SD State Legislative Candidate Survey: Bethany Soye
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - State Rep. Bethany Soye (R-Sioux Falls) is running for re-election to the South Dakota State House in District 9. District 9 is made up of a portion of western Sioux Falls, and moves west covering Hartford. Soye faces two primary challengers; Ken Teunissen and Jesse Fonkert.
1. Tell us about yourself?
I grew up in a rural community in Minnesota where I showed market lambs in 4-H and took fuel orders at the local farmers cooperative. After school I fled the land of 10,000 taxes to come to South Dakota where my husband Ryan grew up. I am a lawyer working in Anti-Money Laundering Compliance for MetaBank in Sioux Falls. I also take care of our 10-month-old son Edison full-time. In my limited free time I am involved in youth hockey and serve on the praise team at our church.
2. Why are you running for this office?
My parents instilled in me a love for America and taught me how important it is to be involved in the political process. My goal is to keep South Dakota free. Considering the current national cultural and political environment, we need a return to our founding principles of limited government, separation of powers, individual liberty, and personal virtue. The states are the best bulwark we have against federal encroachment on our rights. We need strong state leaders who will stand up for traditional values and against tyranny, no matter the source. My record shows that I have done this for two years and I will continue to do so.
3. What would be your top three priorities if elected?
My first priority in the upcoming session is to protect all unborn human life in South Dakota. With the anticipation that Roe v. Wade will soon be overturned, we need to ensure that our state law protects life from conception. My second goal is to see more unity within the Republican Caucus. I would like to see each Republican Member affirm our party principles as spelled out in our party platform and be held accountable. When we are debating a specific policy, we should be able to answer how it supports our Republican principles of limited government, personal responsibility, lower taxes, family integrity, and the sanctity of life.
4. What relevant experience would you bring to the office?
I currently serve on the House Education and Judiciary Committees. My education includes both a J.D. and a Master of Public Policy from the College of William & Mary and I work in banking compliance. My job includes interpreting federal and state regulations and guiding the business through an ever-changing regulatory landscape. My past work experience includes drafting legislation in the U.S. Senate, writing memos for a State Supreme Court Justice, and researching criminal justice reform programs at the National Center for State Courts. Most importantly, I am a mother and wife who cares about her family’s future.
5. Do you support tax relief for South Dakotans? If so, what type and how would you make it happen?
Yes! Now is the perfect time to provide tax relief. If we aren’t willing to cut taxes when we have a record-setting surplus, we will never cut taxes. The legislature made a promise to the people in 2016 when they raised the state sales tax .5%. The conditions for the repeal have been met and yet the legislature has refused to reduce the tax. We need to keep our word and reduce the sales tax in the upcoming session. I also support repealing the sales tax on food and having a gas tax holiday. But in order to do these things, we must keep our spending under control. I will continue to advocate for true fiscal conservatism and keeping our promise to lower taxes.
6. Housing availability has become an issue for many South Dakotans. How would you seek to make housing more affordable?
There are many factors that play into the current housing situation: supply chain breakdown leading to scarce building supplies, a scarce workforce, and bureaucratic regulation. Pumping more money into government housing programs does not address these issues. One thing we can do is to reduce taxes and fees related to home construction such as the two percent excise tax. The state should reduce regulatory burdens wherever possible so that the free market can work.
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?
8. What steps should the legislature take to entice young people to remain in the state?
The government does not need to create new programs in order to keep young people in South Dakota. We need to protect freedom, keep taxes low, and keep regulation to a minimum. These are the things that make our state a great place to start a business and raise a family.
9. Do you support any changes to the way elections are run in South Dakota?
We need to take a good hard look at the way we maintain our voter rolls. As I go door to door in my district, I have seen that most houses have individuals registered to vote at that address who have not lived there in years. We need to ensure that voters actually reside where they are registered 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?
I fully support protecting life beginning at conception. There is very rarely a true choice between the life of the mother and the life of the baby. With advancements in technology babies can survive outside of the womb as early as 24 weeks. Whenever possible, babies should be delivered early and given a chance to survive in the NICU.
11. What is your stance on legalized, recreational marijuana in South Dakota?
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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