Senator Mike Diedrich on current hot button issues

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: Feb. 12, 2022 at 8:44 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Saturday, Elevate Rapid City and Western Dakota Tech teamed up to host another Cracker Barrel, which is an opportunity for the community to interact with lawmakers.

Mike Diedrich, South Dakota District 34 Senator, says discussion surrounded the proposed gun range in Meade County, teacher salaries and addressing the housing shortage.

He says the economic impact of the gun range is very high, but the location is controversial because of nearby landowners. Where, opponents have been asking if there is anywhere else it can go.

”They’ve been searching for a site appropriate for that for two or three years, and I have heard of other sites but they haven’t worked out as far as either able to acquire [the land] or other logistics,” Diedrich says. Adding the current proposed location is based on the best information Game Fish and Parks and the other stakeholders involved have available.

As far as housing, he says they need to use the available budget to not only support building costs of developments, but to help fund areas of workforce housing by making it affordable for those with low and moderate incomes.

“We do have a plan. The Governor’s Office has worked with the legislature. We’ve worked out a deal that works out well, I think,” Diedrich says, “for the future of housing in South Dakota.”

Diedrich adds another hot topic is the teacher’s salary appropriation of six-percent. Which, he says gets baked into the budget for all of the school districts next year. He says this stirs conversation around cutting sales tax. Which, poses concerns about funding education in the future and whether or not the future budget would remain stable, threatened by things like inflation.

He says he’s happy Cracker Barrel’s encourage an open and honest forum to discuss these matters.

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