Representative Jacqueline Sly

Representative Jacqueline Sly

Get to Know the 24%: Representative Jacqueline Sly 

The Economic Stability and Opportunities (ESO) policy initiative is dedicated to providing legislators with the resources that support financial stability for low-and moderate-income working families, individuals, and youth. Started in 2003, the ESO Policy Resource Center focuses on the policies that seek to help individuals overcome the economic, social, and policy barriers to achieving financial stability. The ESO Advisory Council was formed in 2013 in an effort to link the ESO work of state legislators with resources provided by Women In Government and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Council is made up of ESO legislative champions from across the country and political spectrum.

In an effort to highlight the work of our ESO Advisory Council, we are proud to feature Council member Representative Jacqueline Sly in our Get to Know the 24% series! 

Representative Jacqueline Sly (District 33) assumed office in 2009, serving the South Dakota House of Representatives. An ESO champion, Jacqueline Sly has been active in promoting workforce development in her state.  A member of the Advisory Council when it began, Representative Sly continues to serve as a strong ESO advocate in her state.

1.       What are the most pressing ESO issues in your state that you would like to address?

Currently I am working with the Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice reforms in South Dakota. The focus is on keeping non-violent offenders in the community rather than in prison with an increased commitment to community resources. This affects families and their ability to be together, have a job, spend time with their children, and contribute to society while addressing alcohol, drug, and/or mental health situations. It also provides support for veterans and Native Americans.

2.      What activities are you interested in doing to address these ESO issues? Would you be willing to host a town hall meeting, a roundtable on ESO issues, and a social media campaign, write an op-ed, etc.?

Part of my current involvement is through the Oversight Council that the state has to review the implementation of the adult reform called Public Safety Improvement Act. The Juvenile initiative is just getting started. Already I have met with stakeholders involved with juveniles regarding implementation and concerns with the transition and will continue to do so.

3.      Do you have any other general legislative goals for this session?  

  • In this year's session I was the House prime sponsor of an oral parity bill for cancer treatment.
  • I also was the House prime on a raw milk bill that came out of a workgroup effort after years of conflict with raw milk producers/consumers and the Department of Agriculture. All were on the same page!  
  • During the 2015 session I worked with the Joe Foss Institute and Chiesman Foundation regarding Civics Education. As a nation there is a renewed emphasis on civics. Instead of having a bill mandating students pass the same Citizenship test that is required for someone desiring to become a U.S. citizen, our state went with a resolution and will work towards civics engagement of the people. Just having head knowledge of facts is not enough. There has to be modeling by adults outside of the school walls for children to understand what it means to be an informed and engaged citizen.
  • SD has a Blue Ribbon Taskforce on K-12 Education Funding. I am co-chair of the taskforce. We will begin meeting with stakeholders in April. The taskforce will continue through the late fall and bring a package to the 2016 Legislative Session.

We would like to thank Representative Sly for taking the time to tell us about her legislative goals for 2015. We enjoyed learning more about her work to address financial stability and create more opportunities for all. We also enjoyed learning more about her general legislative goals for this session. For more information about the work that Representative Sly is doing, please visit her legislative website, here

Please visit our Economic Stability and Opportunities Policy Resource Center for more information about the Advisory Council.

About the Author 

Morgan Stewart joined Women In Government as a Graduate Policy Fellow for the Economic Stability and Opportunities Resource Center in June 2014. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Politics from George Mason University and recently completed a Master of Public Policy with an emphasis in Social Policy from the George Mason School of Public Policy. Before joining Women In Government, Morgan completed a policy internship at Child Care Aware ® of America and worked as a legislative intern for Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova. 

About Future WIG

In Government supports women of all ages in leadership roles, and is working hard to ensure that young women are given the resources and mentorship they need in order to achieve their goals. This program takes place at WIG Regional conferences, where WIG asks women state legislators and leaders in the private sector to encourage young women across the country to pursue leadership roles. This program is made possible by Southwest Airlines.