Former Governor Rounds Visits Wagner Government Class

Posted 2.18.14

From the Wagner Post:

"Washington D.C. is broken, America is not," former Governor Mike Rounds said Thursday, February 13, while he was visiting Wagner.

Rounds is on a current campaign for a seat in the U.S. Senate. He decided to stop in Wagner because he said he hadn't been here in awhile, wanted to say hello to the tribal chairman, and greet the businesses on Main Street. He attended a Rotary meeting and visited the Wagner Good Samaritan Home. He also got a chance to stop in at Wagner Community School and speak to the government class. "Talking to students is one of the best parts," of campaigning, according to Rounds.

The students interacted with the governor through a list of prepared questions.

They asked what one thing Rounds wished he had been able to accomplish while he was governor. Rounds replied, "I would have liked to have seen everyone of our soldiers home…I didn't have much control over it," but he still would have liked to see that done while in office.

What was Rounds most proud of accomplishing while in office? The ten new research facilities and multiple new PhD programs that were initiated in South Dakota. He regretted that he wasn't in office to see the final PhD program for physics put in place, but was glad to be a part of getting that ball rolling.

He told the students that his biggest challenge as governor was keeping young people in South Dakota. He felt that was mostly because of a lack of positions in the fields of educational research and science. He reiterated that building the new research facilities helped that situation.

They also asked about marijuana legalization and drug testing for those receiving welfare. Rounds responded, "I do not want to see marijuana legalized. I think it is a Pandora's box." About welfare he said, "I don't think we need to require drug testing for an 85 year old in a nursing home." He did feel, though, that a younger person of working age might require different qualifications, such as drug testing, before receiving aid.

Rounds also touched on the process through which Congress currently deals with laws and their enforcement. He would like to see more responsibility taken by Congress, for those laws, after they've passed. He wants to "slow things down," particularly, "the bureaucracy."

Rounds closed his time with the students saying, "That's what this is all about, building economy."

Rounds referred to his time in Wagner as "fun." He was excited to share with residents that he believes "we can fix Washington. It comes down to Congress taking responsibility."