Dale’s FHA Action Blog – Day 27

Well, we are down to our closing two and a half weeks in this Legislative Session. Today is what’s called ‘Cross Over Day’ which simply means that all the bills and resolutions which have started in one chamber must cross over to the other chamber to be discussed and voted on.

Hot on our front burner is Senate Bill 149.  This is an Act that would ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are free to continue placing children consistent with the agency’s convictions. Faith-based adoption agencies in SD are at risk of closing if the state or a state agency forces them to place children in homes that are inconsistent with their mission.  We were thrilled when yesterday the full Senate voted on this bill and passed it on a solid vote of 22 yeas and 12 nays.  Senator Solano of Rapid City, pictured here on the Senate Floor, introduced and carried this bill with a flare of excellence.  Now, please join us in contacting your Representative today and ask for their support of Senate Bill 149 and thus protect our faith-based adoption agencies.

It was a treat this week for Norman and I to invite to dinner, at our Pierre residence, several friends and co-laborers of the Family Heritage Alliance.  From left to right you will find:  Linda Schauer (CWA State Director), Cindy Flakoll (CWA volunteer lobbyist), Norman Woods (FHA Action Lobbyist), Mark Chase (NetCasters President), and Debbie Pease (SD Right to Life and Birth Matters Lobbyist).  A BIG shout-out of appreciation to my wife, Jan, for baking our main course for the evening – LASAGNA 🙂

It is always a thrill to see Pastors and Ministry Leaders come to the Capitol, the People’s House.  So it was great to welcome Pastor Dan Ebbens, of the Aurora Reformed Church, and Dan Hargreaves, past President of the SD Right to Life.

Please follow the work of the FHA Action by regularly going to www.FHAaction.org and click on ‘Legislative Radar’ to view those bills and/or resolutions we are tracking.

Dale’s FHA Action Blog – Day 25

FHA’s Dale Bartscher with Sen. Jenna Netherton of Sioux Falls.

The South Dakota 92nd Legislative Session is well underway and Senate Concurrent Resolution 4 – Recognizing Pornography as Public Health Crisis – was a front and center priority for the Family Heritage Alliance Action.  This historic resolution passed unanimously through the South Dakota State Senate (35-0) and House of Representatives (65-0).  SCR4 was drafted by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.  The FHA Action’s lobbyists, Dale Bartscher and Norman Woods, introduced, secured Legislator signatures and promoted this Resolution.  The passage of SCR4 would not have happened without the assistance of two highly capable sponsors:  Senator Jenna Netherton of Sioux Falls, SD, primed this Resolution and is pictured here with FHA Action Executive Director Dale Bartscher.  Representative Taffy Howard of Rapid City, SD, sponsored it on the House floor.  These two South Dakota Legislators spoke with a flare of excellence in their

Rapid City Rep. Taffy Howard, House sponsor of SCR4.

designated chambers to the need of passing SCR4.  Their passion for this issue won the day.

This SD resolution not only raises awareness about the harm of pornography and the need to protect children from early exposure, but it also serves as a guidepost for leaders concerning possible future policy decisions.

Please continue to follow our work here at the Capitol by going to www.FHAaction.org and click on Legislative Radar.

BTW – Have you contacted your Senator and respectfully asked him or her to support SB149 – bill that ensures that faith-based adoption agencies in South Dakota are free to continue placing children and making decisions that are consistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions. The bill prevents the state from coming down with a “heavy hand” on any agency because that agency follows their convictions.   TAKE ACTION NOW:  To contact your SD Senator today simply click hereSB149 will likely be voted on the SD Senate floor this coming Wednesday, February 22, so we need your HELP NOW!

Dale’s FHA Action Blog – Day 24

This week’s Catacomb Caucus was uniquely led by a father/daughter team.  Senator Jenna Netherton and Representative Don Haggar inspired us to LOVE out-loud taking as our lead the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:4-9.  We have only three devotional morning’s remaining:  Feb. 22 – Rep. Isaac Latterell, March 1 – PUC Chris Nelson, and March 8 – Trudy Qualm.  If your in the Capitol those days (Wednesdays) then please join us in the Governor’s large conference room from 7:00 – 7:30 a.m.

Author John Maxwell rightly wrote, “Leadership is Influence”.  He’s right and by God’s grace the FHA Action’s team of lobbyists, Dale Bartscher, Norman Woods and Ed Randazzo, are endeavoring to exercise that influence.  The 92nd Legislative Session is currently considering some 436 bills and resolutions.  Please follow the work of the FHA Action by regularly going to www.FHAaction.org and click on ‘Legislative Radar’ to view those bills and/or resolutions we are tracking.

One such bill we are enthusiastically supporting is:  SB149:  A Faith-Based Adoption Agency Protection Bill

We need your HELP in the passage of SB149 an bill that ensures that faith-based adoption agencies in South Dakota are free to continue placing children and making decisions that are consistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions. The bill prevents the state from coming down with a “heavy hand” on any agency because that agency follows their convictions.

A few of our wonderful SB149 support team members are pictured here and from left to right they are:  Norman Woods (FHA Action Lobbyist), Jim Kinyon (West River Catholic Social Services), Senator Alan Solano (Rapid City), Troy Cumings (Bethany Christian Services National Office), Renee Eggebraaten (Bethany Christian Services of Western SD), and Dale Bartscher (FHA Action Lobbyist).   Not picture is Representative Steve Haugaard of Sioux Falls and our CWA partners.

TAKE ACTION NOW:  To contact your SD Senator simply click here.  You may also call the Senate and House Switchboard phone numbers and leave a message:  Senate:  605-773-3821House:  605-773-3851.  These numbers are open and available for taking messages from 7:45 a.m. (CST) until one hour after session concludes for the day.  SB149 will likely be voted on the SD Senate floor this coming Wednesday, February 22.

God Bless you and yours as together we fight for that which is right.

FHA Action is “Boots On The Ground”

Author John Maxwell rightly wrote, “Leadership is Influence”.  He’s right and by God’s grace the FHA Action’s team of lobbyists, Dale Bartscher, Norman Woods and Ed Randazzo, are endeavoring to exercise that influence.  The 92nd Legislative Session is currently considering some 436 bills and resolutions.  Follow the work of the FHA Action by regularly going to www.FHAaction.org and click on ‘Legislative Radar’ to view those bills and/or resolutions we are either supporting or opposing.

SB149:  Faith-Based Adoption Agency Protection Bill

We need your HELP in the passage of SB149 an bill that ensures that faith-based adoption agencies in South Dakota are free to continue placing children and making decisions that are consistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions. The bill prevents the state from coming down with a “heavy hand” on any agency because that agency follows their convictions.

 

TAKE ACTION NOW:  To contact your SD Senator simply click hereSB149 will likely be voted on the SD Senate floor this coming Wednesday, February 22.

An adoption agency in South Dakota that operates in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions is protected, in the passage of SB149, from adverse action in the following ways:

The State may not:
-Alter their tax exemption
-Financially penalize them
-Limit their ability to place children
-Alter the terms or conditions of a contract or license
-Deny a contract or license

 

SB149 does not:
-Allow for discrimination because of race, ethnicity, or national origin
-Allow actions otherwise deemed illegal
-Allow an agency to place a child into a dangerous situation

What Faith-Based Adoption Agency Leaders Are Saying:

“Catholic Social Services supports the Adoption Agency Protection Act because we would like to continue to offer our adoptive services to families of all faiths in a manner consistent with our long standing religious traditions as we have for over 40 years.  We know that this bill is needed because approximately five Catholic Charities nationally have had to cease offering adoption services because of changes in administrative rules or new laws at their state or city level.  Some other Catholic Charities are withdrawing from adoptive services in states as their capacity to work within their confines of their religious beliefs were challenged either by law or rules at the state level.”

– Jim Kinyon
Executive Director, West River Catholic Social Services

“New Horizons Adoption Agency, Inc. supports this bill.  Faith based agencies supply a great service to the faith-based community.  This bill allows a faith based agency to continue that service without fear of compromising the foundation of the agency or the community it serves.”

– Marlys Ubben
Executive Director, New Horizons Adoption Agency Inc.

“SB 149 is consistent with how the state of South Dakota has for decades partnered with private agencies to find homes for children.  It doesn’t restrict anyone from participating in foster care or adoption, but it does preserve for faith-based agencies the freedom to be faithful to our convictions while partnering with government agencies in supporting vulnerable children and families in crisis. We are hopeful that South Dakota lawmakers will continue to honor religious freedom and conscience as it has in the past.”

– Renee Eggebraaten
Branch Director, Bethany Christian Services of Western South Dakota

TAKE ACTION NOW:  To contact your SD Senator simply click here.  SB149 will likely be voted on the SD Senate floor this coming Wednesday, February 22.

Dale’s FHA Action Blog – Day 21

GOP Meeting Opening in Prayer

Today I’d like to take you back to last Saturday, February 11.  I had the honor of attending the South Dakota Republican State Central Committee Meeting in Pierre.  I carried a PROXY for a voting member and thus was able to participate in this wonderful grassroots people’s effort.  The Pierre Chamber of Commerce room was full and overflowing with enthusiastic patriots one and all.  I was impressed as Chairman Pam Roberts called on my friend Dan Hargreaves, of the SD Right To Life, to open the meeting in prayer and the reciting of our Pledge of Allegiance.

Dan Lederman & Dale Bartscher

We congratulate Dan Lederman, pictured here with me, for his being nominated to and winning the right and privilege in leading the South Dakota Republican Party as it’s newly elected Chairman.  Author John Maxwell has rightly written:  “Leadership is Influence!”  May Chairman Lederman be wise and discerning as he now leads the SD GOP with a flare of excellence.

Please continue to follow our work here at the Capitol by going to www.FHAaction.org and click on Legislative Radar.

Dale’s FHA Action Blog – Day 20

This week was a busy week at the Capitol and joining the excitement was the Annual TeenPact Class at the Capitol.  Some 43 Middle and High School students from across the state converged on the Capitol for a week of learning and building relationships that will last a lifetime.  Then another 44 children flooded the Capitol for TeenPact’s one-day event for 8 to 12 year olds.

Norman Woods, Joanne Woods and Dale Bartscher

FHA Lobbyist Norman Woods was a TeenPact Student and rightly so since his mother, Joanne Woods, is the South Dakota TeenPact State Coordinator.  Joanne brings an excitement, passion and a flare of excellence to this needed and awesome program.

 

 

 

Norman and I bookended the week as I was asked to address these TeenPact students in their opening ceremony and Norman had the honored of addressing the students during their Graduation ceremony.

 

 

Mark Howard, Dale Bartscher and Norman Woods

It was a treat to stop and visit every so briefly with Mark Howard of Rapid City.  Mark is Representative Taffy Howard’s husband.  We are so grateful to the many spouses, like Mark, who sacrifice much for their mates to serve the people of South Dakota during the Legislative session.

Please continue to follow our work here at the Capitol by going to www.FHAaction.org and click on Legislative Radar.

Dale’s FHA Action Blog – Day 18

JC Church and Dale Bartscher

Tuesday, February 7, will be a day long remembered as the day #130 Pastors and Para-Church Ministry Leaders converged on the SD State Capitol in 2017.  It was on this day that the FHA Action celebrated our 7th annual SD Ministry Leaders’ Capitol Summit.

I, along with seven friends, gathered for dinner in Pierre the night before the Summit.  Norman Woods, Brennan Culverhouse (FHA Intern), Pastor Scott Craig (FHA Board Chair), Amy Wagner (SD National Day of Prayer), Amy Willson (SD ACT for America) and Gywn Write (Club For Growth).  Joining the seven of us was JC Church, the Family Research Council’s Midwest Representative and the Summit’s keynote speaker.  It has been said, “We can either fight, flight or freeze when a challenge comes!”  Well, the eight of us, gathered that night,are up for the challenge and we’re in this fight for our family values to WIN it.

One of the greatest blessings from the day is the time these Spiritual Leaders have to spend with their elected officials.  Pictured here is Matt Irwin of Rapid City in prayer with his Pastor and Representative Sean McPherson.  This scene was duplicated dozens of times throughout the morning.

Every year those gathered for the Summit meet on the Rotunda steps for a photo shoot and the opportunity to sing a few patriotic songs.  Once again we were joined this year by our SD Governor and Lt. Governor along with our Attorney General and numerous other elected officials.  The Summit’s afternoon’s luncheon and meeting was held at the Pierre Community Bible Church.  Pastor Harvey Friez and their Hospitality Team treated us with a flare of excellence.

We are ready to do it again next year.  Please continue to follow our work here at the Capitol by going to www.FHAaction.org and click on Legislative Radar.

Trump’s Religious Freedom Executive Order

We are grateful that President Trump has promised to protect our Constitutional freedom of religion. Now is your chance to hold him to that promise! Family Heritage Alliance, our national ally Family Policy Alliance, and our network of 40 state-based family groups have written a letter to be sent to President Trump and Vice President Pence urging them to sign an Executive Order to protect our religious freedom.  Click Here to read this letter.

The Executive Order reinforces existing religious freedom protections in the law and affirms that the Administration will respect the religious freedom rights of all Americans.

The policy of the previous administration was one of systematically bullying individuals of faith, religious organizations, faith-based businesses and churches. This hostility at the federal level impacted religious freedom at the state level as well, including here in South Dakota.

Who can forget the story of Barronelle Stutzman, a florist in Washington State, who stands to lose her business and her life savings all because she refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding ceremony? Or what about the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns who provide care for the elderly? They were nearly forced to offer contraception in their healthcare plan simply because the Obama Administration dictated it.

Side Note: The FHA Action is supportive of South Dakota’s SB149.  This bill would ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are free to continue placing children into families with a mother and a father.  Catholic Social Services, Bethany Christian Services and New Horizons Adoption Agency, all in South Dakota, are at risk of closing if the state or a state agency forces them to adopt out to families other than what their convictions allow.  Please write a brief email by Clicking Here and ask for the Legislators support of SB149.

President Trump also needs to hear that you believe religious freedom means more than just the freedom to worship in our churches—it means that all people, of all faiths, in all places, at all times have the freedom to live out their faith. That’s what makes our country so great. We’ve made it easy for you to make your voice heard.

Share this post and Click Here to write a message to President Trump, asking him to sign the religious freedom executive order because it:

  1. Fulfills his campaign promise to make religious freedom a “first priority.”
  2. Protects religious organizations against being forced to provide abortion-inducing drugs.
  3. Defends faith-based charities (which provide over $ 1 trillion annually in benefits to Americans) from being punished by the government for peacefully operating consistently with their beliefs.

Dale’s FHA Action Blog – Day 16

Dale Bartscher & Matthew Johnson

It’s Friday and the Legislative Session is concluded for the week. Norman Woods and I are headed back to Rapid City for a quick turnaround weekend. Norman’s driving and I’m typing 🙂 It is always great seeing friends swing by the Capitol from time to time during session. Such a friend was Matthew Johnson. Matthew is a med student with USD and the son of Rapid City resident’s Dr. David and Teresa Johnson. Matthew interned with Norman and I at the Capitol in 2012. We wish this young man the very, very best.

We were more than grateful that HB1069 passed its final hurdle and was signed by the Governor. This was the bill that repealed Initiated Measure 22 – a 34 page, 70 section, 14,000 word disaster of a measure. Now the Legislature is in the process of replacing some of the vital interests in the measure. May God grant these men and women wisdom in doing so.

Senator Stace Nelson

SB102 has now passed through the Senate on a vote of 33 to 0 with 2 excused. This is a human trafficking bill that will require that the name and telephone number of an organization fighting to end sex trafficking be given, in writing, to any woman seeking an abortion. We so appreciate the passionate support coming from the floor of the Senate today from these Senators: Stace Nelson (Prime Sponsor), Jenna Netherton, Deb Soholt and Phil Jensen.

Please continue to follow our work here at the Capitol by going to www.FHAaction.org and click on Legislative Radar. The Apostle Paul said it right in I Corinthians 15:58… “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Dale’s FHA Action Blog – Day 14

The past few days here at the Capitol have certainly been UP and DOWN to say the very least.

SB102 Dale in Committee

THE UP: Concurrent Resolution #4 – Finding That Pornography is a Public Health Crises — has now made it’s way through BOTH the Senate and the House with unanimous votes. This Resolution will now be a tool in our toolbox as we continue to support the strengthening of our South Dakota families. We give a shout-out to this Resolution’s sponsors – Senator Jenna Netherton of Sioux Falls and Representative Taffy Howard of Rapid City.

From time to time an organization or business will furnish lunch for those in the Capitol and this week once again it was Madison/DSU Day at the Capitol. They chose to have Hy-vee cater the meal….Yummy!

HyVee Day Lunch

I was honored to give testimony on SB102, a bill the FHA Action has endorsed. Yes, it passed on a 6-0 vote out of the Health and Human Services Committee this week. SB102 is an act to require that the name and telephone number of an organization fighting to end sex trafficking be given, in writing, to any woman seeking an abortion. It is now on its way to the Senate for a floor vote. We give a shout-out to this bill’s sponsors – Senator Stace Nelson of Fulton and Representative Lynne DiSanto of Box Elder.

Catacomb Caucus

Catacomb Caucus was a needed breath of fresh air this week as friends crowded into the Governor’s large conference room to remember who’s in charge – God is! Music was led by Trudy Qualm, Representative Sean McPherson shared our devotional thought for the day and Pastor Mark Chase of Netcasters closed in prayer. It doesn’t get any better than this.

THE DOWN: As you may have heard by now (news travels fast) our ’Student Privacy Act’ has been WITHDRAWN in Committee this week. We simply could not overcome…..LEGISLATIVE FATIGUE…..and the Governor’s promised veto of SB115!

Protecting the privacy and dignity of all students while under the care of our public schools is a high priority. Thus, SB 115 would ensure that every South Dakota elementary and secondary public school student is guaranteed a baseline of privacy while using the most intimate areas: public school locker rooms, showers and other changing facilities. All this while still permitting local schools to craft accommodations that suit the needs of their student body.

This year the school restrooms were intentionally left out of SB 115. This was done as a good faith compromise to Governor Daugaard who last year vetoed a like bill…HB1008. We were in sincere hope that our Governor would take a second look at the merits of this bill but unfortunately he immediately called a press conference and publicly rejected SB 115 before our team had the opportunity of defending it in his presence.

The FHA Action remains committed to addressing this issue across the state of South Dakota because protecting the PRIVACY of every South Dakota Student must be assured. So … stay tuned as this issue isn’t going away anytime soon. In the meantime follow our work here at the Capitol by going to www.FHAaction.org and click on Legislative Radar.

All To The Applause of One!