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Farm bill proposal attack on states

States' rights are under attack — again. Rep. Steve King of Iowa recently had his amendment  — HR 4879 — added to the House Agriculture Committees draft of the Farm Bill. It threatens laws enacted by state legislatures and citizen ballot measures on a wide range of agriculture concerns and animal welfare.

If this legislation is included in the final Farm Bill, it could undo hundreds or thousands of state and local agriculture laws across the country. If passed, it could nullify South Dakota laws such as honeybee protection, false labeling prohibitions, ingredient restrictions on wineries, labeling requirements for distillers and corn gluten feed. We cannot allow the federal government to undo South Dakota's duly enacted state laws that were passed to protect our citizens, agriculture and food supply.

South Dakota's lawmakers may be voting on King's legislation as early as next week. Please join me in contacting Sen. Thune's office by calling 202-224-2321 and urge him to ensure that Rep. Steve King's dangerous amendment is not included in the final version of the Farm Bill. Please contact Sen. Mike Rounds at 202-224-5842 and Rep. Kristi Noem at 202-225-2801 and request they too vigorously oppose King's amendment.

Kim Tysdal

Rapid City

Get the facts on city's arena proposal

Before you vote on the civic center arena, be sure your vote is based on facts. You may have read there are no blueprints because it hasn’t been approved yet. But why spend money until the voters have spoken?

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You may have read there are no new tenants, no new events, no guarantees of new concerts. Common sense should tell you, of course, not. You can be sure they will come when it is built. The LNI, the Sport Show, and the Black Hills Stock Show will love a larger space. You may have read about a "scheme" to finance through lease/leaseback. Rapid City enjoys an excellent credit rating so financing will not be an issue — and it is not a scheme. You may have heard that it will be built with a "no-bid contract." That is illegal. Competitive bids will be used.

You may have heard your taxes will go up. Wrong. Half the annual Vision Fund and the lease/leaseback mean no new taxes. By the way, the Vision Fund cannot be used for roads as some claim. You may have heard they can just bump the walls of the Barnett up and out, which will cost way more than they claim.

So please get the facts and vote “yes” for a progressive community.

M.C. Bauder

Rapid City

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