Lawmakers talk 2020 priorities

Lawmakers gather in Rapid City for policy discussions.
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Six Pennington County lawmakers sat down on Thursday, Nov. 14 to discuss their priorities for the upcoming legislative session and to answer questions from the audience.

The Republican legislators in attendance were: Rep. Julie Frye-Mueller, District 30, Rep. Scyller Borglum, District 32, Sen. Phil Jensen, District 33, Rep. Jess Olson, District 34, and Rep. Tina Mulally, District 35.

They each had five minutes to talk about what they want to do in the 2020 legislative session.

Fry-Mueller expressed her support for parental rights in schools as well as the Second Amendment. She also is starkly in opposition to any expansion of transgender policies.

Borglum has three main priorities she is focusing on this year. She wants to take a look at rural education reform - something she sees as a multi-year process. She says she is already authoring two other bills - one to help pregnant mothers in emergency situations and another to end collective bargaining at the South Dakota Board of Regents schools.

Jensen plans to sponsor numerous bills that he believes may be controversial. One of them has to do with parental rights when facing the Department of Social Services and another on abortion.

Howard says she doesn't have any specific bills, which she says is not uncommon for those who work almost exclusively with the budget. However, she will continue to focus on promoting conservative philosophies in budgeting. She wants the state to switch to a zero-based budgeting standard.

As a second year legislator, Olson says she is still learning the ropes but hopes to make her mark on legislation affecting small business, taxes and education.

Mulally was another one of freshman lawmakers last year. She's found her stride in digging up old laws and giving them a new look. Last year, she got rid of several laws about eminent domain. This year she's focused on continuing to clean up the current statutes with an emphasis on landlord-tenant laws.

The audience asked about several things, including hemp. All six of the legislators says they plan to support the expansion of hemp as a crop. They hope to change the governor's mind about the plant so they may come to an agreement.

The event was hosted by the Pennington County Republican Women. They plan to host another lunch with legislators Dec. 4.