Press Release on HB 1112

2016radar_icons_educationDale Bartscher, Executive Director of FHA Action, announced today that the South Dakota House of Representatives’ State Affairs Committee had overwhelmingly passed House Bill 1112, a bill to limit the authority of the South Dakota High School Athletics Association (SDHSAA) to adopt a transgender student policy.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Roger Hunt, voids the controversial policy adopted and amended by the South Dakota High School Athletics Association in 2014 and 2015 and declares that it may not adopt any future transgender policy without the consent of the Legislature.

FHA Action strongly supports this bill as it properly acknowledges the authority and responsibility of the Legislature to set policy on such an important and far-reaching issue. Consequences, though unintended, such as the safety of female sports participants that are most commonly smaller than males and therefore may be more easily injured in competition or the issue of locker room privacy, rightfully should be considered by the Legislature, not a board of directors that is unaccountable to citizens whose children are directly affected.

The bill will now be scheduled for consideration on the House floor within a few days.

Click here for our legislative radar page to track this and other bills we are working.

Click here to take action on this bill now!

Press Release on HB 1107 (GNDA)

2016radar_icons_marriageExecutive Director of FHA Action, Dale Bartscher, announced today that the South Dakota House of Representatives’ State Affairs Committee had overwhelmingly passed House Bill 1107 known as the Government Non-Discrimination Act (GNDA) on February 3, 2016.

Sponsored by Rep. Scott Craig, the bill provides landmark common sense protection for faith-based organizations, companies and individuals from discriminatory government repercussions such as the revocation of the tax exempt status of an organization or the imposition of fines or penalties on an individual in the free exercise of religious beliefs or moral convictions.

FHA Action strongly supports this bill as a reaffirmation of our Constitutional right to freedom of religion in our daily lives, our businesses, our churches and faith-based organizations without fear of coercion, harassment or prosecution by an increasingly obtrusive government.

The bill will now be scheduled for consideration on the House floor within a few days.

Click here for our legislative radar to track this and other bills we are working.

Click here to take action on this bill now!

Press Release on HB 1008 (SPPA)

2016radar_icons_childFHA Action Executive Director Dale Bartscher announced today that the South Dakota House of Representatives had overwhelmingly passed House Bill 1008 known as the Student Physical Privacy Act (SPPA) on January 27, 2016.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Fred Deutsch, is a strong defense of the privacy of all students in restrooms, showers or locker rooms at SD elementary and secondary public schools. The biological sex of a student is defined as their “physical condition of being male or female as determined by a person’s chromosomes and anatomy as identified at birth,” in short, their sex as recorded on their birth certificate.

The bill also compassionately protects the privacy of those students who consider themselves gender confused or uncertain by mandating that schools furnish a ‘reasonable accommodation’, such as a unisex restroom or a single-occupancy restroom.

The Student Physical Privacy Act will now proceed to the South Dakota Senate Education Committee for consideration.

FHA Action strongly supports this bill as a reasonable protection of student privacy while sensitively accommodating the rights of all students with regard to gender issues.

Click here for our legislative radar page to track this and other bills we are working.

Click here to take action on this bill now!

Jim Ryun To Keynote Upcoming Elected Leaders’ Luncheon

electedofficialslunch

The 2016 Rapid City Elected Leaders’ Luncheon is almost here. We have locked in as our keynote speaker, Jim Ryun. Ryun was the first high school athlete to run a mile in under four minutes. He went on to take the silver medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics in the 1,500 meter run. Jim also represented Kansas’s 2nd congressional district as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1996-2007.

Save Thursday, March 24 as the date for this luncheon.  This luncheon is by invitation only.

Click here for all the details and to register for this event!

2016 Ministry Leaders’ Capitol Summit To Feature Important Graham Announcement

Pastors, ministry leaders, and concerned Christians are encouraged to consider joining the ‘Decision America Tour’ planned  by Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. This year, he will hold prayer rallies in the Capitals of all 50 states. Why? Because Franklin believes that America is in trouble morally, spiritually and politically, and only God can help her.

Franklin is challenging Christians to Pray, Vote and Engage. Pray for our country, live out our faith at home and in public, and take a stand for our Biblical principles at the ballot box.

This is not a political event but a call to pray, act and live 2 Chron. 7:14, asking God to return America to a moral course. God tells us to pray for our leaders and government showing His concern for this aspect of society and our spiritual connection to the ballot box.

FHA Action is honored that our Ministry Leaders’ Capitol Summit in Pierre, February 22, has been selected as the venue for the official announcement from Decision America as to the Tour Stop in Pierre!  Use the link in the previous sentence to sign up for the FHA Action Capitol Summit!  We need your registrations in as soon as possible.

For More info on the Franklin Graham Tour, Click here.

Click here for ‘Decision America Tour’ website.

2016 Legislative Session Day 5

2016Day5Your FHA Action Lobbying Team, Norman Woods and I, are back on site at our South Dakota State Capitol. Should you have forgotten what our Capitol looks like you might be interested in a photo of someone’s Gingerbread House creation now located on a table in the fourth floor committee room lobby.

It was Helen Keller who once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” She’s right and no one knows that more than do Norman and I here at the Capitol as we encourage good family legislation and oppose that which we deem as harmful to the family. We NEED our FHA friends to chime in on our bills and thus alert the Legislators as to your thoughts on those bills. This drives the FHA Action to do our very best to get the word out on these bills via the web, phone calls or over the radio. So, every Tuesday afternoon during session, I spend some significant time on the radio with two South Dakota Christian Radio Stations. Pictured here I am calling into KNWC, a Sioux Falls radio station, and interviewing with station manager Jeff Rupp. Then on Wednesday evenings State Representative and KSLT Public Policy Director Scott Craig and I sit down to record a Legislative Report for station play on the following day. We more than appreciate KSLT station manger Tom Schoenstedt.

In the evenings, from time to time, Capitol Lobbyists such as Norman and I will be invited to a dinner, reception or event featuring some particular group, organization or issue. So it was that last evening, as pictured here, we attended an event hosted by ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) for the purpose of discussing SD’s proposed Medicaid Expansion Proposal. This event was well attended and very informative. Yes, there’s never a dull moment here at the Capitol….morning, noon or evening. We press on!