Your Sunday editorial concerning the dues voted on to join ALEC and your assumption that any legislator would rubber stamp and find approval for a piece of legislation stemming from one or two meetings with other American legislators is disconcerting.
South Dakota's Legislature pays $889.60 per year per legislator plus approved travel to the Council of State Governments and $1,132.16 per year plus travel to National Conference of State Legislatures, while ALEC costs $50 per year. Hammer away on why we are members in any, but please don't get partisan over an organization that isn't liberal or conservative enough to join. Especially when we look at what it costs us to be members compared to the other two, which may be considered liberal by some Republicans.
On the topic of travel, we all need to get approval from the Executive Board chair before attending. An in-depth study of tax dollars paid for travel to where for what in the last 10 years would be an interesting story. Though I remember Bob Mercer having something on that a while ago.
Trust me, I get the concern anyone may have on spending tax dollars sending legislators around the country meeting other legislators from poorly run states which may be running huge deficits. But forging those relationships just may be making sure we don't mimic them with similar bad legislation passed here in South Dakota.
Rep. Charlie Hoffman
District 23 Representative