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Constituent Work Week

March 25, 2011

This past week, the Senate was in what is commonly referred to as a "constituent work week." Work weeks provide an opportunity for members to travel across their home states more extensively to meet with constituents and attend community events.

I make it back to my home in Sioux Falls nearly every weekend when Congress is in session; however, I appreciate the opportunity to spend more time in South Dakota during the constituent work weeks to meet with and listen to folks across the state.

This time around, I was able to conduct meetings and attend events in Aberdeen, Rapid City, Sturgis, Spearfish, Sioux Falls, and stop at several towns in between.

In Aberdeen, I met with state, local, and federal officials to receive a briefing on flood preparedness. While the situation is tenuous and rapidly changing, the officials who briefed me were informed and well-prepared, considering the current conditions.

Following my meetings, I was able to attend the championship game of the class "B" boys' state basketball tournament. I always appreciate a chance to enjoy the hard-fought competition of the tournaments. These talented young people spend countless hours throughout the season preparing for a chance to participate in a state championship game. Win or lose, those hours pay off in a big way for their development and character.

In Sioux Falls, I was able to speak with school children about my role and responsibilities as one of their elected officials. It is important that these young constituents-and future leaders-get a chance early on to learn about civic involvement and public service. I appreciate their interest and it is always my pleasure to answer their questions. Later that day, I was also able to meet with farm group representatives to discuss the Farm Bill, preventative planting, and ethanol.

The week was rounded out by several productive economic meetings in the Black Hills area. Local elected officials and business leaders throughout the state understand our immediate need to rein in federal government spending and curb our ever-growing federal debt. Our discussions were productive and I look forward to taking their concerns back with me to the nation's Capitol.