What is important to Dick Werner...

Education

I was a supporter of the Blue Ribbon Task Force, and I voted for legislation which increased K-12 General Education Funding and teacher salaries in the 2016 legislative session.

I also supported an amendment to the Governor’s HB 131 which provided an additional $5 million state funding for schools with enrollments of 599 or less. The amendment decreased the student/teacher ratio from the Governor’s proposal of 12.5 to 1, to 12 to 1. This amendment allows our small schools to keep or add another certified instructional staff position as compared to the Governor’s proposal.

A tuition freeze at all our state universities for resident students was successfully passed during the 2016 legislative session with my support. Also, an additional $ 3.2 million for increasing the salaries of our instructors at our four postsecondary technical institutes along with the same tuition freeze for their students were two initiatives I strongly supported.

A quality education system allows our local businesses and industries to access a highly trained workforce. I will continue to do my part to assure our youth have the opportunity to have a rewarding career in South Dakota and to raise their families and develop roots in our local communities.

Economic Development

I bring to the table my background and experience from my years in banking and as an economic development consultant. I’ve sponsored various pieces of legislation that support economic development in our state and give support to our community development corporations. I’ve also sponsored legislation to bring increased business to our main street businesses in rural South Dakota, which in turn increases their community’s sales tax revenue.

Local Decisions

I understand the importance of the local decision making process through my years of service as a county commissioner. State government should be there to assist local governments perform their duties and not tie their hands with unnecessary controls or regulations.

Improved Roads and Bridges

Serving on the Transportation Committee and the Highway Needs and Financing Task Force have allowed me to actively pursue increased funding for our state and local roads and bridges. I understand our state’s needs have never been greater to have quality infrastructure to meet the demands of agriculture producers with their increased equipment size and increasing commodity production.

Agriculture

The agriculture industry has been the backbone of South Dakota since our statehood, and demands for a growing food supply in developing countries will continue the prominence that agriculture plays in our state. Serving on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee has given me a seat at the table to actively work for our agriculture producers in South Dakota.