Committed to working for the health, education, safety and economic prosperity of South Dakota.
About Representative Sly
- Lifetime resident of South Dakota
- Longtime resident of Rapid City, District 33 since 1993
- Always registered as a Republican
- Married to Burton Sly for 45 years
- Raised 3 adult children and enjoy 4 grandchildren
- Retired teacher after 37 years in the classroom
- Served 4 terms in SD House of Representatives
- House Education Committee - Chairwoman
- House Health & Human Services Committee - Member
- House Majority Whip - 2 terms
- 2013 interim work included: Interim Study on School Funding Formula, Legislative Planning Committee, Public Safety Improvement Act Advisory Council
- 2014 interim work included: Legislative Planning Committee, Public Safety Improvement Act Advisory Council
- 2015 interim work included: Blue Ribbon Task Force – Co-chair, Legislative Planning Committee, Public Safety Improvement Act Advisory Council, Juvenile Justice Native American Focus Group
- House Education Committee - Chairwoman
- Blue Ribbon Education Funding Task Force – Co-chairwoman
- Legislative Planning Committee
- Public Safety Improvement Act Advisory Council
- Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Initiative Native American Focus Group
Regional / National
- Council of State Governments Midwest – Co-chair Education Committee
- Council of State Governments – Co-chair Education Committee
- Education Commission of the States - Commissioner
- Women in Government –Board of Directors Member
- National Conference of State Legislatures – International Education Study Group – Member
- National Task Force on Employability and Workforce Development for People with Disabilities – Co-chair of Sub-committee
Strong National Defense
- Privileged to have my husband, daughter and son-in-law take oaths to defend our country and sacrifice their lives if called to do so.
- Knows importance of taking care of families of members of the military while serving and also the soldiers when they return home.
Free Market Enterprise
- Advocates for free market enterprise with sound business principles to enhance the quality of life for all South Dakotans.
- Grew up on a family farm learning the value of hard work.
- Farmed with my husband for 12 years, so know the importance of minimal government restrictions and regulations and the challenges small businesses face.
A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out
- Promotes helping those who need support.
- Instead of only helping with material things that will eventually run out, work to have individuals learn how to live without on-going assistance i.e. job-training, drug courts, rehabilitation, and mental health services.
- Encourages government closest to the people. Each level of government has a place and purpose. Too often the lines have become blurred and the higher level of government begins to take over.
- At times when things are not exactly according to our own beliefs, there is a tendency to try to do the same thing that is despised by the federal government...make more laws to try to control a particular situation.
Right to Bear Arms
- Defends the freedom to own and carry firearms
- Member of National Rifle Association (NRA)
- NRA rating: A- (2014 most current), has a SD Concealed Carry Permit, gun owner and hunter.
- Believes that we shape our own lives. The choices we make are our own responsibility.
- Your beginnings do not have to control your future.
- Believes solid family values make a strong community and state.
- Values having a balance with taxes and the responsibility to pay for services received…nothing is free.
- If a level of government needs a service, there should be a willingness to pay for the service (i.e., if one drives on roads and bridges the person should help pay for the maintenance and construction).
- Increasing taxes and fees is not taken lightly. For perspective, ½% sales tax increase costs an additional .05 cents on $10, .50 cents on $100, and $5.00 on $1000.
Locally Controlled Education
- Supports local control along with local responsibility in making decisions for the education of students in SD.
- South Dakota has local control for curriculum, how subjects are taught and what resources are used. K-12 schools are controlled by locally elected school boards.
Thoughts in making policy decisions
- Is there a need (or problem) that exists?
- Does it take a new law to solve the problem?
- Should the South Dakota legislature be involved in the solution or can it be addressed another way?
Just because a particular subject is addressed in a bill does not automatically make it a good bill. It is important to look at the whole picture.
- What is the impact both short term and long term?
- Is there current litigation addressing this subject and will this bill impact that litigation?
- Even if it is pro- or anti- a particular issue and I am generally for or against a particular issue does not mean I will always vote that way. My decision depends on what is written in the bill, not the subject matter alone.
Tips for Being an Informed Voter!
- Know that information may be untrue or given without full disclosure of the actual facts. Just because it is printed material or is spoken, does not mean it is true.
- Contact the actual person rather than the sender to ask questions. If it appears to be out of character for the person being criticized, ask that person for more information or clarification.
- Surveys do not tell the whole story. Candidates receive a variety of surveys. Some groups use the responses as a guide and some groups use responses as a whip.
- Use the SD Legislative website to find factual information regarding actual votes and the actual language used in bills. www.legis.sd.gov
- Social Media is popular and widely used by some. However, remember it can be anonymous, inaccurate, and based on opinion or emotion.
- Understand terms used.
- A smokeout vote is a procedural vote, not a policy vote.
What is a tax?
A tax takes a financial charge or other levy imposed upon a taxpayer to fund various public expenditures.
In the 2016 session she supported HB 1182, the ½% sales tax increase.
For perspective if a person spends $10, an additional 5 cents will be paid, for
$100 one would pay 50 cents, for $1000 an additional $5.00 would be paid. The
sales tax increase was the option chosen to have more money available for
funding K-12 public education.
She supported the tax increase because it is not okay to be last in teacher pay.
In the 2015 session she supported SB1 to increase fees and taxes for public roads
and bridges. In South Dakota the main form of transportation uses roads and bridges.
That is the way people travel from place to place. That is the way the agricultural
community gets their product from farm to market. That is the way businesses receive
their goods to sell. At the time of the vote the federal government was at a standstill
in determining funding for South Dakota’s roads and bridges. As a state, we cannot
afford to not take steps to take care of infrastructure.
She supported the fee and tax increase because it is not okay to let the roads and
bridges in SD deteriorate.
What is a fee?
- Fees may be increased out of the needs of a group of people or industry.
- Fees may be increased at the request of a group or industry.
- Fees may be increased because of inflation or other costs.
Education & Common Core
- Supports sound educational practices, regardless of a label. Throughout the years there have been initiatives, reforms, and new standards. Some have been successful and others have not.
- Bases decisions on factual information. The key is to make informed decisions based on accurate and reliable sources.
- Looks at the whole spectrum of the earliest learning needs for children, continuing through K-12, post-secondary and adult learning. One brand name (Common Core) does not drive every educational decision. That is only one piece of a much larger continuum of education in South Dakota.
- Knows Common Core is a label or brand for the current state standards in Math and English Language Arts. Some have put many other topics under the umbrella of that label. Some of those topics include: curriculum, assessments, student data privacy, teacher evaluations, and accountability waiver. Those topics are not the same as Common Core State Standards.
- Knows Common Core State Standards are a minimum, not maximum.
For SD and United States:
Overreach and lack of trust at the federal level.
Schools want and continue to have local control in SD. Parents and public have begun to take an interest
in what is happening…that is a good thing. We are a passive society, but no longer can we sit back and
think someone else is going to take care of us.
Common Core state standards do not have any data attached to them. Assessments do have information
gathered regarding the student (In SD only student ID # with no name, gender, grade, and school.
Birthdate is optional for a state). The difference is the access and security through longitudinal
data systems. Earlier data was in a file cabinet, not a "cloud."
Testing / Assessments
The U.S. has become a nation of test-takers. Everyone wants accountability, including student,
teacher, and school accountability. When standardized tests became the main means to evaluate
learning, there is now pressure for performance... not so much for the student, but for the teachers,
administrators and schools. This can result in students becoming good test-takers, but not as good
with creativity, critical thinking and innovation.
No Silver Bullet
Factors contributing to the United States falling behind other countries:
- Need for a stable adult in every child’s life.
- Faith – without it, values are often lost.
- Need for earned success. It went by the wayside during the 1980’s when self-esteem became a buzz word.
* Note - the above factors are societal issues that cannot be solved only by making more laws.
Health Care & Affordable Care Act:
Rep. Sly opposes the Affordable Care Act (OBAMACARE).
- South Dakota sued the federal government to overturn Obamacare, and she supported that lawsuit.
- South Dakota has not expanded Medicaid.
- South Dakota has not created a health insurance exchange.
SB 38 and SB 43 are laws that gave the State Division of Insurance the authority to enforce laws
that insurance companies were required to follow. These laws were necessary to keep the federal
government out of South Dakota’s insurance industry. If these bills hadn’t passed, the federal
government could have stepped into South Dakota and taken over our insurance industry.
HB 1199 (2013) has nothing to do with Obamacare. It would have made it harder for hospitals and
doctors to implement electronic medical records, or to share electronic records between hospitals.
Electronic records save money and make it easier to make sure patients get appropriate care. Rep.
Sly thinks hospitals should be allowed to use electronic records, and we don’t need big government
making it harder for them to do that. That’s not conservative.
Endorsements & Ratings:
National Rifle Association
Rep. Sly received an A- and is an NRA endorsed candidate
Based on NRA ratings posted for 2014 elections.
- Stands firm in her beliefs and decision-making to represent District 33 and South Dakota.
- Does not hide behind by special interest groups and their mailings to promote an agenda.
- Encourages you to remember that written and spoken words may be untrue or given without full disclosure of the facts.
- Invites you to call and ask her questions if you have concerns about who she is and for what she stands.