APR. 3, 2017 - VOL. 52 No. 7

Chair's Column
New Members
Member Anniversaries
Cover Story
Other News
Faces & Places
Ribbon Cuttings
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Broad issues dominated the 2017 Legislative Session

In recent years, we've seen big sweeping issues that have somewhat defined the legislature for a given session. In 2015, we strongly supported a new funding bill for road and bridge infrastructure. Why? We know that commerce depends on an effective and efficient transportation infrastructure. Indeed, it is what gets raw materials into the state, products throughout and out of the state and even enables our workforce to travel safely. The highway and bridge funding bill dominated the 2015 session and it was successfully passed.

In 2016, we strongly supported a significant increase in funding for K-12 education for the purpose of significantly increasing teacher salaries. We believed that South Dakota's standing as last in the nation for teacher salaries was a strategic threat and needed to be addressed. Nothing is more important to our state and community than an outstanding K-12 system and its ability to help us attract and prepare our workforce and help kids achieve their potential. This topic dominated the 2016 session and was successfully passed.

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Infrastructure development underway at USD Discovery District

The USD Discovery District, an 80-acre contemporary corporate and academic research park under development in Sioux Falls, has awarded the contract for its initial infrastructure construction.

A bid of $1.214 million from Runge Enterprises, Inc. of Sioux Falls was selected. The project includes 2,800 feet, of the anticipated 11,000 feet, of roads, water and sewer that will allow for the first buildings on the site. Construction is expected to begin in April.

"This is an exciting initial milestone for the USD Discovery District," said Rich Naser, Jr., President of the USD Discovery District. "It marks the start of physical construction-the result of years of planning-and the first step in creating an open and urban innovation environment in which to live, work and play."

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce to share perspective on the president's first 100 days

A representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will be the featured speaker at the spring Good Morning Sioux Falls breakfast. John Kirchner will review President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office and discuss possible implications for local businesses. The event will take place Thursday, April 27 at 7:00 a.m. at the Best Western PLUS Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center.

Kirchner serves as the Executive Director of Congressional and Public Affairs for the Midwest Region for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Kirchner helps develop and implement the Chamber's grassroots legislative and political activities on behalf of all members. He presents all across the Midwest Region informing members of business-related activities on the federal level and how it could affect them.

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