2016 Legislative Session Day 16

2016day16Once again an early morning at the Capitol and all is well‚Ķfor the time being ūüôā ¬†The People‚Äôs House‚Ķour 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!‚ÄĚ

Take a look at the number of Bills the FHA Action is currently following:  Supporting Р30;  Opposing Р3.  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!

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 ‚Äúphysical condition of being male or female as determined by a person’s chromosomes and anatomy as identified at birth,‚ÄĚ 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!

2016 Legislative Session Day 10

2016day10aOnce again it‚Äôs an early morning at the Capitol and all is well‚Ķfor the time being ūüôā ¬†As promised yesterday I‚Äôd like to introduce to you this week‚Äôs FHA Action Intern. ¬†His name is Joseph Shivley and he‚Äôs 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,¬†‚ÄúAs leaders in the local church it is our responsibility to bring a moral dimension to public life.‚Ä̬†¬†Pastor Boyle SHOWS UP at FHA events and is already registered to attend our SD Ministry Leaders‚Äô 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 ūüôā

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 Рis 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

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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‚ÄôS FAVOR as the FHA testified in support of HB1008 in the House State Affairs Committee. ¬†This was the¬†‚ÄėStudent Physical Privacy Act‚Äô. ¬†This Bill‚Äôs 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‚Ķ.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‚Ķ.like the Hays Family ūüôā

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‚Äôs Prayer Breakfast. ¬†This year a 150+ were in attendance and enjoyed the event‚Äôs theme from Acts 2:42¬†‚ÄúTeaching, fellowship, breaking bread and prayer.‚Ä̬† Yes, it was good to reunite with friends from last year‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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,¬†‚ÄúOur agenda here today is not a religion but a person!‚ÄĚ

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 ūüôā

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