SDDP Statement on Rounds Refusal to Back Criminal Justice Reform

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Last night, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass the First Step Act, a bipartisan bill to reform the criminal justice system. One of the few votes against the legislation was cast by Sen. Mike Rounds. South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Sam Parkinson released the following statement in response:

“While there is still a long way to go to make our criminal justice system as fair and as just as it should be, this bipartisan bill made important and necessary reforms to some of the worst injustices in our sentencing laws and prison system. It is very disappointing that rather than join the vast majority of his colleagues of both parties – including Sen. John Thune – in supporting this important legislation, Sen. Rounds instead joined with some of the most extreme voices in the Senate to vote against it. The fact that Sen. Rounds cannot bring himself to vote for a bill that has the support of so many of his colleagues of both parties, and even President Trump, shows that he is either seriously out of touch with the needs of the people of South Dakota, or more concerned with shoring up the support of the far-right wing of his party than getting things done for the people he represents.”