Question: Do South Dakota legislators care for, and respect, our children and the poor?

A group of students, with the help of the Voices for Children Organization, helped craft four bills with the purpose of helping to keep teen drivers alive. Our state has the worst record in the nation for teen driving deaths.

After much discussion, our adult elected officials decided , young drivers, with learning permits, will not be allowed to use electronic devices while behind the wheel. Police are forbidden to issue tickets unless they stopped the student for another offense, and witnessed the use of the cell phone in the process.  This is the only bill to survive and it is so watered down, some wonder if it was worth the effort. So much for adults listening to bright young minds of their children.

Another interesting topic is funding prenatal care for women in poverty.  Our legislators  decided not to expand coverage to women earning up to 140 percent of the poverty level. According to Deb Bowman, an adviser Governor Daugaard, the National Affordable Health Care Act going into place next year,  will allow them to get subsidized coverage.

Answer to the question: It appears not.