SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Curt Massie
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Curt Massie is running for election to the South Dakota State House District 33. Massie faces three primary opponents; Janette McIntyre, Phil Jensen, and Dean Aurand.
1. Tell us about yourself?
I grew up in Belle Fourche on a farm/ranch that I now lease so I am a lifelong South Dakotan who understands our Ag community and economy. I was a state sales, use, and contractors’ excise tax auditor for over twenty-four years. My wife, an elementary school teacher, and I have been married for 28 years. We have lived in District 33 for over 22 years and raised two children in this great state of South Dakota and support South Dakota and family values.
2. Why are you running for this office?
I am a lifelong Republican so you can count on me to support and defend our conservative values. I believe those with an expertise in specific areas should take their turn and bring their expertise to Pierre to help us work through our problems. In this District 33 House race, I have an unparalleled expertise in South Dakota tax law to bring to the next legislative session.
3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?
1. Keeping Taxes Low
3. Managing Area Growth
4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?
If you have a tax problem do you go to someone who says they can help you but you know has zero tax expertise? No. You hire a tax expert. The same applies to who you send to represent you at the next legislative session and in this District 33 House race, I am your South Dakota tax expert.
5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?
As a legislator, I will use my tax expertise to look out for taxpayers when I am in Pierre. With the rampant rate of inflation, we need to send someone with the expertise I can bring to the next legislative session to help ensure more money stays in the pockets of hardworking South Dakotans so they can afford the necessities in life such as food, clothing, and adequate housing.
6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?
When we hear stories about the difficulty in recruiting healthcare professionals to our area because of the lack of affordable workforce housing, we know we have a problem. It is not just healthcare workers. There are many others that are part of our workforce that need housing. We need to look at all options to ensure we have affordable housing. One option is to look at property tax reform to help lessen the overall cost of home ownership.
7. South Dakota correctional facilities have been dealing with a number of issues, most prominent among them overcrowding and staffing shortages. What would you do to help combat these issues?
In South Dakota, we spend about $10,500 per student annually in our public school system but we spend over $35,000 annually to house an inmate at the South Dakota State Penitentiary. A 2004 study concluded that just a 1-percent increase in the high school completion rate of all men ages 20–60 would save the United States as much as $1.4 billion per year in reduced costs from crime. I am a strong believer that we need to ensure that the children in our state get a quality education so they are employable and less likely to commit a crime. We do need to fund job training for those that end up in a correctional facility so they have employable job skills when they are released. We do have to look at what the root causes of our staffing shortages are and how to properly address them.
8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?
Encouraging business development and innovation so that good jobs are available for our young people will allow them to be able to stay in South Dakota. By working with community organizations like Elevate Rapid City, who are working hard to promote business development, we can have not only a stronger local economy but a stronger state economy as well.
9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?
In South Dakota, we have SDCL 12-18-6.1 requiring voters to provide identification before voting. We do allow a voter who is not able to present a form of personal identification as required to complete an affidavit in lieu of the personal identification. We are not mass mailing out blank ballots to everyone which creates opportunities for fraud. As a state legislator, you can count on me to work hard to protect election integrity in South Dakota.
10. A U.S. Supreme Court decision is looming on a landmark abortion case that could ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade. Governor Kristi Noem has indicated she would like to ban abortion outright, and a “trigger law” already on the books would so, with only an exception in place when the mother’s life is at risk. Do you support banning abortion to this extent? If not, what exceptions would you like to see made?
I support Governor Noem on this.
11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?
I have concerns with the implementation of recreational marijuana. I have had business owners express to me the difficulty they have now trying to find workers and their concerns that if recreational marijuana is implemented they are concerned they will not be able to find workers who can pass Federal Workplace drug testing. We will have to see how the vote turns out in November. If recreational marijuana is to be implemented, as your legislator, I would ensure we draft legislation to keep shops away from schools and other areas where it should not be, along with addressing other concerns. I do believe legislators work for the people in their District and I do want to hear from people in my District if they are for or against something and why.
State legislative candidates in contested districts this primary season were emailed the same survey to complete for Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory News. Candidates were asked to keep their responses limited to roughly 4-5 sentences for each question. With the exception of a quick spelling and grammar check, answers were not edited by the poster. Those who responded to the survey questions had their results posted.
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