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Reposted from coyote66 by robbinsdale radical

House Bill 1094 would remove the "In no case shall the minimum wage be decreased" provision from the voter enacted min wage increase.

More here.

Also on tap: Senate Bill 166 which changes the number of required signatures for any initiated measure. Buy current results and standards, it would effectively double the number of required signatures!

More here.

Republicans here in SD show what they really think of "The Will of the People".


The South Dakota 2015 Legislative session is in full swing. This is my 21st winter in South Dakota, and it still kind of makes my hair stand on end when Pierre gets rolling.

This year, Republicans continue to use their supermajority status to basically cement their stranglehold on our political process. Two great examples this time:

And if the power grabbing isn't ugly enough, they have a bill in the mill to prevent our high-school activities association from setting any anti-discrimination or anti-bullying policies that concern sexual orientation or gender identity, and of course we have  the obligatory ask to the SCOTUS to repeal Roe while shaming women. Of course, I could go on (they certainly do).

I'm just glad the session only lasts a few fortnights (39 legislative days). Can you imagine what damage they would do if they were there longer?


Why do they vote for these people?

20%6 votes
13%4 votes
34%10 votes
3%1 votes
27%8 votes

| 29 votes | Vote | Results

Reposted from Scout Finch by poopdogcomedy
School children on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
You really do have to wonder just what in the hell is wrong with some people:
Some 57 charges of child abuse and assault reportedly will be filed against the drunken hockey fans who subjected 57 American Indian students to racially-charged taunts the included spraying the students with beer and lacing them with racial slurs, according to unnamed sources.



The trip was a reward for students who'd achieved academic and classroom behavior goals this year. The offender has not been named, but police say they know who he is:
Eagle Sales of the Black Hills, a beer distributorship, rents a skybox from which the alleged harassment came. President Tom Helland has said guests in the company's suite exhibited poor behavior, and he has apologized to the students.
Totally outrageous. Most of the children were elementary students and were whisked away:
Because of the racially-charge assault, the chaperones removed the youth from the game before its conclusion.

The American Horse School is a K-8th grade school on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris said the investigation revealed a crime and charges appear to be forthcoming.
“We’re going to be looking at assault. We’re going to look at the hate crimes statutes. We will look at the child abuse statutes. And, we will look at any other relevant statutes,” Jegeris said. He did not reveal the name of the person identified.
See an emotional interview with parents below the fold.
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(I'm reposting this on behalf of Equality South Dakota.)

Judy and Dennis Shepard, and friends
The Black Hills Center for Equality hosted a wonderful first annual Dakotas Equality Summit January 16/17 in Rapid City. Other sponsoring organizations included the Center For Equality (Sioux Falls), Common Ground, PFLAG Sioux Falls, and Equality South Dakota.

More than 85 individuals registered and we estimate 150 were in the room Judy Shepard's keynote address after dinner in the evening. (Remember, we're talking about Rapid City, South Dakota.) Change is coming!

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Reposted from Dadamsaim by meralda

With the new Senate taking their seats in Washington, and the House voting to put through the pipeline for the tenth time, Natives across America find themselves gearing up for another battle with the Keystone Pipeline project, pausing only long enough to feel thanks for President Obama's promise of another veto.

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Reposted from Kossacks for Marriage Equality by meralda
A federal judge in South Dakota has granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and in favor of marriage equality in that state. Federal District Judge Karen Shreier ruled that South Dakota's ban(s) on marriages of same-sex couples violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. The ruling is stayed pending a possible appeal to the Eighth Circuit.

Statement From NCLR:

“We are thrilled for our clients and for all same-sex couples in South Dakota, who have watched and waited as progress has been made in so many other states, and who can now see light at the end of the tunnel in their own state.  We are also grateful to Judge Shreier for writing such a detailed and powerful analysis and for affirming in such strong terms that same-sex couples have the same fundamental freedom to marry as others.  We hope this decision will hasten the day when the Supreme Court decides this issue for the country and ensures that all families are treated fairly and equally under the law.”

Also, the SCOTUS has denied cert. in the Louisiana marriage equality case. They have rescheduled the four cases from the Sixth Circuit for their conference on Friday.

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Reposted from Village Vet by meralda

In Loving, the Supreme Court addressed a traditionally accepted definition of marriage that prohibited Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving from marrying. Because Virginia’s laws deprived that couple of their fundamental right to marriage, the Court struck down those laws. Little distinguishes this case from Loving.

Plaintiffs have a fundamental right to marry. South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment (Docket 20) is granted, and defendants’ motion for summary judgment (Docket 43) is denied.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that SDCL 25-1-1, SDCL 25-1-38, Article 21, § 9 of the South Dakota Constitution, and any other provision of state law that precludes people from marrying, or refuses to recognize an existing marriage, solely because the individuals are of the same gender are unconstitutional because they violate the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a separate judgment will be entered and the effects of that judgment will be stayed until the judgment is final. Dated January 12, 2015.

Signed by Judge Karen E. Schreier.

EDIT: I did not realise that librarisingnsf also posted about this in Kossacks for Marriage Equality.

I did look first before posting, honest (though my post is a bit longer and includes a link to the entire document issued by the District Court).

Must be my slow Internet connexion.

More below the orange bustle.


How much longer until the fight is over?

2%1 votes
4%2 votes
29%12 votes
41%17 votes
2%1 votes
19%8 votes

| 41 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Sun Jan 04, 2015 at 07:38 PM PST

Help Keep Okiciyap Open

by OTICEDPenick

Reposted from Notes from the Isabel Okiciyap Director by robbinsdale radical
We here at the Isabel Okiciyap in Isabel, SD have been trying hard to get more grants to keep us functioning. BUT until the next one comes in it would be great to get some help to keep us afloat in order to keep the pantry open and stocked with food and winter stuff, including funds to keep the people warm!

I am currently trying to get the website updated but i do not have access to it. The lady that does it for us has been apparently busy busy! So i will get that updated ASAP because we need to put our actual Board Members up on the site as well.

Hopefully we will have a grant soon and our employees can get back to work and keep the community warm and fed and keep the office running!

Thank You All
Emily Penick - (i was the program director until the grant ran out, now I'm back to volunteering, and i was the Chairwoman prior to being the director and prior to that i was the secretary since 2010 when Georgia Little Shield started this organization)

I guess i shouldn't have tried to do a diary without talking to betson08 first. She's been helping us with diaries and fundraising, but lately no one wants to. We've been having a hard time at the Okiciyap because of limitations on the grant we received and things haven't gone the way we were told it would.

I am removing the fundraising link because i feel that we have jumped the gun, again, the chairwoman and i were just trying to get us some funding to pay bills and buy food for the pantry. We've gone from serving 50 families to serving around 400 families (800 + individuals) on the Cheyenne River Reservation. We were doing heating assistance for our local natives living in Isabel and it helped a lot last year! But again, this year is harder and different because we do not have funding for that type of assistance.

In our community we have Tribal Members from both Cheyenne River and our neighboring tribe to the north, Standing Rock, who live and work here. The majority of the Standing Rock members live in the Cheyenne River Housing homes and have done so for MANY year. They are a large part of this community. But our grant would not allow us to assist these people because they were not Cheyenne River members. Standing Rock will not help them because they live on Cheyenne River. I think this is wrong. We are trying to help all our natives, not just a few. We also get a lot of non-native elderly that come to the pantry because they are on fixed incomes and we help them too because we know they need it. The grant we had wouldn't allow us to help them either with the grant funding. Regardless, we helped them anyway, mainly because we felt it was the right thing to do. You shouldn't have to say "no, you cant have any of this food or assistance because you're not from this tribe." It's not right.

I apologize for posting this before i spoke to the right people. Me and my Chairwoman were just trying to get some help. Thanks.

Emily Penick

Reposted from Daily Kos by robbinsdale radical
Demonstrators shout slogans and carry banners in SeaTac, Washington during a protest march from SeaTac to Seattle aimed at the fast food industry and raising the federal minimum wage and Seattle's minimum wage to $15 an hour December 5, 2013. Fast-food wo
The federal minimum wage will not be budging from an absurdly low $7.25 an hour anytime soon—not with Republicans controlling the House and taking control of the Senate. But despite that, 2014 was a big year for minimum wage increases, many of which will be taking effect in 2015 and beyond. That's because, where congressional Republicans said no, state and local governments and voters said yes to raising the minimum wage. It's a lesson in organizing and not giving up on important legislation just because Congress isn't going to happen.

It was cities that passed the highest minimum wages in 2014—but then, Chicago alone has a larger population than several of the states on this list:

  • Seattle became the first city in the United States to pass a bill raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The city won't fully phase in $15 until 2021, though workers in some businesses will get there in 2017. One of the pieces that will phase in over time is getting the tipped worker minimum wage up to the full $15.
  • San Francisco voters went to the polls in November and said yes to a $15 minimum wage, which will be reached in 2018. On the same day, voters in neighboring Oakland said yes to $12.25 an hour.
  • Chicago is raising its minimum wage to $13 an hour, which it won't hit until 2019. Tipped workers will go from $4.95 to $5.95, so there's one clear area in need of work.

Please read below the fold for the states changing minimum wage laws.

Continue Reading
Reposted from pdc by poopdogcomedy
Put your money where your mouth is:

A high-ranking Senate GOP leader on Sunday left the door open to a government shutdown if President Obama moves forward with unilateral action on immigration reform.

Asked by “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace if Republicans would “take the bait” and shut down the government, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said “it doesn’t solve the problem, Chris, but look, we’re having those discussions.”

Thune noted that House and Senate leaders “are having discussions” on how to react if Obama takes action on the lightning-rod issue as soon as this week.

But the Senate Republican Conference chairman charged that Obama would be “choosing friction and partisanship … instead of cooperation (which) would make it difficult” for a GOP-controlled Congress to do immigration reform “or anything” over the next two years. - The Hill, 11/16/14

Click here to sign CREDO Action's petition telling President Obama to go big on immigration reform:

Reposted from pdc by poopdogcomedy
So the battle for the next Attorney General is already brewing:

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-N.Y., wants to confirm Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee for attorney general, before January, when Republicans will retake control of the Senate.

"I've not spoken to Senator [Harry] Reid about his intentions, but I would like to see us move forward," Murphy said on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday. "I think this is an important post and I think we should have somebody on the ground sooner than later."

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Democrats should wait to confirm Lynch until the new class of elected officials arrives in Washington. "I think it would be in the best interest of the country and the Congress to wait and do this next year under regular order," he said.

Thune noted that it's unlikely that the post of attorney general will be left vacant if Lynch is not confirmed before January. "Eric Holder said he's not going anywhere soon, so it's not like the position isn't going to be filled," Thune said. - National Journal, 11/9/14

Thune's already worried about Obama using his executive decisions to overcome the GOP's obstruction:

U.S. Sen. John Thune said congressional leaders and President Obama engaged in a “frank discussion” Friday as Republicans urged the president not to use executive authority to act alone on significant issues ahead of next year’s GOP-held House and Senate.

Thune was among the leaders of both chambers who met with the president Friday to discuss their legislative priorities. Republicans will assume leadership of the Senate next year, and Thune is in line to remain the third-ranking Senate Republican and become chairman of the Commerce Committee.

If Obama acts unilaterally on high-profile measures such as immigration reform, it could amount to “poisoning the water” for working with Republicans on other significant legislation, Thune said.

“There’s always a sense after an election of optimism and hope, and everybody wants to be productive,” Thune said. “We want to open the place up again.”

Obama as expected pushed for funding to combat the Ebola virus and discussed how to combat IS. Republicans have said previously that they want to make changes to the Affordable Care Act and move quickly on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would cut through South Dakota in transporting oil from the Canadian tar sands to Nebraska.

Thune said Republicans also wants to work on trade policies and move forward with some of the jobs proposals that have stalled under current Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid. - Argus Leader, 11/8/14

This is why it's important for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV) to get not only Lynn confirmed but also the remaining Obama judicial nominees during the lame duck session. Click here to add your name to the Daily Kos' petition urging Reid to take action during the lame duck session:

Reposted from Meteor Blades by meralda
OJ Semans, Rosebud Sioux
Oliver J. Semans, a civil rights activist who lives on the Rosebud reservation of
South Dakota, is a leader of efforts to increase the turnout of the Indian vote.
Indian activists are outraged over the decision of South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley to count as provisional ballots cast at two reservation polling stations after 7 PM CT.

Poll workers arrived late at two Shannon County stations Tuesday morning, one in Oglala and one in Pine Ridge. Voting hours were extended 40 minutes and one hour respectively. The county, the third poorest in the nation, is home to the Oglala Lakota, one of the divisions of the Sioux nation. More than 92 percent of the population is Indian. Jonathan Ellis reports:

Bret Healy, a spokesman for Four Directions, said Jackley's decision is an "outrage."

"The attorney general is interfering in an election," Healy said. "He is trampling all over Native American voting rights." […]

"It's a (expletive) move by an elected official who is a candidate himself and who has actively campaigned for another candidate – probably the only one that's close," he said, referring to the U.S. Senate race. Jackley is also running for re-election.

But Jackley says state and federal law requires that provisional ballots be used when polling hours are extended. One of the problems with provisional ballots is that many of them do not get counted.

Oliver J. Semans, a leader on the Rosebud reservation next door to Pine Ridge and also co-chair of Four Directions, told Daily Kos that the group is putting all its resources, including lawyers and GOTV drivers, into getting voters to those two polling stations before they close.

South Dakota has a long history of suppressing the Indian vote by various means. Jacking around with voting hours as well as placing polling stations at inconvenient sites is part of the pattern. One of the big fights this year was getting the state to approve use of federal funds from the Help America Vote Act to set up early voting polling stations on several of the state's nine reservations. Some counties did so, but others did not.

The Crow Creek reservation in Buffalo County was one of the latter. The closest early voting site to it was off the reservation in Gann Valley, population 14. The reservation town of Fort Thompson is the biggest town in the county, population 1,282.

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