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2018-04-12 / Voices

Veto Day Has Come and Gone

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
BY STEVE LIVERMONT
DISTRICT 27

I have finally gotten around to updating after veto day. Kind of still in shock after not being able to override the governor’s veto of three bills. HB 1188 should have sailed past the override, but didn’t. HB 1268 should have had a decent chance along with SB 94. The glaring fact I saw was the legislators who will vote with the governor. They will vote one way in session, but change if they feel the governor wants them to. Our system is set up with three equal branches of government with each being a watchdog over the other two. But I feel the executive (governor) and the legislature (representatives and senators) have merged so that the only thing that gets passed is what the executive wants to get passed. We do watch and take note of the legislators who jump ship, and it would behoove the citizens to watch and see how their legislator votes. Are they voting for the people of their district or to gain more political power with the leadership? We are sent there to represent every person of our district to the best of our ability. If we become too political, the legislature cedes our power away, as has happened a lot over the past years.

What amazes me is the extent that government has injected itself into so many aspects of our lives. But it is apparent that we have caused this. There is a general trend that we all have turned to the government to solve a lot of our problems. And believe me, they are just waiting to solve your problems. It means forming a new agency, forming a new committee, more FTE’s (full time employees), another license, another fee, another regulation, another building, another athletic stadium, another program, the list goes on and on. Our government was designed to empower the individual. A bottom up system instead of a top down system. Every time we turn to the government, we are empowering them and surrendering some of our power, so that when you try to solve problems at the individual or local level, you are dictated by federal and state regulations that were formulated for a one size fits all solution. First, we must take control of our own lives by being a moral, fair and just person. Then take control of our communities, which can then influence our counties, who can influence our states, who can then influence our country. Where we are at today reminds me of frogs in a pot of water. If you put them in when the water is cold and slowly bring it to a boil, the frogs will get cooked. But if you throw them into boiling water they will jump out. This change we have seen has been slowly implemented over the last hundred years, and what our grandfathers would have fought, we have accepted. I am as guilty as anybody of accepting things that, in my later years, I have recognized as maybe I shouldn’t have accepted. Every government program out there has been created to address a problem that was deemed to have existed.

But the problems never get solved, because that would justify the end of that program. The bigger the program, the more people that would lose their job if the program was ended. And so, this government never shrinks. It only grows.

On the last note, a legislator brought a bill last session that would have required your legislators to submit to a drug test. Although I would readily submit to a drug test, which many of our state employees are required to have, there were 40 legislators who wouldn’t. As legislators, I believe we are held to a higher standard and should be willing to prove that we deserve your trust. Secondly, as pointed out to me recently, if a person is using, and the wrong persons have proof of this, isn’t that legislator compromised to be blackmailed to vote against our best interest. We have not seen the end of this issue and it will come again next session.

As always, I can be reached at Steve. Livermont@sdlegislature.gov or 605-441-1040. Have a blessed summer, if it ever gets here.

Steve Livermont can be reached at 605-441-1020 or emailed at (Steve.livermont@sdlegislature.gov).

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