Three new members join four committee veterans to deal with education issues on the committee level in the Senate this session.
Sen. Alan Solano takes the reigns as Chair of the seven-member Senate Education committee, which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and Thursday at 7:45 a.m.
Let’s meet the committee members:
Sen. Alan Solano (District 32) begins his sixth year in the legislature, all of which he has served on the education committee, including four years as Vice Chair of Senate Ed. Sen. Solano, who is currently the CEO of Behavior Management Systems, Inc. in Rapid City, served on Access to Mental Health Services legislative interim study this year. He will also serve on the Senate Health & Human Services and Transportation committees.
Sen. Blake Curd (District 12) starts his sixth year in the Senate as Vice Chair of the Senate Education committee. Sen. Curd, an orthopedic surgeon from Sioux Falls, previously served on the Senate Ed. committee in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and served has Senate Majority Leader in 2017 and 2018. He will also serve on the Commerce & Energy committee.
Sen. Jim Bolin (District 16) enters his eleventh year in the legislature with 2019 being his third in the Senate. A retired teacher from Canton, Sen. Bolin chaired Senate Ed. in 2017 and 2018 and served two years on House Education during his tenure in that chamber. He was a member of the 2018 legislative interim committee charged with studying the Extraordinary Cost Fund and during the 2015 interim served on the SDHSAA committee. Sen Bolin is Senate’s Assistant Majority Leader and will serve on the Legislative Procedure, Retirement Laws and State Affairs committees.
Sen. Troy Heinert (District 26) goes into his fifth year in the Senate in 2019 and seventh in the legislature overall, after two years in the House in 2013 and 2014. Sen. Heinert, the Minority Leader, served on the education committee in 2017 and 2018 and also sat on the Blue Ribbon Task Force. A rancher from Mission, Sen. Heinert will be a member of the Ag and Natural Resources and State Affairs committees, as well.
Sen. Phil Jensen (District 33) makes 2019 his eleventh year in the legislature and seventh in the Senate. The small business owner from Rapid City has sat on the Senate’s education committee in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018. Sen. Jensen will serve as Chair of the Local Government committee and as a member of the Health and Human Services committee.
Sen. V.J. Smith (District 7) is new to the legislature as the 94th legislative session begins. Sen. Smith is an author – The Richest Man in Town – and public speaker and spent 10 years as Executive Director of the South Dakota State University Alumni Association. He will also serve as Vice Chair of Senate Taxation and as a member of the Retirement Laws committee.
Sen. Wayne Steinhauer (District 9) sees 2019 as his inaugural year in the Senate and fourth in the legislature overall. A business owner from Hartford, Sen. Steinhauer will be serving his first year on an education committee after three years in the House Representatives where he sat on four different committees. In addition to Senate Education, he will also serve as Vice Chair of the Health and Human Services committee and a member of the Local Government committee.