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Legislature rejected voters with wage bill

In November, South Dakota with a 55 percent majority voted to increase the minimum wage to $8.50 and also voted to establish yearly cost-of-living adjustments. However, legislators in Pierre disregarded the will of the people and decided to lower it to $7.50 for those under 18. The Legislature also decided those under 18 did not deserve to have this rate automatically recalculated each year due to cost of living increases.

It is wrong to pay workers differently based only on age, whether they are young or old. And it is a change to a law approved by the people and the people should be able to decide if it stands.

Petitions are being circulated to refer this odious bill (SB 177), which I urge you to sign and to also contact your representatives and senator and tell them this is viewed as an insult and they should be ashamed of themselves for taking this action, which is contrary to the expressed will of the people of South Dakota.

— Dean Kurtz, Custer

Vote for opt out and support students, staff

How fortunate our community is to have people like Bill Cook driving the bus for our special education students and Sheri Keck, Stevens physical education teacher, who has earned entry into the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame.

We need to show our appreciation for all who work for our students by voting for the opt out. It is my understanding that the average homeowner’s taxes will increase by $114 a year. We cannot justify telling our students they are not worth $9.50 a month.

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— Carol Merwin, Rapid City

Mayor Kooiker delivers, deserves re-election

Sam promised to improve customer service - he did that. He promised to reduce the red tape in communicating with his office - he did that. Sam promised to cut down on the number of city boards and committees - he did that. He promised to allocate funding to improve our streets and utilities - he did that. He promised to work to bring the civic center expansion to a vote of the people - he did that. And Sam promised to balance the city budgets each year 2013-2015 without increasing property taxes - he did that also.

It's time to re-elect a mayor with accountability and integrity. Vote for Sam Kooiker for mayor.

— James Nelson, Rapid City

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