Two well-known South Dakota lobbyists and a former state lawmaker addressed the relevancy and conduct of hired advocates in the legislative process during a presentation at the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls Monday, June 20. David Owen and Steve Willard are registered lobbyists. Tim Rave, a former Senate majority leader and former speaker of the House, now hires lobbyists. Owen is president of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Willard is executive director of the South Dakota Electric Utility Companies Association, president of the South Dakota Broadcasters Association and a contract lobbyist. Rave is vice president of public policy at Sanford Health.
Program Highlights:
  • Criteria for being a lobbyist include:  forming relationships; knowing the bills being debated; attending committee meetings, knowing the rules; knowing each other and understanding the legislature.
  • Lobbying is about interacting with constituents, reaching out, being an expert on everything, and having effective answers.  A lobbyist must be able to listen to both sides.
  • There can be as many as 400 bills in one SD legislative session, with a wide range of issues.
  • Lobbyists don’t get paid much and they are there early and stay late.  They must know how to work through the issues, and have the ability to get over winning/losing immediately.
Next Week’s Program:
Mark Mickelson, Representative District 13--2016 Legislative Session
The following recaps June 20, 2016 meeting attendance:
  • Meeting attendance was 93 out of 319 or 29%
  • Paul Harris Fellows attendance was 59 out of 93 or 63%
  • Also present at the meeting were:  1 Visiting Rotarian; 5 Guests