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SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Tina Mulally

South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)
South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)(DAKOTA NEWS NOW)
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 7:47 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - State Rep. Tina Mulally (R-Rapid City) is running for re-election in South Dakota State House District 35. The district covers eastern Rapid City, Box Elder, and a portion of Ellsworth Air Force Base. Mulally faces three primary opponents; fellow incumbent Tony Randolph, Larry Larson, and Liz Regalado.

1. Tell us about yourself?

My husband and I moved to SD in 1985 so he could finish his degree at SDSMT. My family had owned farms in Eastern SD south Arlington, so I felt right at home moving back. We purchased property in 1991 and have enjoyed the benefits of being a South Dakotan ever since.

2. Why are you running for this office?

I felt I could no longer sit by and watch our freedoms and liberties be torn down one piece at a time. When my great grandchildren were born, I knew I had to get involved to do what I could to keep the legacy of American freedom alive. I didn’t want my grandchildren asking me “Grandma what did you do when America used to be free.”

3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?

To ensure election integrity, reduce property taxes and cut spending. As an appropriator I became aware of exactly how the taxpayer money is spent and we need to ween SD of federal money. 64% of our state budget comes from the federal government and along with that comes all the strings attached.

4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?

As a small business owner, I know the realities of how legislation affects the ability of SD citizens to meet regulation requirements. Four years of legislative service has made me more determined to reduce spending and lower the tax burden on the taxpayer.

5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?

Yes, I do. If property taxes were reduced and we allowed the sales tax to be a major source of revenue the visitors that come to our great state would be paying most of the states’ revenues, however, that would mean we would have to increase sales tax to generate the income needed to compensate for the removal of property taxes. Keep in mind, this would allow more people to actual own their home, and not be frightened by the possibility of losing their home because they cannot afford the property tax. Many of our elderly population are experiencing that right now.

6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?

First, I would start with regulations. Let the free market work. How is it this country became the most prosperous in the world? It was before we started regulating ourselves out of being able to afford things and that it now means the government must step in and provide all in the name of safety. It’s like Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

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 regards to State run facilities, you must first look at the reason for incarcerations. Then you must look at the reason for staffing shortages. More often than not the shortages are due to salaries. Proper funding of state correctional facilities is definitely the role of state government. And increased funding needs to be addressed.

8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?

Since time began the young have always left their home to venture out on their own, to find their way and many return to their roots. We must emphasize that quality of life is as important as making a living because without quality of life what good is living. The legislature could reduce licensures, reduce regulations on opening a business, and with the broadband expansion coming to SD the technology available today will allow many businesses to operate from home.

9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?

That would depend on the change. I do not believe in electronic voting, paper ballots are the safest. If the state of SD owned the software for the counting machines, that could eliminate any programming issues when it comes to vote counting. Have routine election audits. Clean up of the voters’ roles is essential. Deaths should be recorded in a timely fashion and voters removed. Improve requirements for party affiliations and residency. Hold all who are elected accountable for campaign finance reports. Shorten the time for early or absentee voting and consider Election Day as a paid holiday.

10. A U.S. Supreme Court decision is looming on a landmark abortion case that could ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade. Governor Noem has indicated she would ban abortion outright, and a ‘trigger law’ already on the books would do so, with 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 would support banning abortion to this extent. When Roe v. Wade gets overturned, I will be happy to call SD a right to life state. I am certain there will be states that will legalize abortions and charge the taxpayers to pay for it, I just don’t want SD to be one of them.

11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?

I would rather see marijuana decriminalized than legalized. Legalizing will just grow the government by developing a new department, hiring new employees to monitor activities and start new programs to stop addiction. Why would you legalize something then start a program to correct the problems created?

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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