Mining operation would be costly
Mineral Mountain Resources and its quest for "another Homestake mine" is an existential threat to the survival of the Black Hills. For one thing, this isn't 1876. The hills depend on a healthy tourism industry and clean water is essential for fishing, outdoor recreation and domestic use in our communities.
Rochford is the heart of the last part of the Black Hills that is relatively pristine. It's an area where you can escape civilization. It is close to Pe Sla, an undeveloped mountain meadow that is sacred to the Lakota. Imagine if Rapid Creek and Lake Pactola become a sewer or a Superfund site, hopelessly polluted with cyanide and other chemicals. Whitewood Creek ran black with contaminants from the real Homestake for over a hundred years. Taxpayers will be on the hook for generations for mitigation costs from Brohm's Gilt Edge mine where state regulators allowed a ridiculously low bond and the worst case scenario came true.
Federal mining law helps Mineral Mountain Resources, not the public interest. Our local politicians need to defend Rapid Creek, our underground aquifers, and the heart of the hills.
Trump's budget would hurt state residents
The budget proposed by the White House threatens low-income families and seniors across South Dakota. It would cut SNAP, or food stamps, nearly 30 percent. SNAP helps lift millions of Americans out of poverty each year and currently helps approximately 90,000 South Dakotans. Cutting SNAP funding takes food off the table for Americans that are struggling.
It also cuts funding for HUD and Medicaid by billions of dollars each year. That means less help for low-income Americans in need of housing assistance or medical care. It also eliminates the Community Development Block Grant, which funds Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels delivers regular meals to over two million seniors every year, 500,000 of them veterans. The people that rely on this program cannot afford to lose it. All these cuts would be used to pay for recent tax benefits for the wealthy.
At his State of the Union, the president said he would "make America great again for all Americans." This proposal would hurt thousands of South Dakotans and millions more Americans. I urge Sens. Thune and Rounds and Rep. Noem to reject any proposal that cuts SNAP and other safety net programs and drives low-income Americans deeper into poverty.