South Dakota State of the State Address 2001

Following is the full transcription of Gov. Bill Janklow's Jan. 9 State of the State address:

Thank you very much for all of us, and thank you for those marvelous words, Pastor Hennies, and welcome, Representative Hennies and Representative Hennies. I saw some Hennies for House buttons out there in the hallway as I was standing out there waiting.

It just seems like a short period ago I had the privilege of addressing some of you Ladies and Gentlemen and then others from the last Legislature as we talked, in a special session, about the state cement plant, and that was brought to conclusion.

What I'd like to do today is to recognize that we live in times that are, really, unique for South Dakota. Now it's easy to say that anytime you ever assemble or meet with people. This is a state that demographically is really an unusual place. We're one of the largest landmasses in America. We have 310 towns and cities. We are the most dispersed population of any state in the Union. Our third-largest city has less than 30,000 people. Our fourth-largest city has less than 20,000 people. We become very, very small very, very quickly in South Dakota. Yet, on the other hand, we have to carry on all the functions that any modern society does as we try to figure out how we develop this state and move it from here to there. And one of the most important ways that we do it is have elections and select people that represent the men and women, the boys and girls, the people of South Dakota.

We've come through an election last fall where every single one of you was on a ballot. Some of you came through primary elections, you all came through a general election, some were unopposed, but the vast majority of you had to go out and sell yourself and your ideas and your goals and your aspirations to the people of your relative constituencies. With that behind us now, it is incumbent on all of us to figure out how we can work together, understanding we have our ideological differences and we have our philosophical differences, but we should not have personal differences. That's what the people expect from all of us. There isn't a single one of us that traversed the campaign trail that says to the public, elect me so I can stop things from happening. Elect me so I cannot contribute to solutions to the problems. All of us tell the public that if we are fortunate enough to earn their support and their vote, we will go out and do their bidding and do their work.

Over the course of the next forty days, a lot of people will come to Pierrea lot of them. Most of them will come looking for the taxpayers' money. The vast majority of the taxpayers out there in South Dakota, the people of South Dakota, the retired community, they don't come to Pierre. They sent you and me to Pierre to do their bidding and to do their work. We are their lobbyists, all of us. It is our job to lobby for them, to make sure we are true to the people who sent us here.

One of my staff gave me this headline this morning that was in a newspaper several years ago in South Dakota. A comment I made, no one gets left behind, it is easy to call that rhetoric, but what we've tried to do is turn it into substance. Whether or not, ultimately, that is the case, history will be the judge, and not in terms of how we debate in the contemporary times. What I'd like to do today is, in a little bit of an unusual way, just take us through where we are. We've got a full plate in South Dakota. It doesn't mean we can't get any more on it, but for a state our size, we've got a lot of things going on that we in the executive branch and you folks in the legislative branch, in a partnership, have really embarked upon over the last couple of years. It was 14 years of legislative starts ago that I first had the privilege of addressing the South Dakota Legislature. I've got two addresses left, counting this one. During that period of time, a lot of things have happened in South Dakota, a lot of good and some bad. But there have been incredible changes that have taken place, and one of the most difficult things for all of us is, How do we manage change? Because whether we like it our not, inevitably and inexorably, the world continues to move forward and it continues to change. How do we as a people, how do we as a people figure out how to address it?

One of the first things people will say after I talk today is, you didn't cover this, you didn't cover this, you didn't cover this. So be it. We can't cover it all.

During the course of the next several days, we are contacting three sets of individuals to ask if they would come to address the Legislature. I am aware that for the first week or so, there isn't a lot of legislative calendar in the afternoons after you have convened, because the committees are getting started and the sessions are really short until the work begins to assemble. So, what I am going to do is, we're asking three different individuals to come before you to make presentations that I've had the privilege of hearing, because I think it is so important that it isn't just Bill Janklow that always gets to hear these things.

There is a lady from Sioux Falls, a lady named Kim, who is a phenomenal national resource, Kim Overby. She's an incredible resource on understanding children and how they develop. We actually had her come several weeks ago and visit with our cabinet. We brought in all the members of the cabinet to listen to her. For those of you that have an interest, we'll have a place set up at the local auditorium here in the next several days where, in the afternoon at your convenience, you can assemble and listen to the lady make the presentation and ask the questions which I think are so important for all of us as we make decisions dealing with the young children and their future in South Dakota.

I listened to Dr. Satterlee from South Dakota State University at the Dairy Conference a couple of months ago. The statistics that he has assembled about the demographics of South Dakota are absolutely incredible. I think every one of us that has to make policy decisions has got to understand the numbers of where this state is and what is it about in terms of the demographic numbers of its citizenry. How fast are we growing old? Where are the concentrations of the elderly? Where are the population centers? We know where the large and small communities are, but more importantly, there is a demographic time bomb sitting out there for South Dakota. Unless we address it in a very serious way, is going to be a monumental problem when it hits, and it won't be solvable in the short term at that point in time.

A year ago, at our requestactually it was a bill that Senator Paul Symens had introduced. Coming out of that bill, he and I worked together and then involved other members of the Appropriations Committee and ultimately the Legislature. We funded a study at the South Dakota School of Mines on carbon sequestration. Carbon dioxide is the one substance that is utilized by plants in the photosynthesis process. Given the arguments and the positions on global warming, given what goes on with respect to dioxide in our environment, it is incredibly important that our people understand it. More importantly, there is the potential that there could be a huge payoff financially to South Dakota agricultural producers across the length and breadth of this state with respect to doing the kinds of things that still make for productive agriculture, but in such a way as to increase the utilization of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. So, we're asking Dr. Zimmerman to come from the Atmospheric Sciences Institute at the School of Mines also to make a presentation to the Legislature.

What I'd like to do is give you a report on where we're at in some areas. The first one starts with what we call healthier and safer kids. It could have a lot of titles, but these are programs that we've implemented that are new over the last several years, and we're giving you a report card today on what we have done with your money and your support.

If you go back to 1995, 62 percent of all the children in South Dakota by age two had what was known as age-appropriate shots. Those are the shots for measles, mumps, rubella, for whooping cough, for polio, for diphtheria, and for tetanus. Sixty-two percent of all the children had been immunized. I can report to you today that we are the only state in the nation that has a statewide central registry. There are over 250,000 records in that registry now that represent over 1,200,000 shots that have been given. Today, we're at 78 percent. In a very short couple of years, we've gained 16 percentage points in age-appropriate shots for the children below the age of two.

As you remember, last year we asked the Legislature to fund a program that also dealt with foundation monies from the old Blue Cross/Blue Shield, from Wal-Mart, and we put state monies with it with a goal of immunizing every child in South Dakota in kindergarten that hadn't had chicken pox shots and every child at the age of three months. That program is in operation this year. What will happen is, over the next two and one-half to three years, we will collapse it coming from both directions and every child in South Dakota will be immunizedunless the families have religious preferences against itwill be immunized against chicken pox. We should be able to eradicate it as a disease, which is a virus that children get in South Dakota.

Again, we have embarked on the newborn hearing-screening program that we talked to the Legislature about last year. After the legislative session, we went out and purchased devices for nine hospitals that felt they couldn't afford to buy them. A year ago, 60 percent of all the children born in this state by the age of three months had had those hearing exams. Today, I can report to you that by July 1 of this year, 95 percent of all the children born in the State of South Dakota will have the hearing exam by the time they are three months of age. There are about six out of every thousand that have serious hearing impairments. When they discover them at that age, there are phenomenal things that can be done in terms of early childhood intervention and in terms of assisting children to get started off on the right foot in life with various types of hearing maladies that they may have.

We asked your permission last year to start a special home visit program in Sioux Falls and Rapid for women that I would say are truly needyas Doneen Hollingsworth says, ladies that have a lot of issuesin Sioux Falls and Rapid that are pregnant. We've got 130 women in that program. They've had, at this point, the nurses, 833 visits. The average person in that program is under 19 years of age. They are undereducated. They have no means of support. They have no family means of support, and they have multiple issues or problems that have to be dealt with. I can tell you that, at this point in time, we've got 19 people in that program and that 12 is up there because one of them is 12 years of age. One of them is 12 years old.

The Bright Start boxes that we passed outthis has really been a phenomenally successful program. Since last July, we've sent outand we backed up the births to the beginning of last year8981 Bright Start boxes. Those are the boxes that, when we get a birth registration, we mail them out to the families. In them is a CD with Mozart. It's got an Ages and Stages book. This little book talks about what you should expect to happen at different ages and different stages of a child's life. It's got a Goodnight Moon book to be read. It's got a videotape in it on reading. It's a 20-minute videotape that's the best thing I've ever seen on why it is important that you have to read to children 20 minutes a day. In fact, they say that even if you read them the phone book, just read to them 20 minutes a day even when they are just months and weeks old. In addition to that, there's a new health book that we're adding to it that's written at the fourth grade level. It is for anybody to understand, listing all kinds of maladies and questions and answers that you can turn to when you have health issues with respect to your children. In it is a library card on how to get a library card, sign up for the monthly newsletter, a 1-800 number, and you can also, in South Dakota today, get a prescription from your doctor to get a book. Doctors actually write prescriptions and then we give out books. It is a program between Sioux Valley Hospital and the state together, but parents can get up to 10 books as the doctors fill out the prescriptions for the children.

The Fetal Alcohol Syndrome that we addressed a couple of years ago has an operating program. Again, it is on a pilot project in Sioux Falls and Rapid and we're ready to expand it. It is a phenomenal success. That fetal alcohol program, that 47 indicates the number of adult women who have been treated since 1997, but I'll give you one that is of greater statistical value. Over the course of the last 12 months, there are 35 minors, under the age of 18, who have received assistance in this program. That's why the figure 35 is up there. These are people that are referred by the court system. They are referred by church groups. They are referred by detox centers. They're all individualspolice officers can refer them, anybody can refer. These are all people that have serious drinking problems, and I can tell you at this point in time, 100 percent of them that have given birth have given birth to healthy babies. None of them, and these are all dreadful alcoholics with respect to their problems, all of them have been able to deliver healthy babies in this program.

The parenting program that we've had going for the last couple of years is a program that really addressed three and above. This state has been very aggressive, and all of you have been very aggressive in assisting getting our laws in place. We're somewhat unique in that our laws say if you've ever been convicted of child abuse, you have to take a parenting course as part of the decision in the court system. Our laws say if you're convicted of violence, of domestic violence, you have to be sentenced, as part of your sentence, if you are adjudicated guilty, to a parenting course. One hundred percent of all people in the State of South Dakota's custody, juveniles and adults, that are not there for medical reasons or developmental disability reasons, 100 percent of them, in order to get out of our system, have to take a course in parenting.

We have a new program that, again, was started with the permission of the Legislature called Responsive Parenting that deals with just zero to three. Recently, they finished training 50 trainers. In a six-week session, 50 trainers were trained and already they've gone out to the hinterlands all over South Dakota and conducted four different sets of training for 55 individuals. The first 55 were 40 moms and 15 dads, but between January 1 and March 1, there are 11 new sessions scheduled to go on throughout the state. This program has really taken hold.

As you look at the remainder of what we call the healthier and safer kids, we were the first state in the Union to set aside public facilities in our buildings for our entire labor force to have a place where mothers who are breastfeeding their children can go pump the milk and be able to take care of that particular part of their mothering.

In child protection, we're going to be submitting some legislation to the Legislature asking to strengthen our laws with respect to taking children from their homes and putting them in permanent settings to deal with permanent terminations in a stronger way. We have a child that currently exists in this state that is two years oldtwo years old that has 17 broken bones. I apologize. This baby is two months old, not two years oldtwo months old and has 17 broken bones. You and I, all of us, have a duty to write our laws in such a way that the parents have all the rights bestowed to them under the constitution. Our responsibility, after protecting the parents' rights, is to figure out how we can pass laws that will make sure that, to the extent we can, we try and reduce to zero these kinds of incidents from ever, ever being repeated on any child.

In our after-school supervision program, which you can call out-of-school program or after-school program, we've added 54 new programs. Actually, the communities did. We assisted with funding, but the communities really did the work here. We added 54 new programs in 28 communities in the Year 2000huge strides of advancement. At the present time, we've got 129 after-school programs operating in the State of South Dakota in 114 different buildings. These are all after-school programs run under the auspices of local school areas.

Over the course of the last year, we've made 654 grants in 54 different communities to private and nonprofit daycare providers to assist them in coming up to standards and codes with respect to safety and those types of issues that affect 13,800 children.

Over the course of the last year and a half, we've made available in 24 different communities, 29 different daycare centers that have been built in the Springfield prison, but all are built to federal and state codes as they are taken and distributed throughout the state.

Now, in terms of foster care in South Dakota, this is one area where we are just embarking on a huge new public relations effort. Actually, over the course of the last year, we've increased by 31we now have 562 families in South Dakota that have a child living with them that's been placed there under foster care by the state. Some of these are kids that have been in trouble. Some of these are kids that have been dependent or neglected. Some of these are kids that have been abandoned. Some of these are kids that we're trying to find permanent homes for, but they have special needs and it makes it very, very difficult. But if there is one areathere's nothing. If there was anything we could do with legislation with this, I would propose to do it. But any of you that have any ideas on how to significantly increase by huge numbers the number of families that we can find that would be willing to take foster children in South Dakota at any one of these levels or any one of these types of situations, it would be miraculous in terms of the impact that it could have on the children.

We have a list that I call a healthier South Dakota.

The tobacco patchesI am asking that the Legislature authorize us, utilizing the tobacco monies, to give free patches to anybody in the State of South Dakota who is smoking and wants to quit. Now, already, since I announced that a couple of days ago, I've had some derisive comments made to me, but I will be making available to all of you that are interested, with the names deleted, some of the e-mails that I've already received from smoking parents in South Dakota and how difficult it has been for them to quit. I only really embark on this tobacco thing, recognizing that I want to do it without being a hypocrite, so I'd just like to say that publicly. No human being smoked more than I did, in more places than I did, legally and illegally, frankly, like I did. I know that, but that's what addiction will do. That's what addiction does, and so, because I really don't like hypocrisy and none of us likes hypocrisy, I'm not the right person to be the poster child for this kind of program given the lifestyle I've previously had. I'm very fortunate in that medical science and prayer and a lot of effort by my family were able to fix the problems that I had, but not everybody is as fortunate as I was and not everybody will be as fortunate as I was. To the extent people want to quit smoking, patches are a proven way to help some people do it, as long as they embark on other types of programming with it. So, I'm asking that we make available to any citizen who wants assistance in quitting smoking the utilization of the patches. Through school nurses and through the extension service and through the nursing homes and through the various hospitals in this state and even the various pharmacists, it would be very, very simple for us to set up very quickly a network that would assist in the distribution of these, for all practical purposes, at very little cost other than the cost of the bulk acquisition of these patches. As you know, we're embarking on a diabetes program here this coming spring. We've had a phenomenal response from every hospital in South Dakota, most of the nursing homes in South DakotaI just got a call from Lewis Drug yesterday saying that they wanted to be counted in on the programdoctors' offices all over the state, public health nurses, the State Health Department. I could just go on and on and name all the people that are becoming part of this effort. We found in some statistics as I indicated in my budget address, we took just a blood sample and the blood pressure of 911 state employees last fall. We discovered 325 out of the 911, that's more than a third of them, had to have a doctor's follow-up with respect to high blood sugar or high blood pressure or some type of cardiovascular indication. Three hundred and twenty-five of the 900 needed to have a medical follow-up. All of them were people who thought they were okay and they had no problems. My guess is the state labor force is not unlike the overall mix of the State of South Dakota.

We're really going to make an effort to deal with organ donation, and we would like to work with you people on legislation dealing with organ donation. We have individuals that indicate they want to be organ donors and then, when the time comes and you're gone, you have loved ones or others make a decision that they don't want to carry out the desire that you had. We need to figure out a way to put this into a legal standing so that your wishes can be fulfilled. Every year, a lot of South Dakotans die who wouldn't have to if there were organs available for them. We are a net importer, if I can use the phrase that way, of organs, not an exporter. We get far more for our people than we provide for other people. It is important because, kidneyswe have a lady on our staff, Deb Bowman, who last summer received a kidney. She wouldn't have lived without it. Today she is a healthy human being because she has a kidney. I remember a friend of mine who was a state senator from Vermillion. Several years ago, his wife received a heart transplant and she was able to live for several more years because that transplant was made available to her. Her loved ones were able to share her and she was able to spend a little bit more time on earth and with her loved ones. So, we're asking that we come together and pass some legislation that facilitates those of us who want to make the decision to donate our organs.

In terms of critical access hospitals, we have had phenomenal success. We have 17 rural hospitals, most of which would probably be closed had they not made the decision to work with the Health Department, to work with them to become what's known as critical access hospitals. By becoming critical access hospitals, they've been able to reach the point where they can now bill Medicare on a cost basis as opposed to the other way that Medicare historically has forced them to charge. So they are able to recapture their costs in the areas where they provide their expertise on a cost basis.

We're in the first year now of reimbursing school loans for doctors. We embarked on a program that's truly unique. Rather than cutting tuition or loaning people money to go to school or things like that, to med school, what we do is, for doctors who finish med school and their other training and then go out to critically short, unmet communities that have health care needs, if they stay there for three years, we pay for the cost of their education. We pay their loans when they come due that they've taken out for the direct cost of their education.

We've got a real success story in Hot Springs. A year ago, we were faced with a situation where the hospital was announcing it was going to be closed, the clinic was announcing it was going to be closed, the nursing home was threatening to be closed, and the assisted living was going to be closed. Today, the nursing home is open. The assisted living is open. They've got a clinic operating in town. They've got two new doctors in the community, and they're working to get that hospital reopened. A phenomenal success story of everybodythe state, the federal government, the community, the city, the county, everybodyworking together actually bringing about results in these areas when you think that it is literally hopeless.

We're asking that the Legislature pass legislation this year to provide by law that all minors have to have seatbelts on. I don't want to get in a fight about adults. They've got a right to put their heads through a windshield, I suppose, but they don't have the right to let their kids do it. We should pass legislation that says that everybody, not just the toddlers and the little infants, but everybody who is a minor should be required to wear a seatbelt in this state.

In the educational arena, I just wanted to put this up very briefly to show you that back in November of '99, a year and a month ago, we had three state educators from our K-12 system on the network for e-mail. Today, we have 7793 educators on that e-mail system, the Dakota Digital Network, the DDN network that we've all created, and they have sent, just since last August, 3,065,000-plus e-mails. That averages more than 400 per teacher and we didn't even have 7700. Last August, we only had about four or five thousand of them so, just since last August, as it has built up, we've still had 3,000,000 e-mails that have been done by the teachers on the Dakota Digital Network. Let me give you another success story that just takes a moment. I mean this is something South Dakota can be so proud of. You meet people in and out of the Legislature that say we've done enough for technology in schools. My friends, that's like saying we've done enough in advances in medicine. That's like saying we've done enough in advances in any area that deals with science. We will never be done, ever be done. This is one of the most important things that's ever happened to South Dakota. This is the great equalizer. This is where the kids from the most remote places, and frankly the parents of the kids from the most remote places, have access to the same information as all the other people in the world have.

In the community of Miller today, there is a classroom teacher named Mary Cundy. She's teaching calculus to her students, 16 or 17 of hers, and 16 of them at Highmore, utilizing the interactive video that we have between the schools. There is a gentleman named Eric Peters who is teaching art from McLaughlin. He's a McLaughlin schoolteacher who is teaching art in McLaughlin, Faith, Timber Lake, and in Fort Pierre's Stanley County. He's the art teacher for the students. And even driver's edobviously, you can't drive the car, but all the other things you do to learn in driver's ed are being conducted by Byron Utter in Mobridge, and he actually has 60 students of his own in Mobridge and 90 in Faith, Wakpala, Harding County, and McLaughlin where he's teaching driver's ed. The point of this is to show the uniquely different areas that you can adapt technology to, and this isn't being driven by Pierre. These are the local people that are doing this using their own creativity and imagination to put this stuff to use. So, whether you're talking about something like advanced mathematics in the K-12 system like calculus, you're talking about art or driver's ed, they're all conducive to utilizing the technology to be able to continue to move forward. At this point, there are 20 other courses that we know of and they feel there may be up to 20 more that we don't know of that are going on between the schools utilizing this technology.

In education, it's a battle this year like it's been every other year. There are people that want to take that technology money away. Please don't take it away. What is it that's unique about South Dakota? It is because it has been done from the state level and 100 percent funded. It is ubiquitous. If you'll remember when we were talking back in '95 and '96 on where we were going with technology, one of the most important points was, one of the most important points was that we would make sure that all the kids had equal access to the same technology in South Dakota. That has been done.

I sat on a panel just a couple of months ago in Washington, DC, testifying before Congress. Senator Bob Kerrey from Nebraska was chairman of the commission. Dr. Gowen was a member of the commission, the President of the School of Mines. What was unique about this? Next to me at one point over the two and a-half hour period I was there was the Mayor of the City of Washington, DC. Do you know what his testimony was? As Mayor, he had a mission that he would fulfill. He was going to have a T-1 circuit in every school in Washington, DC by the year 2004. My friends, we've had a T-1 circuit in every school building in South Dakota except three attendance centers, in over 500 school buildings, we've had a T-1 since last Septemberdealing with 28 different telephone companies, all of whom, the SDN network, the Qwest network, phenomenal in terms of all of them coming together and what they're doing. The DDN network is unique in all the world. There is nothing like it. There is truly nothing like it anyplace.

Then you have the reading program that we all started last year, you and us. This program has been so good so fast that we've asked for substantial additional monies to move it forward on an accelerated basis. It is not fair to make some of these kids wait or some of the classroom teachers wait to learn these skills and to put these skills to use over the course of what was originally the three-year idea.

The technology council that I have up there. This is a group that I agreed to do last year by executive order on behalf of Representative Smidt and several other legislators whose bill was used as a vehicle the last day of the legislative session. They lost their bill on a hoghouse, and this was so important that I agreed to fund it. I funded it out of the Future Fund. I gave them a grant. We brought together people from higher education, from business, and from our communities, all of whom are involved in serious technology in one way or another. What I charge them with, in addition to anything else they want to do, is they must look at what are we doing or what can we do to improve geometrically the amount of involvement that our young people have with math and science in the school systems. Dr. Gowen said at that meeting that at the School of Minesand I think we would all agree that's probably on the whole the most difficult school for someone to get into in South Dakota as a public baccalaureate institutionDr. Gowen said that of his entering freshmen, the last two years, over half the freshmen that were going to major in engineering were not adequately equipped to learn effectively freshman calculus. My friends, we aren't going to get from here to there with those kinds of statistics.

As a matter of fact, there is something even more scary. That's that next number that I've written up on the board. We have 9200 students that graduated from our public high schools last year, 9200. Seven thousand five hundred and sixty-two took the ACT test and only 241 of those who took the ACT test ha
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