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The 2022 South Dakota Legislative Session began Tuesday, Jan. 11. I will use this week’s column to review my legislative responsibilities between sessions, before jumping into the current session.

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Yankton County citizens will have the opportunity to hear from and submit questions to their District 18 legislators at three legislative cracker barrels sponsored by Yankton Thrive.

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The latest COVID-19 surge has turned into a major stress test for every community, every hospital, every school and everything else in its path.

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The past two weeks, the Joint Appropriations Committee has been hearing agency budget requests. This will continue through the end of January.

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Medicaid expansion is coming before South Dakota voters in 11 months, but one high-profile state organization is not wasting any time to promote the effort, and probably for good reason.

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The 97th South Dakota legislative session officially began this past Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. This year will be a 38-day session. The last legislative day is scheduled for March 10, reserving March 28 for consideration of gubernatorial vetoes.

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There’s coincidence and there’s irony. The two are often confused but aren’t the same thing. Sometimes, however, they can both apply to the same situations.

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The Legislative Rules Review Committee met on Jan. 6 to continue the review of the rules brought by the Department of Health outlining changes in the procedure of chemically ending a pregnancy.

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South Dakota lawmakers have officially convened in Pierre for the start of the 2022 legislative session, which figures to be intriguing as the state contemplates what to do with more than $200 million in federal aid for one-time projects.

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One year after the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, we now see a clear, partisan divergence in the perception of this reality — and, in the process, perhaps a clearer view of what this is all about.

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After a three month break, the Legislature convened on Wednesday, Jan. 5, to begin the 107th Legislative Session, Second Session. Senators were called into special session in September to complete the redistricting process, based on new census data.

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“Celebrate endings — for they precede new beginnings.” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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When we want to improve our daily lives, we may not look to Occupational Therapy (OT) as a source for solutions. OT is often thought of as relating only to employment.  However, the term “occupation” actually includes any tasks that we do during the day or in other words “skills for the job …

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The arrival of 2022 finds governing bodies such as the Yankton City Commission and Yankton County Commission facing numerous challenges and opportunities.

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The universal metaphor for the arrival of a New Year is invariably the same: an image portraying the outgoing year as a bearded, battered, beaten-up, beaten-down old man handing off the reins to a baby New Year, who’ll no doubt look like its predecessor in 365 days, for whatever unforeseen reasons.

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The Legislative Rules Review Committee met on Dec. 27 to hear proposals from the Department of Health and from the Attorney General’s office.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) picked a curious moment to ease up on its recommendations for the isolation of people infected with COVID-19.  

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For many Americans — perhaps most — this week looks to a “Happy New Year” for our country, children and grandchildren.

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The 97th session of the South Dakota Legislature will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022.  This year, the legislative session will consist of 38 legislative days with the final day (the 37th day) on March 10 and Veto day (the 38th day) on March 28. During the first week, the Legislature will he…

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Every holiday season, I dig into Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella, “A Christmas Carol,” and with each yearly reading, a question nags me.

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There is so much lore tied to the Christmas season — it swirls about us like snowflakes in a snow globe — and some of these items fly in from the unlikeliest places.

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Gov. Kristi Noem is laying out a decidedly right-wing agenda ahead of South Dakota’s 2022 legislative session, which also kicks off an election year in this state. Last week, she unveiled legislation addressing school prayer (sort of) and transgender athletes, and on Monday, she took aim at …

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For generations, South Dakotans have held true to the values that make our state a special place to call home. I spend every day working to keep South Dakota a special place to live and strengthen it for the future. By doing so, South Dakota sets an example for the nation.

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Preschool applications for the 2022-23 school year are being accepted at this time. If you are interested in enrolling your toddler, you can get a registration packet at any elementary school or print one from the website https://www.ysd.k12.sd.us/apps/pages/preschoolregistration and return …

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s draft legislation, announced Monday, to “restore protection for prayer in schools” — as the headline of the press release declares — is probably more notable for what it doesn’t say than for what it proclaims.

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Last week, I outlined my budget recommendations for how we will run our state in the next fiscal year. The past year has brought historic challenges. South Dakota has taken those challenges in stride and has come out stronger. 

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You really can’t begrudge Kim Malsam-Rysdon for stepping down as the secretary of the South Dakota Department of Health.

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A portion of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act (LJSA) was included in the recent Build Back Better bill that was passed in the House. The LJSA, which has bipartisan support in the House, provides needed support for local journalists across the U.S. and is now being considered in the Senate.

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A lot of people are raving about the Beatles’ documentary series “Get Back,” filmmaker Peter Jackson’s new, exhaustive reexamination of the Fab Four’s 1969 studio sessions for what would, a year later, be released as “Let It Be,” the group’s final album.

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The month of December is supposed to be a time for excitement and holiday cheer. There are family gatherings, decorating for Christmas, and reflecting on the things (people) for which we are grateful. However, December can be a month full of stress and strain. It’s a busy month with the adde…

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Some folks are aware that this writer had an episode with COVID in October. It began in Rapid City when we were there for an Elks convo. Muscle cramps kept me awake all night Friday and Saturday.

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Like many hospitals across the country, Yankton’s Avera Sacred Heart Hospital (ASHH) is facing another whirlwind, with an increasing patient load as well as staffing issues combining to generate even more stress on everyone.

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In September, Yankton’s Special Olympics T-ball team took home the gold medal at the Eastern South Dakota Fall Classic Softball Championships.

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Wednesday wasn’t a particularly good day on the COVID-19 front.

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Built in 1887 and one of only a handful of its kind left standing in the United States, the Grand Army of the Republic building (G.A.R. Hall) now serves as a small art gallery and home to Yankton Area Arts. In 2000, the building went through major renovations to become the home for the arts …

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The news that South Dakota is once again 50th in the country in teacher pay (ahead of only Mississippi) feels both terribly frustrating and completely unsurprising.

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By this point, it probably wasn’t all that surprising that the South Dakota Supreme Court last week struck down 2020’s Amendment A, the voter-approved measure that paved the way to legalize recreational marijuana, as well as cement the legal standings of both medical cannabis (which was also…

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Thanksgiving week is always a disjointed time at this newspaper. Between early deadlines and not really knowing who’s going to be around (either on staff or in the community), we must plan far ahead and be ready to adjust quickly to anything that does pop up. It’s a week of odds and ends tha…

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There was a lot of publicity about the redistricting changes that the special session of the Legislature made Nov. 8-10. The Legislature did get a new redistricted map drawn for the next 10 years, and I believe that it was a truly bipartisan effort that was supported by members of both parties.

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America’s Thanksgiving is rooted as much in adversity as it is in prosperity. We often need to be reminded to give thanks in difficult times when the nation is shackled with predicaments and divisions. Thus, the holiday was conceived for Americans out of the necessity to remember, not necess…

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America’s Thanksgiving is rooted as much in adversity as it is in prosperity. We often need to be reminded to give thanks in difficult times when the nation is shackled with predicaments and divisions. Thus, the holiday was conceived for Americans out of the necessity to remember, not necess…