DEC. 1, 2017 - VOL. 54 No. 3

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Policy statements guide Chamber advocacy

By Mark Lee
the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

Each fall, Chamber volunteer leaders and staff work together to develop a state legislative platform to guide advocacy efforts for the upcoming legislative session. One of the first pieces in the process, since 1993, is to review and edit the Chamber policy statements. Updated in the fall, the policy statements serve as the foundation for all the Chamber's advocacy efforts and guide activity throughout the year.

A counterpart to the policy statements is the Chamber's legislative platform. While the platform undergoes significant changes each year in response to the issues being brought forward, the policy statements are more stable as they represent a set of beliefs rather than specific actions or initiatives. The Chamber's policy statements can be found on the Chamber's website under the advocacy tab.

While policy statements do not undergo significant rewrites on an annual basis, they are reviewed each year. Statements are edited for context and, in some instances, outdated sections are removed. Occasionally new sections are added to reflect emerging issues or topics that will likely live beyond one annual cycle. Again, policy statements are an attempt to describe what the Chamber believes; not specific actions planned in the advocacy realm.

As they stand today, the Chamber's policy statements include the following section titles: Quality of Life; Taxation; Development Incentives; Business Climate; Education; Infrastructure; Environment; Government; Tourism; Housing; Workforce; Diversity and Inclusivity; and Business Development.

Diversity and inclusivity was added to the policy statements as a topic section in the fall of 2016 to reflect the changing nature of our community and our efforts to welcome new people to Sioux Falls who come here legally and want to work together to build a better community as they pursue their dreams in life. It reads as follows:

Diversity and Inclusivity

The Sioux Falls Chamber recognizes the growing diversity of our population in Sioux Falls and South Dakota.We embrace the opportunities that this diversity provides for a culturally and talent-rich community.We will work with citizens, our partners, community and state agencies and elected officials to develop efforts to engage and include all populations into our city and state. We will also resist initiatives which inappropriately sanction or discriminate against individuals or groups.

The topic of development incentives is the most recent addition to the policy statements-it was added in November. Leadership believed it was important to include this topic for a few reasons. First, South Dakota has fewer options and incentives than most states have available to help attract new business or leverage expansion of current businesses. Second, the issue of development incentives is not a one-year topic and will be prominent for years to come. Finally, there has been much conversation at the local and state level about the administration and acceptable use of tax incremental financing. The new section reads as follows:

Development Incentives

South Dakota has limited programs, when compared to other states, to help compete for and leverage business growth and development. One such program that is locally controlled and administered is tax increment financing which can be vital to a project happening, locating or moving forward in Sioux Falls. The Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce supports the appropriate use of TIFs for projects when it is needed to address blight, build infrastructure, encourage workforce housing expansion, promote economic development and/or make public improvements. Further, we support local decision-making in the administration of TIFs.

These are the two most recent additions, but there are a total of 13 areas covered in the policy statements. Some people may have the misconception that chambers of commerce are only interested in taxation or regulation types of issues, but that could not be further from the truth. The Chamber has an extensive advocacy portfolio built on the premise that it supports business, human and community development across a broad spectrum of issues.

At the heart of the Chamber's advocacy efforts is a belief in fostering a robust and growing economy where businesses have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field. There is no attempt to advance one business model over another, the competitive market is where this needs to play-out. The Chamber seeks to develop Sioux Falls as a great place to live, work and play and believes that the foundation of a great community is excellent educational offerings to support children, young adults and adult and lifelong learners. It is important to encourage analysis and debate of issues that impact the entire community. The Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce partners in these efforts with government, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and individual businesses to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

The Chamber's purposefully developed advocacy efforts begin with policy statements. Members are encouraged to review them as they serve as the foundation of much of the Chamber's activity.

The Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Guide to Sioux Falls Area Legislators

Advocacy is a vital component of your Chamber membership. Decisions made by elected officials frequently and directly affect the way business is conducted. Providing members with essential information on the legislative process is a crucial element in fulfilling the Chamber's advocacy objectives.

One way the Chamber helps inform members on advocacy initiatives leading into the upcoming legislative session is to provide information about Sioux Falls area legislators. Districts 6, 9-16 and 25 are included in the Sioux Falls area.

Several events will be held during the session to connect the business community with legislators. Please refer to the complete legislative calendar on page 32.

For more information about issues during the legislative session, read the weekly Bill Tracker (available via email or online at or contact a member of the Chamber's Public Affairs and Communications team at (605) 336-1620.


Ernie Otten

Sen. Ernie Otten
46787 273rd St.
Tea, SD 57064
(605) 368-5716

Term: 3rd
Committees: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Taxation, Transportation

Herman Otten

27543 468th Ave.
Lennox, SD 57038
(605) 941-1770

Term: 3rd
Committees: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Local Government

Issac Latterell

Rep. Isaac Latterell
P.O. Box 801
Tea, SD 57064
(605) 368-1002

Term: 3rd
Committees: State Affairs, Taxation

Deb Peters

Sen. Deb Peters
705 N. Sagehorn Dr.
Hartford, SD 57033
(605) 321-4168

Term: 4th
Committees: Appropriations, Government Operations and Audit

Paula Hawks

Rep. Michael Clark
45979 253rd St.
Hartford, SD 57033
(605) 212-5913

Term: 1st
Committees: Health and Human Services, Transportation

Steve Hickey

Rep. Wayne Steinhauer
26581 E. Shore Pl.
Hartford, SD 57033
(605) 359-6298

Term: 1st
Committees: Commerce and Energy, Government Operations and Audit, Health and Human Services

Jenna Haggar

Sen. Jenna Netherton
P.O. Box 763
Sioux Falls, SD 57101
(605) 610-9779

Term: 2nd
Committees: Commerce and Energy, Judiciary, State Affairs

Don Haggar

Rep. Doug Barthel
8713 E. Palametto St.
Sioux Falls, SD 57110
(605) 321-7055

Term: 1st
Committees: Assignment pending as of publication date

Steven Haugaard

Rep. Steven Haugaard
1601 E. 69th St., Suite 302
Sioux Falls, SD 57108
(605) 334-1121

Term: 2nd
Committees: Health and Human Services, Judiciary

David Omdahl

Rep. Jim Stalzer
5909 W. Bristol Dr.
Sioux Falls, SD 57106
(605) 838-0354

Term: 1st
Committees: Taxation, Transportation

Jim Stalzer

Rep. Chris Karr
7421 W. Luke Dr.
Sioux Falls, SD 57106
(605) 695-0391

Term: 1st
Committees: Appropriations

Mark Willadsen

Rep. Mark Willadsen
7712 W. Benelli Cir.
Sioux Falls, SD 57106
(605) 361-6104

Term: 2nd
Committees: Commerce and Energy, Taxation

Blake Curd

Sen. Blake Curd
38 S. Riverview Heights
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
(605) 331-5890

Term: 1st
Committees: Legislative Procedure, State Affairs, Transportation

Arch Beal

Rep. Arch Beal
4815 N. Northview Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57107
(605) 336-3034

Term: 2nd
Committees: Commerce and Energy, State Affairs

Alex Jensen

Rep. Greg Jamison
6300 S. Grand Prairie Dr.
Sioux Falls, SD 57108
(605) 310-1930

Term: 1st
Committees: Local Government, Taxation


Sen. Jack Kolbeck
1124 E. Plum Creek Rd.
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
(605) 332-6490

Term: 1st
Committees: Commerce and Energy, Taxation

Mark Michkelson

Rep. Mark Mickelson
Speaker of the House of Representatives
2901 S. 5th Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
(605) 951-7690

Term: 3rd
Committees: Legislative Procedure, State Affairs

Sue Peterson

Rep. Sue Peterson
6405 S. Killarney Cir.
Sioux Falls, SD 57108
(605) 371-1668

Term: 1st
Committees: Appropriations

Deb Soholt

Sen. Deb Soholt
2628 E. Regency Ct.
Sioux Falls, SD 57103
(605) 321-5931

Term: 3rd
Committees: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Education, Health and Human Services

Larry Zikmund

Rep. Larry Zikmund
2405 E. 52nd St.
Sioux Falls, SD 57103
(605) 373-0975

Term: 2nd
Committees: Commerce and Energy, Education

Tom Holmes

Rep. Tom Holmes
4709 S. Shields Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57103
(605) 988-7527

Term: 2nd
Committees: Education, Health and Human Services


Sen. Reynold Nesiba
201 S. Menlo Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 371-6311

Term: 1st
Committees: Appropriations

Karen Soli

Rep. Karen Soli
810 W. 6th St.
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 338-5934

Term: 3rd
Committees: Health and Human Services, Local Government

Rep. Jamie Smith
512 N. Euclid Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 339-3583

Term: 1st
Committees: Education, Local Government


Sen. Jim Bolin
403 W. 11th St.
Canton, SD 57013
(605) 261-9669

Term: 1st
Committees: Education, State Affairs, Transportation


Rep. Kevin Jensen
27808 484th Ave.
Canton, SD 57103
(605) 987-4296

Term: 1st
Committees: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Judiciary

David Anderson

Rep. David Anderson
29177 477th Ave.
Hudson, SD 57034
(605) 310-1645

Term: 2nd
Committees: Appropriations, Government Operations and Audit


Sen. Kris Langer
600 W. 7th St.
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
(605) 321-9224

Term: 1st
Committees: Judiciary, Legislative Procedure, Local Government, State Affairs


Rep. Tom Pischke
503 E. 12th St.
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
(605) 999-2948

Term: 1st
Committees: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Commerce & Energy

Rep. Dan Ahlers
913 Washington Ave.
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
(605) 940-3071

Term: 1st
Committees: Appropriations, Retirement Laws

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34th Annual Sioux Falls Day at the Legislature

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018
Join us for this annual all-day trip to Pierre!

View committee meetings, listen in on session
and join us for a luncheon in the Capitol rotunda.
Visit with your elected officials to talk about issues important to you.

Pricing includes: Ride the bus and attend lunch,
$55; Provide own transportation,
lunch is $25.

For more information or to sponsor this event,
contact Teresa: (605) 373-2050 or

Advertising Opportunity

Join the Chamber of Commerce

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