2018 session

Voter May Decide On Constitutional Amendment Change

21 hours ago
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

A Senate committee is advancing a bill that increases the percentage vote needed to change the state’s constitution.

Critics say the increase makes it harder for South Dakotans to change their constitution.

Proponents say it protects the constitution from out of state interests.

If passed through the house and senate and signed by the governor, Senate Joint Resolution will ask voters to increase the required voting threshold for a constitutional change to 55 percent.

The resolution came out of a summer study committee that met over the summer.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Any official or commercial replica of the state seal must include the state motto, “Under God The People Rule.”

That’s what a bill that’s headed to the state House floor sets in place.

One lawmaker brought the legislation when she noticed some inconsistencies on an embroidered shirt for legislators.

House Bill 1102 requires consistent representation of the state seal for any official and commercial purposes.

Representative Sue Peterson brought the bill. She says when she ordered an official legislator shirt something was missing -- the state motto.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

The House Judiciary committee is passing along what supporters call clean-up language in state statute as it relates to trust companies in South Dakota.

House Bills 1028 and 1072 came from the annual Governor’s Task Force on Trust Administration Review and Reform. That task force first formed under the second Janklow administration.

Bret Afdahl is the director of the South Dakota Division of Banking. He says one of the bills fixes an oversight that requires certain trust companies have sufficient protection to back up their assets.

House Passes Bill To Extend LRC Comment Period

Jan 16, 2018
Jenifer Jones / SDPB

The South Dakota House of Representatives is passing a bill that gives the Legislative Research Council more time to draft and provide written comments for ballot measure petitions.

The idea for the bill came out of a legislative summer study committee that looked at the initiative and referendum process.

Critics worry the bill impedes the public’s ability to pass its own legislation.

The Legislative Research Council provides analysis of state statutes, fiscal impacts and further research for the legislature, but also helps with drafting petitions for circulation.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB


The House State Affairs committee is passing a bill that seeks to clear up any confusion surrounding ballot measure questions.

One critic of the bill says the change creates a system where a yes vote means no -- and vice versa -- for one particular ballot question.

Referred laws can be confusing.

In essence, the constitutional provision allows the citizens of South Dakota to put a recently passed state law on pause, and overturn the legislature and governor’s vote.

Officials Expect A Lot Of Bills This Session

Jan 11, 2018
Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

Officials expect a busy 2018 legislative session.

The Legislative Research Council is seeing a significant increase in requests for measures this year.

As lawmakers and committees are getting settled in during the first week of session, their bill requests themselves flood in as well.

Legislative Research Council Director Jason Hancock says his office is working through a tremendous number of bill draft requests.

Interfaith Day At State Capitol Causes Stir In Rotunda

Jan 10, 2018
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Religious leaders across the state are showcasing various faiths that exist in South Dakota.

The first ever Interfaith Day was held in the capitol rotunda on the second legislative day in 2018.

One lawmaker calls it a political move.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Lee Strubinger reports. 

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley is announcing his legislative agenda for the upcoming session.

Most of his proposed legislation include increasing penalties for making and distributing meth in South Dakota.

He says the meth epidemic is getting worse. Jackley says its impacting communities, families, the workforce and healthcare system in South Dakota.