Democrats Weigh In On Accomplishments
By Kealey Bultena
South Dakota Democratic leaders finish the main run of the 2011 session with some withstanding concerns, but also a sense of accomplishment.
Of 105 lawmakers in both chambers, just 24 of those seats are Democrats. With substantially lower numbers, Senate Minority Leader Jason Frerichs says the party has accomplished some of its goals.
"Democrats here in Pierre, our conscience is clear. We know that we can walk away from this session with the feeling that we did our best, that we worked hard and advocated the people’s issues," Frerichs says.
Frerichs’ counterpart in the House, Representative Bernie Hunhoff, agrees that the minority party made a difference these nine weeks.
"Our job is to first of all, to critique what the majority party is doing, and I think we’ve done that well. And we tried to that in a positive way in offering our own plans. That’s the second thing we should do. We should offer our own plans; we did that. Thirdly, we have an opportunity, thanks to forums just like this, to appeal to the general public, to try to educate the public and inspire the public to take action themselves," Hunhoff says.
Both lawmakers say they believe constituents will let their lawmakers know what the public thinks of the session, especially regarding cuts in the final budget bill.
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