South Dakota is truly a wonderful place to live, but it is not the easiest place to make a living. Rural states like ours must continuously work hard to grow and prosper in an ever-changing economic environment. One of my highest priorities in the United States Senate is to promote growth and prosperity in our state so that our young people can continue to look forward to an ever-rising standard of living.
True economic development can only be achieved through a collaboration between the public and private sector. Manufacturers can only get their goods to market if our transportation infrastructure is sound. Businesses can only hire qualified workers if our school systems produce well educated children. And financing for private enterprises can only be secured if the financial sector is stable and subject to effective oversight. Through my seats on the Banking Committee, Appropriations Committee, and otherwise, I have a unique capacity to support economic development activities in South Dakota. Because every community has unique opportunities and unique challenges, little can be accomplished without significant leadership at the local and state levels. Working together with these leaders, I can assist in developing creative federal partnerships to help communities achieve their goals.
Over the years I have been able to deliver significant federal assistance for key projects around the state, like $10 million to fund a deep underground science lab at the Homestake mine in Lead, and millions for roads, water projects, business incubators, law enforcement equipment, and other priorities around the state.
Through the legislative process, I have been able to shape federal policy in ways that benefit South Dakota, like creating incentives that are boosting the ethanol industry, benefiting farmers, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
As an advocate for South Dakota, I am in a position to defend our interests in relations with federal agencies, like when we pulled together to save Ellsworth Air Force Base and prevented the loss of thousands of jobs.