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!

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!

 

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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.