Positions on Issues

What will you do to support a vibrant economy throughout our state?

To have a vibrant economy, I am passionate about finding ways to connect businesses with prospective employees. In particular, I believe it is essential to provide meaningful skills to the youth who are our up-and-coming workforce.

Like many hard-working South Dakotans, I had formative experiences that shaped my work ethic from my first jobs in high school. Now, it seems to be harder and harder for youth to get their foot in the door and more high school students are graduating without experience, leaving them ill-prepared.

My goal would be to find better ways to get our youth to work, strengthening our workforce, supporting businesses, and developing the next generation of South Dakotans to be their best.

What should our state government do to provide an equitable, quality public education for all children?

As a mom, running a busy household, and as the director of an organization employing over 50 people, I know how important it is to keep a balanced budget. This is a foundational aspect of any financially strong household, business, government and very important for our public school districts. I had a wonderful experience in our Rapid City Public School District, and I want the same educational opportunity for my children.
As a Representative, I would be a good steward of your taxpayer dollars that are used towards education by applying the same principals I use in nonprofit leadership to look for cost saving measures, support programs with proven outcomes, and uphold a standard to maintain high quality education for all South Dakota children.

With the current low unemployment rate, what do you propose to attract and retain workers to our state?

As a business leader, I’m proud to know that South Dakota is #1 in business. Like many of you, I know through my day-to-day work how important it is to keep the cost of starting and running a business affordable. I also know the daily concern of hiring staff in a market that is very competitive due to low unemployment.

As a Representative, I would be a champion to keep us #1 in business with our ease of filing forms, low cost, and accessibility so that government isn’t a burden on business. To support businesses and build a vibrant economy, we need to help businesses connect with the up-and-coming workforce, and I would support the Department of Labor’s partnership with schools and their efforts to give youth meaningful job skills and job placements to continue to add to our workforce.

Knowing the second amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms, are there any limitations that you would support?

Maintaining the right to bear arms is very important. My family has a long tradition of hunting, appreciating the great outdoors of South Dakota, and I would like to ensure that we continue this tradition without restrictions.

As a hunter, I have taken a hunter safety course, and I believe this kind of gun education is very important for gun owners and non-gun owners alike. I would like to see more people educated about gun ownership and use.

How do you view the initiative and referendum process in South Dakota? Are there any changes to this system that you would support?

The initiative and referendum process is an important part of allowing citizens to have a voice in government. Just as I want to encourage people to vote, I want to encourage people to be engaged in the political process. There should be an emphasis on clarity, accuracy and ensuring that citizens have an easy and effective way to be informed about issues they vote on.

Above are Jess’s responses to the VOTE411.org Voter Guide.

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