September 28, 2020 •

South Dakota Governor Calls Special Session of Legislature

South Dakota Capitol Building

South Dakota Capitol Building

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced she is calling a special legislative session on Monday, October 5, 2020. The main purpose of this session is to consider legislation related to the use of federal stimulus relief funds, including the $1.25 […]

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced she is calling a special legislative session on Monday, October 5, 2020.

The main purpose of this session is to consider legislation related to the use of federal stimulus relief funds, including the $1.25 billion allocated to South Dakota in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF).

Unless an extension is granted, South Dakota has until December 30, 2020 to spend all CRF dollars.

The administration has spent about $114 million of the $1.25 billion in federal funds allocated to the state.

Noem has mapped out a plan to spend the bulk of the money, including up to $400 million in small business grants.

However, some House members said lawmakers should be included in the decision.

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April 1, 2020 •

South Dakota Adjourns After Postponing Election

South Dakota Capitol Building

South Dakota Capitol Building

The Legislature adjourned on March 30 after holding its first electronic voting day for the last scheduled day of the 2020 session. The electronic voting day considered bills vetoed by Gov. Kristi Noem and several new bills related to the […]

The Legislature adjourned on March 30 after holding its first electronic voting day for the last scheduled day of the 2020 session.

The electronic voting day considered bills vetoed by Gov. Kristi Noem and several new bills related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Legislature passed 9 of the 11 bills Noem requested to aid the state in battling the COVID-19 virus.

An approved bill includes the one that postponed elections.

House Bill 1298 postpones any election scheduled to be held from April 14 through May 26.

The bill requires the governing body of the political subdivision holding the election to choose any Tuesday in June as the alternate election date.

It also requires the absentee voting period to extend through 5:00 p.m. local time the day before the new election date.

A special session is tentatively planned for June to address lingering budget concerns caused by the pandemic.

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March 30, 2020 •

South Dakota Considering Postponing Elections

South Dakota Capitol Building

South Dakota Capitol Building

Due to growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, state lawmakers will consider a bill to postpone upcoming municipal elections at least until June. Additionally, lawmakers will consider allowing Gov. Kristi Noem to delay the presidential primary from June 2 to […]

Due to growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, state lawmakers will consider a bill to postpone upcoming municipal elections at least until June.

Additionally, lawmakers will consider allowing Gov. Kristi Noem to delay the presidential primary from June 2 to July 28.

The elections bill is one of at least nine last-minute bills related to COVID-19 to be considered on the last working day of the 2020 legislative session.

Lawmakers are expected to discuss and vote on bills remotely without gathering in Pierre.

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September 4, 2019 •

South Dakota State Senator Resigns

Sen. Justin Cronin, and Rep. John Lake - via the Daily Republic

State Senator Justin Cronin resigned from his District 23 seat on Wednesday. Gov. Kristi Noem has appointed Rep. John Lake to fill the state Senate vacancy and is seeking public input on filling the resulting state House vacancy. Those seeking […]

State Senator Justin Cronin resigned from his District 23 seat on Wednesday.

Gov. Kristi Noem has appointed Rep. John Lake to fill the state Senate vacancy and is seeking public input on filling the resulting state House vacancy.

Those seeking consideration must submit their information by September 10.

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May 10, 2019 •

Federal Judge Rules South Dakota Initiated Measure 24 Unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann struck down a ban on out-of-state contributions to ballot question committees recently passed by voters. Kornmann found Initiated Measure 24 unconstitutional because it violates First Amendment rights to engage in political speech. Additionally, Kornmann said […]

U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann struck down a ban on out-of-state contributions to ballot question committees recently passed by voters.

Kornmann found Initiated Measure 24 unconstitutional because it violates First Amendment rights to engage in political speech.

Additionally, Kornmann said the measure violates the Commerce Clause by interfering with the free flow of money between persons from another state and South Dakota committees.

The ruling is a permanent injunction that stops the planned implementation on July 1.

The state must now determine if it will appeal the decision to the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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March 29, 2019 •

South Dakota Governor Signs Campaign Finance Bills

Gov. Kristi Noem recently signed several campaign finance bills into law. House Bill 1189 provides any person who is subject to a Class 2 misdemeanor for campaign finance violations up to seven days to cure the violations prior to having […]

Gov. Kristi Noem recently signed several campaign finance bills into law.

House Bill 1189 provides any person who is subject to a Class 2 misdemeanor for campaign finance violations up to seven days to cure the violations prior to having a charge brought against him or her.

House Bill 1092 clarifies reporting requirements for candidates.

House Bill 1143 states all political action committees established, financed, maintained, or controlled by the same person or entity are affiliated and share a single contribution limit both with respect to contributions made and contributions received.

Senate Bill 114 requires any contribution from a person who is an unemancipated minor to be deducted from the total contribution permitted by the unemancipated minor’s custodial parent or parents.

The bills become effective July 1.

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March 1, 2019 •

South Dakota Legislators Vote to Restrict Contributions from Minors

On February 28, the South Dakota House of Representatives voted to restrict campaign contributions from minors. Senate Bill 114, which passed the state Senate unanimously, requires contributions from unemancipated minors to go towards the contribution limit of their parents. This […]

On February 28, the South Dakota House of Representatives voted to restrict campaign contributions from minors.

Senate Bill 114, which passed the state Senate unanimously, requires contributions from unemancipated minors to go towards the contribution limit of their parents.

This loophole gained attention during Sioux Falls’s last mayoral election, when a local business owner and each of his five children, ages six to 15, gave the maximum $1,000 to Paul TenHaken’s campaign.

The bill is headed for Gov. Kristi Noem’s desk for consideration.

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November 7, 2018 •

Noem to Become South Dakota’s Next Governor

South Dakotans elected Republican Kristi Noem as their governor over Democrat Billie Sutton and Libertarian Kurt Evans. With all precincts reporting, Noem won with 51 percent of the vote to Sutton’s 47 percent and Evan’s 1 percent. Kristi Noem has […]

South Dakotans elected Republican Kristi Noem as their governor over Democrat Billie Sutton and Libertarian Kurt Evans.

With all precincts reporting, Noem won with 51 percent of the vote to Sutton’s 47 percent and Evan’s 1 percent.

Kristi Noem has been a member of South Dakota’s House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011.

A native South Dakotan, she has helped run her family’s ranch in Hamlin County.

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October 23, 2018 •

Ballot Issue Analysis Allowed by Court

The Institute for Free Speech (IFS) will be allowed to distribute analysis of Measure 24 and Constitutional Amendment W without risk of violating the South Dakota law concerning independent expenditures in a political campaign. IFS challenged the law in federal […]

The Institute for Free Speech (IFS) will be allowed to distribute analysis of Measure 24 and Constitutional Amendment W without risk of violating the South Dakota law concerning independent expenditures in a political campaign.

IFS challenged the law in federal court and while the judge did not rule the law unconstitutional, he did grant a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from prosecuting IFS.

The analysis is to be distributed electronically and does not urge passage or defeat of the measures.

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October 12, 2018 •

National Group Files Lawsuit Regarding Two South Dakota Ballot Issues

The Institute for Free Speech is challenging the constitutionality of a South Dakota law restricting the organization’s right to publicize views of ballot measures without extensive reporting and disclaimer requirements. The organization is asking for permission from a federal judge […]

The Institute for Free Speech is challenging the constitutionality of a South Dakota law restricting the organization’s right to publicize views of ballot measures without extensive reporting and disclaimer requirements.

The organization is asking for permission from a federal judge to distribute an analysis of Initiated Measure 24 and Constitutional Amendment W, claiming that the measures will impact citizens’ First Amendment rights.

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October 2, 2018 •

South Dakotans to Vote on Ethics this November

South Dakotans will have multiple ethics-related ballot measures to vote on this November. Constitutional Amendment W, also known as the South Dakota Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment, would create an independent ethics commission, decrease limits on campaign donations, bar gifts […]

South Dakotans will have multiple ethics-related ballot measures to vote on this November.

Constitutional Amendment W, also known as the South Dakota Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment, would create an independent ethics commission, decrease limits on campaign donations, bar gifts from lobbyists to many public officials, and prevent the Legislature from altering or rejecting laws approved by ballot question without returning to the ballot.

More than 51 percent of voters supported a similar initiative in November 2016, but lawmakers repealed it in early 2017, citing constitutional concerns.

Also on the November ballot, Initiated Measure 24, would prohibit contributions to ballot question committees by non-residents, out-of-state political committees, and entities who have not filed with the secretary of state for the four years prior to making a contribution.

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September 18, 2018 •

South Dakota Holds Special Session

The South Dakota Legislature held a one-day special session on September 12 addressing online sales tax measures. The initial law to collect sales tax from online retailers was passed in 2016, but it was challenged and taken all the way […]

The South Dakota Legislature held a one-day special session on September 12 addressing online sales tax measures.

The initial law to collect sales tax from online retailers was passed in 2016, but it was challenged and taken all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This special session was to set an effective date for the law to go into effect.

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August 8, 2018 •

Special Session Called for South Dakota

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has called a special session for September 12. The session will address legislation allowing the state to enforce remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax. In addition to calling the session, Daugaard will be appointing three […]

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has called a special session for September 12.

The session will address legislation allowing the state to enforce remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax.

In addition to calling the session, Daugaard will be appointing three people to fill vacancies in the Legislature to ensure the districts are fully represented during the special session.

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March 27, 2018 •

South Dakota Legislature Adjourns 2018 Session

The South Dakota Legislature adjourned its 2018 session on March 26. During the 40-day session, lawmakers passed a $4.7 billion budget increasing funding to education, Medicaid providers, and state employees. Additionally, several measures adding new rules for citizens’ initiative campaigns […]

The South Dakota Legislature adjourned its 2018 session on March 26.

During the 40-day session, lawmakers passed a $4.7 billion budget increasing funding to education, Medicaid providers, and state employees.

Additionally, several measures adding new rules for citizens’ initiative campaigns were passed.

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