SD State Legislature Candidate Survey: Kaleb Weis

South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)
South Dakota State Capitol (FILE)(DAKOTA NEWS NOW)
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 8:16 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Representative Kaleb Weis (R-Aberdeen) is running for re-election in the South Dakota State House District 3. The District is in Brown County, and is made up mostly of Aberdeen. Weis is one of four candidates running for two seats in the state legislature. Carl Perry, Rick Rylance, and Brandei Schaefbauer are also pursuing House seats in District 3.

1. Tell us about yourself?

My wife and I grew up in South Dakota, and we are raising our children, Abigail, Basya and David, with the same strong South Dakota values we grew up with. We work hard; we don’t spend money we don’t have; and we help our family and neighbors. I strongly support traditional family values. Our children deserve to grow up in a safe and loving environment in their homes, schools and communities. We volunteer for the local 4-H club and are active in our local church. We participate in the Brown County Fair and our children have benefitted from lessons at the ARC. I work long days installing and repairing heating and air-conditioning units in homes and businesses all over District 3, worked on the family farm and hold a degree from Lake Area Tech in Watertown.

2. Why are you running for this office?

I love South Dakota and I wish that I could meet every single one of you in person. We face real challenges here: from developing quality jobs to keeping the family farms and ranches alive; from providing the best education possible for our children to offering quality living arrangements for our seniors; from keeping our streets and roads in good repair to keeping utility rates affordable. In the face of these challenges, I know we can and will find solutions that work – because there is no quit in South Dakota! That’s why I am running.

3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?

My top three priorities would be protecting our children, financial responsibility, and limiting government intervention.

4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?

I have served in the South Dakota House of Representatives for the past four years. I am a regular South Dakota family man. I am not an attorney or a big ranch owner, and I don’t have the interests of big medical facilities as a predictor of how I will vote. My work ethic and history match most of the population of District 3. I fight for regular families that work regular jobs, pay high taxes and use community services. My phone number is available to the people of my district and I read emails. I want the PEOPLE to have a voice in Pierre.

5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?

I voted for every single tax cut that was presented in Pierre last session, while those who have financed the attack postcards against me for this primary election voted against ALL of them. (SB 117 Repeal tax on food, HB 1327 Sales tax reduction .5%, HB 1237 Return COVID money to South Dakota tax payers, and to suspend the rules to introduce a bill to suspend the gas tax) I am in favor of smaller more local government. That is why I voted yes on HB 1053, a measure to allow the PEOPLE of each county to VOTE to set a sales tax for use in their OWN county. Counties can already raise property taxes by a PEOPLE’S VOTE. Giving counties the option to choose sales tax instead, gives the PEOPLE more options.

6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?

I believe in the free market system. Government must quit choosing winners and losers. The more we regulate the banking and housing industry, the fewer homes we have. The more red tape and government regulations we remove, the more housing becomes available. When government officials infuse tax money into one place of the market—like preparing lots for $350,000 houses - it pulls workers and resources from other places in the market. It also seems that those government monies tend to land in the hands of the friends of powerful government officials.

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?

Our prison systems must have more comprehensive and practical ways to rehabilitate prisoners and put them back into the work force when they are released. We must start with better control over drug use beginning in our Junior High and High Schools. As long as substance abuse remains acceptable among school-aged children, we will continue to incarcerate young adults who get caught in the web of drug addiction and the crimes that stem from addiction. We must treat the drug addictions of prisoners and give them the tools that they need to stay clean when they are released. Teaching trades and putting parolees to work is the practical plan that will help with workforce shortages, decrease overcrowding in the prisons, and reduce recidivism.

8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?

People are moving to South Dakota from all over the nation! They are coming for the liberty and freedom that was safe guarded by the votes of the SD House of Representatives during the health crisis of 2020. They want a smaller government with less control, lower taxes, and more opportunities to prosper without government intrusion. They love the job and entrepreneurial opportunities here. Our young people want those same things.

9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?

I am in favor of returning our election process to paper ballots only. With our small population the amount of extra work involved is well worth the security. We need to look at the ways that fraud is taking place in our elections and eliminate those weaknesses. We need to make our electoral process more open and transparent for those who have questions. I believe that absentee ballots must be requested and verified signatures should be required. I am glad that SD requires a valid ID to vote.

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?

In 2019 alone 414 unborn South Dakota children were killed before they had a chance to draw their first breath. Because without it, none of the other rights truly matter, we must defend this most basic right! I have a 100% rating as a South Dakota Right To Life leader in the SD House. Sadly, not all of the Republicans running in this June 7th primary election have an equally strong record of protecting this most basic and fundamental right. We can’t know how the candidates who have not served will actually vote. We only know how they SAY that they will vote. I am a strong voice for those with no voice.

I am open to listening to the ideas that come forward and voting for the legislation that best protects pregnant mothers and their babies, born and unborn.

11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?

I believe that recreational marijuana should have been on the ballot all by itself. South Dakota only passed the measure because it was grouped with hemp production and medical marijuana. This violated our state constitution. Other states which have legalized recreational marijuana are finding it to be “tax negative” as the increase in social service costs have risen to well over the revenue generated by the marijuana and have absorbed MORE social services tax dollars. I also believe that we will see an increase in crime, and the expense that comes with that, as we see an influx of people who come to our state, not to work, but specifically to use marijuana.

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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