Dale’s FHA Action Blog – Day 7

Once again this morning began early as we sat in on the 7:45 a.m. Senate Judiciary Committee. It was masterfully chaired by FHA friend and Senator, Lance Russell of Hot Springs, SD. Our South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley skillfully testified on Senate Bill 24 which would classify vehicular homicide as a crime of violence. It passed out of committee and is now on its way to the floor of the Senate.

The annual joint Legislative Memorial Service was held today 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 past 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. I was reminded of what someone told me once, “Sympathy is when I put your hurt in my heart.” This we experienced today.

Dale Bartscher, SD Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and Norman Woods

It is always a treat to spend some quality time, like today, in the office of our Secretary of State Shantel Krebs. She continues to manager her office and responsibilities with a flare of excellence. Shantel holds to a rock solid Christian Worldview and always welcomes our time of prayer at the close of our meetings with her.

Please follow our work at the Capitol by going to www.FHAaction.org and click on LEGISLATIVE RADAR.

Governor Daugaard Details Medicaid Expansion Plan to FHA Team

By John Dennis and Ed Randazzo

sizedDSC_0235On Friday August 12, Governor Dennis Daugaard, two staffers, and Kim Malsam-Rydson, South Dakota Secretary of Health, made their way to the Rapid City offices of Family Heritage Alliance.  The purpose of the meeting was a cordial and informal informational discussion, between the Governor and FHA Board Members and Staff regarding, the proposed expansion of Medicaid in South Dakota, between the Governor and FHA Board Members and Staff.

The Governor presented almost an hour and a half of information detailing the complexities of health care, and the financial impact it has on the state. He explained his view of the benefits of Medicaid Expansion which include, among others, additional and improved health care for some of the neediest in our state, improving payments to some providers, and reducing the state’s portion of payments in Medicaid cases.

For the board and staff of FHA, this was a fact finding mission only.  The FHA team listened intently to the Governor’s presentation, pausing only occasionally to ask questions.

To continue to research and better understand the complexities of this issue, Dale Bartscher, FHA’s Executive Director, has already reached out to “Americans for Prosperity”, requesting a similar meeting to examine this issue from another perspective.  Ben Lee, Executive Director of AFP was quoted as saying, “consider it done.”

Family Heritage Alliance is deeply honored that Governor Daugaard and team would take time to travel from Pierre to Rapid City to discuss this very complicated issue with us.

Stay informed and in touch with us here for further updates on this important issue for South Dakota.  Much discussion is yet to be had before this issue possibly comes before South Dakota legislators in the 2017 session.

For more pictures from this event, check out our Facebook post.  Click here.

State of South Dakota to Join State Attorneys General Challenge to Federal Bathroom and Locker Room Mandate

Marty2-105-Edit-2.jpgFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:      Tuesday, June 7, 2016
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605)773-3215

PIERRE, S.D.-   Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that South Dakota will join other State Attorneys General in challenge to President Obama’s letter directive to school districts threatening both civil rights litigation and the withholding of educational funds to the States.

“As Attorney General it was and remains my hope that our country and state can find a solution to the transgender concerns without forcing children of the opposite sex into the same bathrooms and locker rooms. The President’s attempt to require children of opposite sex to share locker rooms and bathrooms under the threat of lawsuit and withholding of education funding is a one size fits all solution that goes beyond his constitutional authority.  It is my contention that federal law cannot direct local school districts on who can use locker rooms and bathrooms. These issues need to be handled as they have been for a long time- on the state and local level,” said Jackley.

In 1964, Congress enacted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, making it illegal for employers to invidiously discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. 42 U.S.C.§ 2000e-2. Eight years later, Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX provides that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…” 20 U.S.C. § 1681. Title IX regulations issued by the Department of Education likewise expressly allow recipients of federal funding to “provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex,” provided that the facilities provided for “students of one sex” are “comparable” to the facilities provided for “students of the other sex.” The term “gender identity: does not appear in the text or regulators of Title IX.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Education (DOE) contend that Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of “sex” extends to discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.” Jackley contends that the DOJ and DOE lack any authority to issue such direction. It is the duty of Congress to legislate and the duty of the Executive Branch, including DOJ and DOE, to administer and enforce the laws that Congress enacts. Through this joint letter, DOJ and DOE have unilaterally attempted to change the clear meaning of law passed by Congress and impose new obligations on covered entities.

A case was filed May 25, 2016 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Several Attorneys General anticipate filing an additional challenge to the President’s authority to issue the letter.   This filing may be separate from the Texas case or filed in a different district court.

Sioux Falls City Council Update

Sioux_falls_sd_lg_reducedIf you have been paying any attention at all to FHA Action lately, you know that the “storm on our radar” has had to do with the Sioux Falls City Council and the agenda of some thereon to implement invasive and far-reaching policies regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.  We dodged a bullet (pardon the mixed metaphor) on HRO CH98, but only barely.  That extensive ordinance has been withdrawn but will likely return.  Now, we are tracking an amendment to another Sioux Falls City Ordinance that would include the same type of ‘gender identity’ protection in employment by the city.  This is an amendment to HRO Ch 39.

If you live, shop, worship, or do business in Sioux Falls, you have a voice on this issue.  Please contact the following City Council Members and Mayor Huether, urging them to OPPOSE the amendment to HRO Ch 39.  Be brief, respectful, and factual in your message.

Click here for up-to-date information on the amendment to HRO #39 provided by FHA Action, Liberty Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, and other faith based organizations.

Here are some immediate action steps for you.

  • We can all BE VIGILANT in PRAYER.
  • Attend the Council meeting on June 14. Mark your calendar. Be there.  This City Council meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Carnegie Town Hall, 235 West Tenth Street, Sioux Falls.
  • Contact the Mayor and the Council members – OPPOSE the amendment to HRO Chapter 39
  • Alert your friends.

2016 Legislative Scorecard Available Now!

2016 scorecard v1.4-1The 2016 legislative session was a hard one for faith, family, and freedom.  When it comes to the folks you sent to Pierre to represent your values, there were many who stood with FHA Action regardless of the cost.  To those brave souls, we extend our sincerest appreciation.  The big question is, was your legislative delegation to Pierre supportive of your values?

That’s a good question.  After crunching the numbers on this 91st Legislative Session, we thought it would be useful to you, to have in hand some real stats regarding the way your legislators voted on values.  We have prepared a concise scorecard that shows exactly that.  Use the link below to download the scorecard.  You are free to redistribute the document any way you desire.  We simply ask that you do not modify it in any way.

Click here to download your copy.

An Historic Day for Women and Life

dale_no_tie3Dietrich Bonhoeffer once rightly wrote: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

On Thursday, December 3, the US Senate ACTED as they voted on and PASSED H.R. 3762. Among them were SD Senator John Thune and SD Senator Mike Rounds. The FHA and her friends do vigorously thank our South Dakota Senators for standing for Women’s Health Care and Life!

On November 25, 2015, Family Heritage Alliance Action joined a coalition of National Pro-Life Organizations who sent a letter to our US Senate Leadership. The letter opens with this statement: “We, the undersigned representing millions of Americans, are writing to express our unflagging support for H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015.

To be clear, the US Senate’s vote on December 3 was not just a show vote….it was a huge deal because it forces President Obama to bear the moral responsibility for funding Planned Parenthood…and it also for the first time sets the Senate precedent under reconciliation rules for how to defund 80% of Planned Parenthood, and gut key Obamacare provisions, with 51 votes.

Within this piece of legislation was the Defunding Planned Parenthood Provision in the House budget reconciliation bill, which survived attempts to strip it during Senate amendment on Thursday. This was GREAT NEWS!

The US House will now vote on the Senate bill, and we expect it to pass with the solid support of US SD Representative Kristi Noem. We will keep you posted! This will be the first time a bill to defund Planned Parenthood goes to the President’s desk. That is a WIN for the pro-life movement.

Joseph E. La Rue, 
Legal Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) wisely wrote the following concerning the passage of H.R. 3762: “This bill not only defunds Planned Parenthood, but it redirects that Federal money to women’s health care organizations that provide far more services than Planned Parenthood does, and are more readily available then Planned Parenthood is.”

Friends, we have work to do for sure moving forward….but now there is a real shot in the future of accomplishing these goals.
Written By: Dale Bartscher

FHA Action Opposes Expansion of Gambling in R.C.

daletestifiesOn July 1, the Rapid City ‘Legal & Finance Committee’ met and dealt a STRONG blow against ‘AGENDA ITEM #15’ – an expansion of Video Lottery in our community. After hearing testimony on both sides of the issue Alderman Laurenti moved to TABLE this issue. Alderman Weifenbach immediately seconded that motion and ALL FIVE voted YES — thus defeating this issue for now! FHA Action’s Executive Director Dale Bartscher is pictured here giving testimony against the expansion of video lottery in Rapid City.