Commentary

COMMENTARY
(Getty Images)

Treating health care as a commodity has not driven costs lower

BY: - January 29, 2023

Assuring effective health care to a population is a challenge for every society. As care options become more complex — and expensive — the challenges increase. In the U.S. both the organization and the financing of health care are perennial issues in public discussions, political campaigns and among social policy researchers. Basically there are two […]

COMMENTARY
The House of Representatives Chamber of the South Dakota state Capitol building in Pierre. (Getty Images)

Term limits lead to legislative whack-a-mole

BY: - January 26, 2023

In the 1990s, term limits were a hot topic in a variety of states, including South Dakota. In 1992, voters here endorsed a constitutional amendment that would limit U.S. senators to two consecutive six-year terms, U.S. representatives to six consecutive two-year terms, state constitutional officers to two four-year terms and state legislators to four consecutive […]

COMMENTARY
A person climbs the stairs of the South Dakota Capitol. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Several early bills show some legislators could use a dose of common sense

BY: - January 22, 2023

It puzzles me why some South Dakota legislators, who depend on voters for their jobs, are so afraid of their constituents. And why isn’t common sense a legislative job requirement? Oh, right. Voters establish the job criteria. Maybe that is why some legislators are petrified. If they voted the legislator into office, what might they […]

COMMENTARY
Rep. Fred Deutsch, R-Florence, testifies before the South Dakota House State Affairs Committee during the 2023 legislative session. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Lawmakers rightly kill anti-democracy bill for many of the wrong reasons

BY: - January 20, 2023

Sometimes lawmakers do the right thing, but for the wrong reasons. A case in point would be the defeat of House Joint Resolution 5001 early Friday morning by the House State Affairs Committee. HJR 5001, sponsored by Rep. Fred Deutsch, R-Florence, would require that backers of a defeated constitutional amendment wait one general election cycle […]

COMMENTARY
Members of the Wambli Ska Society perform a Lakota drum song at a ceremony on Sept. 13, 2022, in Pierre to celebrate the launch of a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons liaison within the South Dakota Attorney General's Office. (Courtesy of Attorney General's Office)

Leaders needed to reconcile the races in South Dakota

BY: - January 16, 2023

In December of 1989, Gov. George Mickelson wrote to Lakota Times publisher Tim Giago asking for his help writing a proclamation that would declare a year of reconciliation between the races in South Dakota. In the letter, Mickelson noted that racial harmony in the nation had been helped along by the work of Martin Luther […]

COMMENTARY
A sunrise silhouette of the entrance to the Wounded Knee Massacre memorial in South Dakota. (Getty Images)

Success brings Rounds an opportunity on Wounded Knee medals

BY: - January 13, 2023

Senator Mike Rounds deserves praise for his recent repeal of laws that discriminated against Native Americans. There’s a related issue he should consider next: the medals awarded for the Wounded Knee Massacre. Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota, has momentum on Native American legislation from the passage of his bill that wiped away 11 egregious […]

COMMENTARY
Houses in a new development on Oct. 28, 2022, in Harrisburg. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Political squabbling stalls vital housing investments

BY: - January 8, 2023

The Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes and inaction by our state’s political leaders have had a dramatic negative effect on South Dakota’s real estate market. A series of interest rate hikes has caused residential sales to decline while the price per single family home is up. Additionally, the inventory of houses available for sale is […]

COMMENTARY
Legislators mingle on the House floor ahead of the governor's budget address on Dec. 6, 2022, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Two-and-a-half party system operating in Legislature

BY: - January 6, 2023

The first week of the legislative session is feast and famine for Capitol reporters.  The famine is in the mornings when committees are supposed to meet. In that first week, some of them won’t meet at all. Others will meet to “organize.” Few, if any, will make any news that first week.  The feast is […]

COMMENTARY
(Xuanyu Han/Getty Images)

The energy gap nobody wants to tussle with

BY: - January 4, 2023

Many Western states have declared they will achieve all-renewable electrical goals in just two decades. Call me naïve, but haven’t energy experts predicted that wind, sun and other alternative energy sources aren’t up to the job?  Alice Jackson, former CEO of Xcel Energy’s Colorado operation, was blunt at a renewable energy conference in February 2020: […]

COMMENTARY
Jason Ravnsborg, left, is interrogated after the car he was driving struck and killed a pedestrian in rural South Dakota. Ravnsborg, who was the state's attorney general at the time, was ultimately impeached and removed from office. (Image from House Select Committee on Investigation files)

Don’t let party loyalty trump voting for competent candidates

BY: - January 2, 2023

There will be some new faces in Pierre this month as legislative and executive oaths are administered. One face, however, will be familiar. Marty Jackley will return to serve as attorney general. Jackley’s previous time in the office was highlighted by competence and integrity, two qualities missing during the tenure of his successor, Jason Ravnsborg. […]

COMMENTARY
Legislators and guests wait for Gov. Kristi Noem to deliver her budget address on Dec. 6, 2022, in the House chamber at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Democrats deserve blame for one-party rule

BY: - December 26, 2022

The South Dakota legislative session is about two weeks away and it should be an interesting one as it offers impressive dueling tax cut plans. Gov. Kristi Noem wants to cut the state sales tax on food, while a group of Republican legislators have an idea for cutting property taxes. There is some concern about […]

COMMENTARY
(Tupper family photos)

In search of a Christmas tree, we found a tradition

BY: - December 24, 2022

My wife and I didn’t realize how much we didn’t know about trees until we moved next door to the Black Hills National Forest eight years ago. That was natural for a pair of small-town, eastern South Dakota flatlanders. I grew up in Kimball and my wife grew up in Armour. Single acres of Black […]