Newell Cracker Barrel sparks heated debate - KOTA Territory News

Newell Cracker Barrel sparks heated debate

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President Obama's health care plan and how to increase education funding were two hotly debated topics at Saturday's cracker barrel in Newell.

For the first hour citizens drilled state leaders with questions on the healthcare plan.

They wanted answers as to what their representatives were doing to make sure South Dakota takes no part in the President's plan.

While one man suggested a proposed bill, Senator Larry Rhoden said it's too late to introduce any more bills this session, but he believes they've done all they can to repeal the plan.

"Our Attorney General did join other states and fought that battle all the way to the Supreme Court and at the end of the day we lost that battle, but not completely." said Senator Larry Rhoden, (R) District 29.

"We're trying everything we can think of we're just kind of short of ideas that will work on the federal level.
There's just so little the state is allowed to do to counter the damage the federal government is doing to us," said Representative Betty Olson, (R) District 28B.

After an hour, the conversation turned to another hot topic; education funding.

An audience member brought up the issue of struggling rural schools such as the Newell School District.

Senator Rhoden says he's the prime sponsor on a bill that would lessen the burden on schools.

Senate Bill 191 would increase state aid to education and revise certain provisions related to education funding.

The next cracker barrel is scheduled for February 9th at the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce.

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