Lawmakers should be drug tested

Rep. Tim Goodwin sponsored HB 1133 — drug testing of Legislators. The bill failed in the House State Affairs. Rep. David Lust voted to send the bill to the 41st day killing it. Rep. Lynne DiSanto was one of two who voted in support.

Senate Judiciary considered the same bill as SB 168 —  passing 4-3. Supporting were Sens. Greenfield, Nelson, Netherton and Russell. The bill was then sent to Appropriations. Sen. Jeff Partridge, a member of the Appropriations Committee, was asked to support the bill. His answer, “It’s a new appropriation. New service that costs money." He did not elaborate if he would or would not support the bill. Is it because the Appropriations Committee is where bills go to die? Is that the convenient answer — there’s no money for it?

What are our elected officials, who do work for us, thinking? Are they the South Dakota elites who believe they are immune and setting a good example is so beneath them? The voters are watching. Legislators should consider the message they are sending. I challenge legislators and those considering running against them to the “I’ll take a drug test challenge” before circulating petitions.

Janette McIntyre

Rapid City

Water-rate hikes are unsustainable

In 2001 a unit of water cost $1. Inflation since 2001 was 41 percent. Therefore, if the cost of water had tracked inflation it would cost $1.41 today, a 41-cent increase. The actual cost of water currently is $3.11 per unit, a $2.11 increase.

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This $2.11 increase is over five times the rate of inflation. If your Social Security check had been $1,000 dollars a month back in 2001, and if Social Security had increased like our water rates, your check would be $3,110 a month today. Long-term rate increases like this are unsustainable and inexcusable. I suggest that the next time the mayor has an urge to do a rate study, he conduct a management study instead.

Remember this when you hear the mayor claim previous city councils and former mayors failed to do what they should have done. Remember this when you hear the city managers claim they are broke. Remember this when you read letters to the editor trivializing the rate increase and belittling those resisting it. Remember this when you vote on Feb. 20 and vote “no.”

Rick Kriebel

Rapid City  

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