RAPID CITY, S.D. — Government Affairs Connection is a gathering of local business community members and focuses on timely topics of local interest. The purpose of the meeting is to hear from local government leaders to ensure that they understand the status of the economic climate by engaging in discussions regarding the legislative session.
Anna Hays, Public Policy Director for Elevate Rapid City, said, “We want to invite the general public and especially our investors to come in and learn more about the process. This is our general public education awareness of the political landscape and our involvement in the process. To make sure that our businesses are up to date and that the public knows we are a resource.”
The Government Affairs Connection reviewed the 2021 State Legislative session with topics ranging from sports betting in Deadwood to what legalized marijuana could look like in the state.
David Owen, Chief Lobbyist for the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce, said, “Nobody is gonna prescribe marijuana it is not a prescription the FDA has nothing to do with it. What you’re gonna get from a medical provider defined already in law, is a card that lets you purchase marijuana from a dispensary.”
During the Government Affairs Connection, Elevate Rapid City revealed their second annual 2021 pro-business scorecard. That tracked the votes of the area legislators on 16 key bills that Elevate took a stance on. Nine of the 15 area legislators scored high enough to be identified as pro-business champions, meaning they support the same position as elevate does on all or most of the key bills.
“Its a good way to again, showcase our really strong business advocates in economic development advocates in Pierre,” said Anna Hays.
And Governor Kristi Noem announced Wednesday that Rapid City won the ‘Large Community of the Year’ Award, which Elevate believes is a reflection of the cities steady growth in new business.
Anna Hays also said, “I think its a really great way to celebrate the work that’s happening and again that collaboration across all sorts of our local community leaders to show that we are growing and that we’re here to do a great job.”