and a Patriot Pastor.  Today he drove over 3 hours just to come to the Capitol, lead the Senate in their opening prayer and spend time with his Legislators and more.  He totally lives the words of the late, great Chuck Colson who, when speaking to Pastors said and I quote, “As leaders in the local church it is our responsibility to bring a moral dimension to public life.”  Pastor Boyle SHOWS UP at FHA events and is already registered to attend our SD Ministry Leaders’ Capitol Summit scheduled for Monday, Feb. 22.  Pastors and Ministry leaders why not come join Pastor Boyle and I here at the Capitol on Feb. 22 🙂

It was great spending time with FHA Board Chair Roger Gallimore at the Capitol today.  Roger, also serves as the Director of Rapid City YMCA and was here representing the YMCA’s of South Dakota.

2016day10cLastly, and most importantly, House Bill 1107, which is now called GNDA – is the Government Non Discrimination Act and will soon be heard in the House State Affairs Committee.    In essence GNDA says that states should not be in the business of forcing individuals and entities to affirm same-sex marriage or other sexual conduct against their beliefs.  Pictured here, holding a copy of the Jacketed Bill, is the Bill’s Prime Sponsor Representative Scott Craig and myself.   Senator Brock Greenfield will sponsor HB1107 in the Senate.  So stay turned as we’ll need your help in the passage of HB1107.

Until NEXT TIME please keep looking up and forward my friends!

2016 Legislative Session Day 9

Each year the FHA Action selects a couple of young people to Intern with us at the Capitol for a one week period each.  Those who Intern basically simply shadow Norman and I as we go about our Lobbyist duties.  Tomorrow I’ll share with you this week’s FHA Action Intern but first let me take you back to last week when we were honored to have Leah Woods Intern with us.  Yes, Leah is the sister to FHA Action Lobbyist Norman Woods as pictured here.  She was a joy to work with and represented herself and the FHA Action with a flare of professionalism and excellence.  We so appreciate her for taking the time away from her high school studies to experience the SD State Capitol for this past week.

HB1008 (Student Physical Privacy Act) Passes on to House Floor!

Today was a day filled with GOD’S FAVOR as the FHA testified in support of HB1008 in the House State Affairs Committee.  This was the ‘Student Physical Privacy Act’.  This Bill’s Prime Sponsor Representative Fred Deutsch was magnificent as his testimony was thoughtful and inspiring.  I was honored to have testified on behalf of the Bill as well and after all was said and done HB1008 passed out of this committee on a vote of 10 Yeas and 3 Nays.  It will now be heard on the floor of the House this Wednesday at the earliest.

HB1048 (Video Lottery Bill) Defeated in Committee

The other Bill I testified in opposition on this morning was HB1048.  This was a Bill an Expansion of Video Lottery Bill. The FHA Action was grateful to have teamed up with the always appreciated help of CWA (Concerned Women for America).  This Bill was appropriately defeated in the House Commerce and Energy Committee on a vote of 9 Nays and 4 Yeas.

Today was the annual Czech Days at the Capitol and thus I took a moment to have my picture taken with South Dakota’s Czech Days Queen, Princess and Prince.

It was a total joy to spend some time with the Hays Family at the Capitol today.  Mom, two daughters and a host of children made their annual family trip to the Capitol to have the children experience our Republic in Action.  The father of six of these children, Ezra Hays, serves as our West River Advisory Council Chair.  BTW….if you come to the Capitol then please let me know so that we can meet, take a photo, and then you might just end up in my Capitol Blog….like the Hays Family 🙂

Until NEXT TIME please keep looking up and forward my friends!

2016 Legislative Session Day 8

2016day8aAn annual highlight of the Legislation Session every year is the honor of attending the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.  This year a 150+ were in attendance and enjoyed the event’s theme from Acts 2:42 “Teaching, fellowship, breaking bread and prayer.”  Yes, it was good to reunite with friends from last year’s event and rub shoulders and hearts with SD Legislators who purposed to rise early for this time of encouragement.  Down through the centuries, it has become apparent that great things happen when a few people who love God and love people become bound together in a common commitment with a great love for one another.  Ordinary people become extraordinary when such a relationship exists.

This year’s Keynote Speaker was Doug Burleigh, Associate for the Leadership Development Foundation and formerly with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  His message was thoughtful and inspiring as he pronounced, “Our agenda here today is not a religion but a person!

2016day8bIt was also gratifying to spend a few quality moments with our South Dakota US Senator Mike Rounds.  I am always appreciative of those times when we gather to honor our God and we have many of our elected officials in the room simply because they share our Faith in Him.  Such was this event as it was also hosted and attended by our Governor Dennis Daugaard.

2016day8cFollowing the breakfast it was time to head back to the Capitol for a FULL day of positively influencing our Legislators when able to do so.  FHA Action Lobbyist Norman Woods, as pictured here, gave supporting testimony to House Bill 1013.  This is a Dept. of Education Bill supported by the SD Homeschoolers and the FHA Action.  BTW – it past out of the House Education Committee on a vote of 13 to 0 🙂

Until NEXT TIME please keep looking up and forward my friends!

2016 Legislative Session Day 7

2016day7aEvery day at the SD State Capitol during Legislative Session is a busy and full one indeed.  An unknown author once wrote:  “He who rolls up his sleeves, seldom loses his shirt.”  Our Intern, Leah Woods, caught a photo of FHA Lobbyist Norman Woods and I — with our sleeves rolled up — in a moment of strategizing about some bill or another.  It is an honor to serve at the pleasure of the FHA Action Board of Directors on behalf of the families of South Dakota.

2016day7bWe were pleasantly surprised when FHA Eastern SD Advisory Council Member Michael Jarratt showed up to the Capitol for the day.  Michael lives in Sioux Falls and has been a faithful supporter of the work and cause of the FHA.  This young man simply ‘shows up’ it seems where ever we are gathered if he possibly is able to do so and lends a helping hand.  His life epitomizes the character and quality of our FHA Leadership.

2016day7eOn Thursday the annual Legislative Memorial Service was held in the House Chamber at 3:00 p.m.  It is always a very moving and inspirational time together when we remember those Legislators who have passed on this last year.  The Riggs High School Choir once again performed several beautiful pieces of music which simply set the tone for the rest of our time together.  Representative Scott Craig, pictured here, was one of several who led the full chambered audience in prayer.  Sometimes I think, as I did experiencing this Memorial Service, that…“Only in South Dakota could something so beautiful and God honoring like this actually take place!”


Until NEXT TIME please keep looking up and forward my friends!