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Public Statements

Issue Position: Education

Issue Position

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I support increasing funding for K-12 education. In recent years many schools have been forced to opt out leading to higher property taxes which hurts people on fixed incomes. It is important for education to have adequate funding so schools can attract and pay high quality teachers, administrators and staff, and so our students can continue to receive the education they need. Tying funding to increases in state revenue would be one way to better fund education while making sure we don't spend more than we have.

Health Care
I support adequate funding of the states Medicaid system. For every dollar our state spends on Medicaid it receives matching funds from the Federal government. South Dakota pays 41% of its Medicaid costs while the Federal government pays 59%. One in seven South Dakotans are on Medicaid, 70% of the enrollees are children. Over 50,000 South Dakotans are expected to enroll in Medicaid in the next few years. Physicians say current reimbursement levels aren't enough to cover their expenses, and many do not take new Medicaid patients. A good portion of Medicaid expenses are for nursing home stays which can cost up to $60,000 a year per person. Inadequate Medicaid funding leads to the costs being passed on to the private pay patients, or to hospital and nursing home staff who receive less pay or are let go.


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