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Discussion heats up at “Legislative Coffee”

Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 6:08 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - With just a few weeks left in the legislative session, the discussion heated up at this week’s “Legislative Coffee.”

The discussion was filled with interesting topics for legislators, but prior to the start of the event, a peaceful protest took place outside of the Southeast Technical College auditorium.

Local teachers gathered to protest the need for a wage increase in the state.

“48 out of 51. That’s where we rank in the nation for teacher salary,” said Tim Eckhart, president of the Sioux Falls Education Association.

The protesters also wanted to address the need for teachers to be vaccinated because most South Dakota schools have been operating entirely in-person.

“Right now we are one of the few communities that are in-person, and we’re at the bottom of the list for the vaccine,” said Eckhart.

Also receiving a heavy amount of debate was House Bill 1100, which would delay the legalization of marijuana in the state. Legislators supporting this bill believe it will provide additional time to make sure that it is put in place properly. However, some legislators do not support this bill.

“It’s my belief that the people have spoken and we need to abide by what the people have voted,” said Larry Zikmund, District 14 representative.

“We’ve known since November 3rd, 2020 that this was going to have to be implemented by July 1st,” said Erin Healy, District 14 representative.

The third “Legislative Coffee” will take place Saturday, February 27th, also in the Southeast Technical College auditorium.

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