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Republican lawmakers meet at Alex Johnson and discuss 2022 legislative session

Group meets in the Alex Johnson Hotel.
Group meets in the Alex Johnson Hotel.(Jeffrey Lindblom)
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 6:29 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Thursday, the Pennington County Republican Women group met, invited local lawmakers, and aimed to get a grasp of what topics are being considered for 2022′s legislative session.

The Pennington County Republican Women have gathered at the Alex Johnson.

“We really want to empower women, educate women. Let them know it’s okay to be curious about politics,” says Pennington County Republican Women’s President, Sara Frankenstein, “to be involved in politics. To empower yourself with education about government and political involvement in the area.”

Local lawmakers attended and spoke to the group.

“Pay attention to what we do,” says Julie Frye-Mueller, South Dakota Republican District 30 Representative, “please.”

“Give them a preview of what to look forward to in the 2022 legislative session,” adds Frankenstein.

Tons of things were discussed, like the budget.

“The giant handout from the federal government,” says Michael Diedrich, South Dakota’s Republican District 34 Senator, “and that’s what going to create mostly opportunity. But, a lot of chaos in the state legislature this session, because everybody wants money.”

“It’s less opportunity for the democrats to stick in their socialist agenda and budgetary items,” says South Dakota Republican Senator Mike Rounds’ Spokesperson attending the meeting, Adam Kaemingk.

That’s when the group started to focus on more conservative issues, like suspicions concerning last presidential election.

“I do believe there’s been fraud all across the United States,” says Rep. Frye-Mueller. “We started a national election integrity caucus.”

COVID-19 related items were also up for discussion.

“We have gotten tons of e-mails on the vaccine mandates,” says Rep. Frye-Mueller.

In regard to military manners, too, according to Katie Murray, South Dakota Representative Dusty Johnson’s Spokesperson attending the meeting.

“It prohibits the DOD from dishonorably discharging service members that refuse the COVID-19 vaccine,” Murrya says referring to Johnson’s work.

Rep. Frye-Mueller says it’s in the education system too.

“This is where the schools can play doctor with your children in their non-emergency invasive physical exams,” says Rep. Frye-Mueller, eluding to some fine print in school handbooks that she says she’d be happy to show someone if they asked. “It’s in federal law, so it’s in every school handbook. What an invasive physical exam is, is exposure of private body parts, including incision insertion and injection into the body. Now, I could send my child to school and they could get a vaccine. Incision,” she says counting on her fingers, “insertion, injection.”

Escalating concerns about pro-life and pro-choice were raised as well.

“There are seven countries in the world who support abortion after 20 weeks,” says Teresa Thompson, South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune’s spokesperson attending the meeting, “and of those seven countries... us [U.S.}, China and North Korea. I don’t think that’s good company to be having.”

Many mentioned agriculture, like Trish Ladner, Republican District 30 South Dakota Representative.

“Ag is our largest industry in South Dakota,” says Ladner, “and our ranchers really need our help.”

“Lab grown food products are no equivalent to the meat products born,” says Kaemingk, Rounds’ Spokesperson, “raised and harvested in the traditional manner. Beyond meat is not meat. It shouldn’t be called meat. It should be called beyond taste buds.”

There was a lot on the table.

“There’s so much to talk about you guys,” says Rep. Frye-Mueller.

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