Friends, as we begin the first week of the 2021 session, I want to thank you again for trusting me to represent our values and our community in Pierre. We have a lot to accomplish, and I’m excited to see what we can get done!
2020 was one of the hardest years we have experienced in a long time. Some have lost family members, friends, livelihoods, and so much more. While COVID-19 still dominates headlines, there are reasons for optimism. South Dakota leads the nation in giving our citizens the first dose of the Coronavirus vaccine. I expect that to continue over the next several months as we fight to return to a more normal way of life.
Governor Noem highlighted this and other progress in her state of the state address and touched on several of her priorities for the session, including helping foster children find homes, expanding access to apprenticeships, improving education, and developing our workforce.
We also heard from Chief Justice Steven Jensen and Standing Rock Tribal Chair Mike Faith, as they addressed the state of the judiciary and state of the tribes, respectively.
Because of our decision to keep our economy open, we will go into this session without the budget crisis affecting many other states. In fact, we will be starting session with a budget surplus. This is important, because in such a difficult environment for families and small businesses, the last thing we need is a big tax increase to further burden our workers and businesses. Instead, this surplus will make it easier to give inflationary salary increases to teachers, nursing home staff,and state employees. Our teachers, care providers, and others have shown up when we needed them the most, and I will be making that pay raise a priority.
As always, I am working hard to ensure that our home, South Dakota, is the best place in the country to raise a family, start a business, experience the great outdoors, and enjoy our God given freedom.
This session I will be serving as Chairman of the House Taxation committee, as well as serving on House Education. I look forward to representing Brown County on these committees, ensuring that our children receive a quality education and keeping our taxes low.
I welcome all citizen input and will do my best to respond to all inquiries. Please reach out to my Facebook page—Drew Dennert for State House.
Rep. Drew Dennert