SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Steve Kolbeck
ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Steve Kolbeck is running in the District 2 State Senate race. The district includes portions of Brown, Clark, Hamlin, and Spink counties. He faces one primary challenger, Spencer Wrightsman.
1. Tell us about yourself?
I’m the current Principal Manager for Xcel Energy in South Dakota. In the past I’ve served on the Brandon City Council and the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. I serve in various roles on the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Brandon Development Foundation, and Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. Also, I’m a member of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. My wife Stacy who is a teacher at Brandon Valley High School and I have four kids. You can find out more at KolbeckforSouthDakota.com.
2. Why are you running for this office?
As mentioned, I’ve served and wanted to serve again. As soon the new District 2 was established the timing felt right. I feel with my experience I can hit the ground running and help the new District 2 have a strong voice in Pierre.
3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?
It sounds like a broken record, but education, a balanced budget, and daycare/elder care in South Dakota.
4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?
My experiences in regulation as a former PUC Commissioner working on legislation and my city council experience both bring value to the table. I’ve been involved in one way or another in the legislative process for almost 20 years. I also have experience serving on the Department of Labor Workforce Committee and as a commissioner on the South Dakota Housing Development Authority.
5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?
I do support tax relief and feel most folks in South Dakota would agree. With the cost of inflation and home costs going up, we need to look at appropriate mill levies and how we are funding the government.
6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?
I currently serve as a commissioner on the South Dakota Housing Development Authority so am very familiar with the housing crisis in South Dakota. The legislature passed bills this year to address the issue and I look forward to future legislation dealing with the issue. The biggest struggle will be to make sure the money is used to get the right folks matched with the appropriate solution to their needs. The dollars can’t just end up benefiting companies or organizations.
7. South Dakota correctional facilities have been dealing with a number of issues, most prominent among them overcrowding and staffing shortages. What would you do to help combat these issues?
Legislation needs to address the long-term solutions to our incarceration rates and develop a 20-to-30-year plan for buildings, salaries, and reentry procedures for inmates. Education is key in my mind and technical colleges can play a huge role. I don’t have a silver bullet to solve this problem, but with 95-99% of offenders reentering their communities coupled with a worker shortage, that seems to be one idea.
8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?
I think that this is a local issue, and most communities are trying hard to get local kids to stay. The State already has numerous scholarships and programs to entice kids to stay in South Dakota and make a life here. There are a great number of those who leave and then return with families. I don’t know if state tax dollars can fix a young person’s desire to go out into the world, but it can make South Dakota a great place to live if they choose to live here.
9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?
I currently do not wish to see any changes in how elections are run in South Dakota.
10. A U.S. Supreme Court decision is looming on a landmark abortion case that could ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade. Governor Kristi Noem has indicated she would like to ban abortion outright, and a “trigger law” already on the books would so, with only an exception in place when the mother’s life is at risk. Do you support banning abortion to this extent? If not, what exceptions would you like to see made? I do not support an all-out ban. Life of the mother (is the exception I would like to see made.)
11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?
If the voters pass it the legislature should make reasonable laws to make sure the public’s safety and minors are protected.
State legislative candidates in contested districts this primary season were emailed the same survey to complete for Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory News. Candidates were asked to keep their responses limited to roughly 4-5 sentences for each question. With the exception of a quick spelling and grammar check, answers were not edited by the poster. Those who responded to the survey questions had their results posted.
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