Page 1




ELEVATE RAPID CITY Elevate Rapid City was established in 2019, merging the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development and Ascent Innovation to lead the economic development and small business efforts in the Black Hills region. Elevate works to advance the Rapid City region for all with a strong vision of making Rapid City and the Black Hills the place people want to be. Elevate is committed to promoting and advocating for business and personal advancement in western South Dakota through a targeted spotlight on jobs, infrastructure, and overall quality of life in and around the Black Hills region and Rapid City metro area. Together, we strive to embrace the heart and soul of our community through diversified and inclusive growth and strong professional opportunities advocating the strengths of the Black Hills.

ELEVATE LEADERSHIP Darren Haar, Complete Property Solutions (Chair) Paulette Davidson, Monument Health (Vice Chair) Tom Weaver, First Interstate Bank (Treasurer/Secretary) Tom Johnson, Elevate Rapid City (President, Non-Voting)


5 Year Goals In January 2018, goals were set for Elevate Rapid City. Here is where we currently stand.

CREATE 4,000 JOBS BY 2023





100% $


AS OF OCT 1, 2020


66% $


AS OF OCT 1, 2020

ABOUT ELEVATE PUBLIC POLICY Elevate’s public policy work is rooted in our commitment to business advocacy and quality growth for our region. We believe that devoting time and resources into a place within political and government processes is an investment made on behalf of the regional community to influence substantial impact. To ensure transparency and a wide scope of priorities, Elevate relies heavily on the Public Policy Committee (PPC) to advise ANNA HAYS on significant Public Policy Director and Lobbyist issues. This anna.hays@elevaterapidcity.com 605.939.1880 includes state legislative topics, ballot initiatives, city and county proposals, and hot-button community issues that impact economic development and the livelihood of Black Hills businesses. Comprised of members of our community who are committed to both preserving and improving our business climate, the PPC represents policy experts from an array of regional industries.

Members of the 2021 PPC Dean Aurand, Mid Continent Testing Labs, Inc Andy Bartling, Modern Woodmen Financial Scott Engmann, Habitat for Humanity Kitty Kinsman, The K Group Debra Niemi, Black Hills Federal Credit Union Jeff Partridge, Partridge Financial Robert Raker, West River Electric Haven Stuck, Lynn, Jackson, Schultz & LeBrun Rob Timm, US Census Linda Lea Viken, Viken Law Firm John Way, Bank West, Chairman Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson and Ashmore

Together with the PPC, Elevate strives to impact all levels of government to advance sound public policy and promote a stable environment for our business community to flourish.

2021 Public Policy Guide 3




Economic Development Elevate Rapid City supports results-oriented programs that attract industry development and growth, create a skilled workforce, and promote cooperative city, county, state, and private efforts to promote local business growth and expansion and attract businesses to the Black Hills area. • Elevate Rapid City supports the responsible use of diverse economic development tools to increase the competitiveness of the Black Hills area. Such tools should be flexible in order to address the unique needs of South Dakota communities.

Agriculture Elevate Rapid City recognizes the significant economic impact of a strong agricultural industry and advocates for equitable policies that support the sustainability and growth of agricultural producers and businesses that support agricultural producers. • Elevate Rapid City supports a statewide effort to address local meat processing capacity.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Elevate Rapid City supports the development of policies that encourage and facilitate the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation within the growing sectors of science and technology. We support policies that address commercialization, research activity, funding, and collaboration among the private and public sectors to further develop the state’s value chain from concept to market. Workforce Development Elevate Rapid City supports workforce development programs that both enhance and retain the current workforce and attract new talent. Affordable Housing Elevate Rapid City supports innovative efforts and partnerships geared toward the development of affordable home ownership and rental opportunities for our growing workforce. Infrastructure South Dakota faces growing demands on its existing infrastructure and for expanded infrastructure. Programs assisting in the construction, planning, and updating of all types of infrastructure, for things such as transportation, water, sewer, and other systems, are needed. Support through proper use of funding and tax policy is desirable.


Military Elevate Rapid City supports the continued viability and growth of the military installations in our region as an effective deterrent to global conflict. We support military men and women and advocate for policy that honors their commitment to our country. • Elevate Rapid City supports the cooperative initiatives of local, state, and federal leaders to ensure that Ellsworth Air Force Base is retained as a viable component of our nation’s military capabilities. • Elevate Rapid City supports local, state, and federal efforts to prepare our region for the B-21 beddown at Ellsworth Air Force Base as Main Operating Base 1. Natural Resources Elevate Rapid City supports responsible and proactive management and stewardship of our natural resources to sustain long-term health and resiliency. The natural resources of the Black Hills are one of our region’s greatest economic assets supporting thriving industries, global tourism, and enhancing quality of life for our community. • Elevate Rapid City supports the proactive planning, funding, and implementation of comprehensive forest management activities that reduce wildfire hazards and the risk of another mountain pine beetle epidemic in the Black Hills. Tourism • Elevate Rapid City recognizes the significant economic impact tourism has to our area and advocates for legislation that enhances and grows the hospitality industry.

KEY POLICY AREAS Education Elevate Rapid City supports education as a vital component of a strong local economy. Collaborative partnerships among educational institutions, businesses, and other employers are necessary to prepare students to enter the workforce and compete in a global economy. Energy Elevate Rapid City supports secure, reliable, and affordable energy development and distribution. We support a regulatory environment that promotes the production and development of sustainable, costeffective energy. Equality Elevate Rapid City encourages policies that promote a diverse and inclusive workforce. Government Elevate Rapid City supports responsible, efficient, and effective government and public institutions that operate in a transparent, accountable, and fiscally responsible manner. Healthcare Elevate Rapid City supports policies that enable employers to hire and retain a healthy and productive workforce. A strong local economy requires high quality and affordable health coverage for employees and their families.

STAY IN-THE-KNOW GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS CONNECTION THE GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS CONNECTION Elevate wants to empower our workforce and business community to find their voice in advocating for issues that impact their business. Throughout the months of January, February, and March, Elevate has a full-time presence in Pierre for the Legislative Session advocating on your behalf. To stay plugged in on what’s happening at the Legislature, sign up for our weekly newsletter the Government Affairs Connection: https://bit.ly/ERCgac

Regulation and Taxation Elevate Rapid City supports a regulatory and tax environment that attracts business development and growth. A business-friendly environment is vital to grow commerce throughout the state. Elevate Rapid City recognizes the need to generate revenue to support basic government needs. We support responsible tax policy that generates funds necessary to support essential government services.

2021 Public Policy Guide 5


RAPID CITY LEGISLATIVE CRACKERBARRELS Crackerbarrels provide the opportunity for Elevate investors and the larger community to hear directly from Rapid City area legislators and ask questions concerning 2021’s legislative issues. Elevate Rapid City will continue the tradition of hosting several Legislative Crackerbarrels during the South Dakota Legislature’s annual session (January through March). We continue to prioritize our community’s health and safety as we monitor the impact of COVID-19. Be sure to visit elevaterapidcity.com for the latest information and dates of this year’s Crackerbarrels.

Members of the public are welcome to attend this two-hour event that allow Elevate investors and the community to hear directly from Rapid City area legislators. Bring your questions about legislative bills or issues to submit to a panel of Representatives and Senators from Districts 30, 32, 33, 34, and 35. Don’t have a question? Consider attending the event or catching the live stream to catch the discussion about key topics for this year. Elevate encourages you to join us as an informed community following the issues that affect our region at the historic Rapid City Area Crackerbarrels.


Any alteration made or proposed in a bill, motion, or clause thereof by adding, changing, substituting, or omitting.


Money set apart by formal action for a specific use.


A proposed law introduced during a session for consideration by the Legislature.


House and Senate members of the same political party or faction meet as a “caucus” to elect leadership and discuss political priorities.


Subunits formed in each of the houses which take public testimony and vote on bills usually on related subjects.



Schedule of bills on which there is general agreement that opposition is not anticipated.


A citizen residing within the district of a legislator.


A procedure occasionally used in the Legislature whereby a committee or a member from the floor will move to strike everything after the enacting clause of a bill and insert the substance of an entirely new bill.

LAY ON THE TABLE – “tabled”

To postpone a matter before the Legislature; may later be brought up for consideration by motion from the floor.


An individual engaged to present and promote the views of a group, organization, or industry on measures under consideration by legislators.


A temporary pause in the proceedings.


Invoking of Joint Rule 7-7 whereby one-third of the members of a house can require a committee to deliver a bill to the full body by the next legislative day.


Formal disapproval of a measure by the Governor.

96th LEGISLATIVE SESSION: KEY DATES Tuesday, January 12 Session begins, Governor Noem’s State of the State Thursday, February 25 Crossover day, the last day for a bill to pass out of the chamber in which it was introduced and move forward for consideration in the opposite chamber Monday, March 8 Last day for a bill or joint resolution to pass both houses Thursday, March 11 Legislative session ends Monday, March 29 Veto day, the day reserved for consideration of possible gubernatorial vetoes

LEGISLATIVE SCORECARD PROCESS Elevate Rapid City will release a 2021 Legislative Scorecard following this year’s Session. This pro-business tracking document serves the valuable purpose of an accountability tool to help our business community understand the positions of our local legislators. Determined by Elevate’s Public Policy Committee, we look forward to supporting a probusiness platform that bolsters the success of our local industries, employers, and employees. As Elevate continues to advocate for more opportunities that provide direct benefit to our regional economic environment, we want to celebrate the political leaders who help make it happen. Equally as important, Elevate commits to protect our business owners from policies that may hinder future success, growth, and opportunity. Want to ensure a bill or issue that is on your radar makes it to the PPC for review? Visit our online public policy form to share your thoughts. Elevate’s Public Policy Director will reach out to have a conversation about the topics you care about most.

2021 Public Policy Guide 7

elevaterapidcity.com 8

Profile for Elevate Rapid City

2021 Public Policy Guide