2015 South Dakota Freedom Index Released

2015_Freedom_IndexThe South Dakota Freedom Coalition has released the 2015 South Dakota Freedom Index.

The Freedom Index examines the voting records of all South Dakota legislators based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, federalism, and protection of life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness.

Legislative votes scored included ones on a proposed constitutional convention, tax increases for municipalities, the right to keep and bear arms, the U.S. Department of Education, petition reform, the South Dakota High School Activities Association transgender policy, Common Core education standards, recognition of the Armenian genocide, the state’s big tax increase, ties with communist China, and a youth minimum wage.

Ted Cruz 2016


The average score this year in the “Republican” supermajority House (where 83% of members are “Republicans”) was 51%. Representatives Campbell, Kaiser, and May all scored 100%, with Representatives Marty and Russell coming in at 90%

The average score this year in the “Republican” supermajority Senate (where 77% of members are “Republicans”) was 32%. The highest score in the Senate was Senator Betty Olson’s 80%.

“Republican” Speaker of the House Dean Wink scored 50%.  “Republican” House Majority Leader Brian Gosch scored 60%. “Republican” Senate Majority Leader Tim Rave scored 20%.

Woodrow Wilcox


You can find out more about the bills voted on and scored in the 2015 legislative session here.

Concerned citizens can use this information to ensure their elected representatives in South Dakota are representing their values in Pierre, and if they are not, this information can be used to replace them in the next election.


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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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