Our Platform

JUNE 25th, 2016.

The fundamental principles of the South Dakota Republican Party are rooted in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of South Dakota. The Party supports the preservation of our Republic, its ideals, and its institutions for the good of all Americans and opposes the erosion of these cherished freedoms.

We believe the strength of our nation lies with the individual and with each person's dignity, liberty, and integrity. We support our nation’s heritage of religious freedom and personal responsibility and recognize we must be proactive in defending freedom at every level. We believe in equal rights, equal justice, and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age, or ability.

We recognize the free enterprise system and the work ethic of our people as the foundation of our economic success and security.  The proper role of government is to provide for the people those critical functions that cannot be properly performed by individuals or private organizations.  The most effective and responsible government is government closest to the people.  Leadership must be mindful of the Republican Platform and the fundamental principles of the Constitution of the United States of America.

We believe South Dakota is an exceptional place to live, raise a family, and pursue economic opportunity. To those ends, and for the people of our state, the South Dakota Republican Party offers, pledges, and commits itself to the following platform.

1.0 Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy
1.1 Agriculture - We support a strong and viable economy for agriculture, our number one industry, and encourage ongoing efforts to add value to our commodities and raw materials.
1.2 Free Markets - We support free, fair, and competitive markets, both domestic and foreign, for all agriculture products because free trade is best for producers and consumers. 
1.3 Environment - We support conservation and responsible use of our natural resources.  We support a clean environment with fair and reasonable standards for maintaining our air, water, soil through technically-sound management practices supported by sound science.
1.4 Energy Development - We support efforts to develop and utilize traditional, new, and renewable energy resources.
1.5 Use of Public Lands - We support the responsible, multiple use of public lands.  We support efforts to reduce losses to public and private lands from destructive forces originating from public lands.
1.6 Recreation Projects – We support the development of sound recreation projects throughout the state without adversely affecting agriculture, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources and with respect toward owners of affected property.
1.7 Property Rights - We support private property rights and reject international policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process.

2.0 Economic Development and Jobs
2.1 Economic Growth - We support the creation of new jobs in our state and encourage collaboration between business, research, and education to foster economic development and job growth.
2.2 Tourism - We support a strong and viable tourism industry.
2.3 Opportunities for Youth - We believe in fostering economic opportunities for our youth to remain in the state. 
2.4 Fair Compensation - We support equality in compensation based upon value of work.  We believe government intervention into private industry distorts the free market and can hurt workers and consumers alike.
2.5 Right-to-Work - We support the right to work provision in our state constitution.  We support the employee’s right to have a secret ballot in any election called to organize a union.
2.6 Competition with Private Sector - We believe government should not compete with private enterprise.
2.7 Infrastructure - We support the development of the robust and modern telecommunications, road, energy, water, and railroad infrastructure needed to foster economic growth.
2.8 Research Projects - We support scientific and research projects which will have long-lasting economic impact for our state, such as the Sanford Underground Research Facility.
2.9 Government Intrusion - We believe economic activity thrives in an environment of limited government intrusion, and can be stifled by government overreach and overregulation, especially from the federal government.

3.0 Health and Human Services
3.1 Well-Being of All - We affirm our commitment to the physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being for South Dakotans of all races, creeds, and cultures.
3.2 Opposition to Socialized Medicine - We support the private practice of medicine and oppose socialized medicine in the form of a government-run universal health care system. We oppose efforts to put government between patients and their health care providers and support the right of patients to choose their health care providers.
3.3 Healthcare Reform - We believe healthcare reform should empower the private sector, patients, and their health care providers, not bureaucrats in government or business.  We support market-based reforms that are consumer-driven and targeted to reduce costs and increase access.
3.4 Government Healthcare Systems - We support timely, accessible, and high quality healthcare for South Dakotans served by the Veterans Administration and the Indian Health Services, and encourage expedient referrals to private sector providers.
3.5 Healthcare Cooperation - We encourage working relationships between government, health-related organizations, faith-based organizations, businesses, and individuals to address the quality, access, and affordability of health care, including pharmaceuticals, especially in rural areas of South Dakota.
3.6 Caring for Others - We affirm our commitment to addressing the needs of citizens who are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves.
3.7 Role of Parents - We affirm the rights of parents as the primary nurturers, responsible for the financial support, moral training, education, childcare, health care, and discipline of their children.

4.0 Education and Cultural Affairs
4.1 Quality Education - We support our state's commitment to quality education consistent with Republican values. We support public, private, and home school educational opportunities. We support state aid to education within the financial limits of the state of South Dakota.
4.2 Local Control - We support local control of education in our state.  We oppose the required use of multi-state national educational standards or assessments unless adopted by the State Legislature. 
4.3 Parental Rights - We support the rights of parents within the public school system.  We believe parents have the right to personally observe classroom instruction, access their children’s instructional materials and records at no cost to them, and to have a voice regarding their children’s involvement in national assessments.  We believe in a wholesome educational setting, free from efforts to incorporate inappropriate sexual or cultural information into our curriculum and classrooms. Furthermore, we believe that participation in school sponsored sex education ought to be entirely a parental opt-in.
4.4 Value of Abstinence - We realize sex education classes have too often failed to prevent the rise of student pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.  We support instruction to students on the social, psychological, economic, and health gains to be realized by abstinence from sexual activity until marriage. 
4.5 Safe Environment - We affirm our commitment to a quality, safe educational environment conducive to learning and free of crime, violence, illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use.
4.6 Post-Secondary - We support a post-secondary technical and university system providing high quality education enabling our citizens to address the challenges and opportunities presented by today's state, national, and global economy.
4.7 Cultural Diversity - We support and encourage ethnic harmony in our multi-cultural state. We affirm our support of efforts to increase awareness of the rich and changing cultural diversity of South Dakota's citizens.
4.8 Historical Foundation - We support the teaching of the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the South Dakota Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and the historical role of faith and the Bible.  We also support further emphasis on the principles and values upon which our nation was founded, such as a republican form of government and the benefits of capitalism.
4.9 Key Texts - We support the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in our schools and oppose deletions, changes, or amendments to the Pledge. We support the display of the South Dakota Motto, "Under God, the People Rule," in our schools. We support display of the Ten Commandments in our schools.
4.10 Technology - We support the state's efforts to integrate technology into our schools. We support programs giving teachers, administrators, and school specialists the skills, tools, and technology needed to provide educational opportunities for students.
4.11 Cultural Importance - We recognize the importance and value of the cultural, artistic, and historical resources of South Dakota.
4.12 Data Protection - We support the protection of personally identifiable information and data collected by public schools and state entities on students or their families.  We recognize parents and students have an expectation of privacy and should have control of the distribution of their personal information.

5.0 Governmental Affairs
5.1 Lower Taxes - We support the reduction of federal, state, and local taxation to protect the long-term economic viability of the people of South Dakota.  We support the people of South Dakota in their long-standing opposition to personal or corporate income or estate taxes at the state level.  We support the reduction and eventual elimination of the income tax and the estate tax at the federal level.
5.2 Limited Spending - We recognize government is funded by the taxes paid by individuals and businesses. We encourage government at all levels to operate efficiently, share services wherever possible, and limit or reduce government spending when possible.
5.3 Federalism - We support federalism and the Tenth Amendment. We oppose the use of federal funds to coerce state action. We oppose government mandates, especially those which do not provide the funding, or the means of funding, necessary to carry out such mandates. 
5.4 Balanced Budget - We support a balanced state budget with the maintenance of an adequate reserve fund and support a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.
5.5 American Flag - We respect the American flag and support an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to protect our flag from acts of desecration.
5.6 Official Language - We support English as the official language of our state and nation.
5.7 Entitlement Reform - We support entitlement reform at the federal level in order to put federal entitlement programs on a sound fiscal basis. 
5.8 Voting - We recognize voting, which includes the initiative and referendum processes, as a cornerstone of our state. It is a right, honor, and responsibility that should not be taken for granted, and must be treated with dignity and safeguarded from fraud. We support efforts to ensure a fair voting process guaranteeing every eligible South Dakotan a valid vote.
5.9 Federal Judges - We support the appointment of federal judges who support a constructionist view of the Constitution.
5.10 Open Government - We believe the free flow of information empowers and energizes a republic and serves to keep government accountable.
5.11 Immigration - We support the right of immigrants to enter our country legally and support the right of legal immigrants to work in our state. It is the responsibility of the federal and state government to enforce immigration laws and protect our borders.  We urge South Dakota’s state and federal elected officials to uphold their sworn duty by taking all legal actions available to combat illegal immigration and the trafficking of illegal aliens within our state.
5.12 Tribal Relations - We are committed to unity among all people and cultures in South Dakota and affirm our commitment to work cooperatively with tribal governments to create opportunity on our state's reservations. We encourage ongoing dialogue pertaining to the treaty provisions of Article VI of the United States Constitution.
5.13 Foreign Law - We support efforts to require the courts of South Dakota to refrain from relying upon foreign law and judgments contrary to the public policy of South Dakota, the South Dakota Constitution, and the United States Constitution.
5.14 Candidates - We encourage South Dakota Republican candidates to familiarize themselves with, and pledge to support, the platform of the South Dakota Republican Party.  We ask candidates to conduct themselves in a professional, moral, and respectful manner.  We encourage counties to use the platform as a means to educate and inform candidates and the public.
5.15 Electoral Reform – We support preserving the Electoral College system and oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to finance political campaigns.  We support a vigorous party system as the best way to engage the voting public about important issues.

6.0 Public Safety and Security
6.1 Equal Justice - We support the fair and equal administration of justice to protect the public and their property, to assist victims of crime, punish as well as rehabilitate offenders, and assist in the transition of offenders into society.
6.2 Decency Standards - We support public decency standards. We support the rights of South Dakota communities to implement and enforce such standards.
6.3 Law Enforcement - We support law enforcement and their work to provide citizens with a crime-free environment. We applaud and appreciate those involved with public safety in South Dakota.
6.4 Second Amendment - We oppose infringement of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and oppose further attempts to restrict private firearm, ammunition, or firearm accessory ownership.
6.5 Homeland Security - We support a strong and reasonable approach to homeland security that protects our safety, our borders, and our liberties. 
6.6 Ellsworth Air Force Base - We support the men and women of Ellsworth Air Force Base and thank them for their efforts to defend our nation.  We encourage the strengthening of the current missions, as well as the addition of new missions, at Ellsworth Air Force Base.
6.7 National Guard, Air Guard, and Reserve - We support the men and women of the South Dakota Army and Air National Guard and Reserves.  We thank them for their efforts to maintain a strong national defense and for their support of local projects and missions.
6.8 Veterans - We support with all our hearts those men and women and their families in all branches of the armed forces past and present who have sacrificed their time and lives for our country.

7.0 Family and Community Values
7.1 Families - We recognize the family as the central core of society and the foundation of our state and nation, and support the family as it nurtures the spiritual growth that fosters generosity of spirit and responsible citizenship.  Further, we recognize parents and parental rights as the foundation and proper authority for South Dakota families.
7.2 Free Exercise of Religion - We recognize our country was founded in faith upon the truth that self-government is rooted in religious convictions. The Constitution guards against the establishment of state-sponsored religions and honors the free exercise of religion. We call on courts to respect this freedom and the intent of the framers of the Constitution.
7.3 Digital Safety - We encourage parents, guardians, schools, and libraries to secure their computers against pornography and predators.
7.4 Federal Intrusion Into Privacy - We support the privacy of all people and oppose federal intervention into how local communities, schools, and businesses manage locker rooms, showers, and other sex-specific facilities.
7.5 Decency - We are concerned about the glamorization of illegal drug use, gratuitous violence, and the exploitation or abuse of adults and children in our culture and entertainment.
7.6 Marriage - We believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman. We affirm it is in the best interest of children to be raised by a mother and a father.
7.7 Sanctity of Life - We affirm the sanctity of human life, including the unborn, the elderly, the chronically ill, and the terminally ill.
7.8 Pro-Life - We believe human life begins at conception.  We oppose abortion and support bans on sex selection and partial birth abortion. We support those who provide alternatives to abortion or offer adoption services.  We oppose funding abortion providers with public resources.
7.9 Stem Cell Research - We oppose embryonic stem cell research. We support alternatives not involving the killing of human embryos, such as adult stem cell research.
7.10 Human Trafficking - We oppose human trafficking and the exploitation of adults, children, and the unborn.