Political news

On the January 28th, 2016 Statehouse Podcast you’ll find stories on legislation dealing with:  bicycle passing, fetal body parts, drug testing and welfare, an effort to boost tribal education, and an effort to change the appropriations process.

Bike Passing Bill Gets Flat Tire

Jan 28, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

A bill that requires bicyclists to stop and get off the road when being passed by a motorist in certain areas failed to clear its first hurdle in the state legislature.

The bill follows legislation from last year that mandates motorists give bicycles at least three feet of distance when passing on slower roads, and six feet on faster highways.   

 This year’s House Bill 1073 requires cyclists to stop and get off the bike if they are being overtaken in a no-passing zone with a narrow shoulder. 

The statehouse podcast for January 27th, 2015 includes stories on transgender bathrooms in schools, Mandatory Immunizations for school kids, and daylight savings time, and immunity for calling 911 to report an emergency while on drugs. 

Biannual Clock Changing Remains In SD For Now

Jan 27, 2016

A measure to keep Daylight Savings Time year round in South Dakota died by a narrow vote on the State Senate floor today.

The legislation aims to end the practice of changing clocks by an hour every fall and spring, two other states don’t change their clocks.

Dakota Midday: Dakota Political Junkies

Jan 27, 2016
South Dakota Legislature Legislative Research Council

Dakota Political Junkies Denise Ross and Jonathan Ellis joined guest host Kealey Bultena Wednesday to discuss several issues from the 2016 legislative session in Pierre.  A Daylight Savings bill sponsored by Senator Betty Olson of Prairie City was approved by a Senate panel yesterday.  The bill seeks to reject Standard Time, eliminating the changing of clocks twice a year.  The Junkies also visited about HB 1008, an act to restrict access to certain restrooms and locker rooms in public schools, the advancement of a school safety requirement plan in the state senate and more.

Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for January 26th, 2016 includes stories on: a proposed change to daylight savings time, regulations for changing school district boundaries, a bill that requires lockdown practice in schools, and more.

Jenifer Jones

The Legislative Podcast for January 25th, 2016 includes stories on an effort to change the policy on transgender bathrooms and locker rooms in schools.  You can find more from opponents, and proponents who were interviewed on SDPB’s Dakota Midday.   This podcast also includes updates on legislation to mandate a meningitis vaccine for entry in school and an effort

Legislative Podcast: Ed Funding, Medicare Expansion, Welfare Drug Testing

Jan 24, 2016

The SDPB Legislative Podcast for January, 24th, 2016 includes stories on Education Funding, Medicare Expansion, Welfare Drug Testing, and an effort to limit the scope of the State Board of Geographic Names.

Katie Hunhoff - South Dakota Magazine

The Legislative Podcast for January 21, 2016  includes three stories on education issues plus a story on a proposal to change the DUI law for juveniles and an effort to end the Pac Man Tax.

Lawmakers Consider Ending Pac Man Tax

Jan 21, 2016

State Lawmakers are considering a plan to change the way arcade games in South Dakota are taxed.   

What could be called the Pac-Man Tax includes a registration system for coin operated amusement games that began in 1985.   Today some believe the system is out dated. 

If you’re in the right age bracket you know the video game Pac-Man.  

“Those of us who are older might remember Pac-Man days.  They had Pac-Man machines out and they were kind of the rage of the market,” says Bob Riter, a lobbyist for the Music and Vending Association of South Dakota .

Measure Boosts Booze Tax Revenue For Local Government

Jan 20, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

A bill before state lawmakers changes the way the alcohol tax is divided, in an attempt to cover costs of local law enforcement.

Currently the revenue generated in the Alcohol Beverage Fund is divided two ways local towns and counties get 25 percent of the fund and the state gets 75 percent.  

Senate Bill 2 changes that to divide the revenue three ways between the state, county, and town.  

Legislative Podcast: Mandatory meningitis vaccinations & booze tax split

Jan 20, 2016

Education and Medicaid expansion are the hot topics in Pierre this session…but they’re not the only bills likely to generate public interest. SDPB’s Jenifer Jones has this rundown of some of the other bills the news team is tracking this session.

The Dakota Political Junkies provide weekly insight into the political climate of South Dakota. This week, Jon Hunter (publisher, "Madison Daily Leader") and Kevin Woster (journalist, KELO-TV Rapid City Bureau) discuss grassland classification, timber sales in the Black Hills National Forest, the debate about raising teacher salaries, and whether or not transportation network companies such as Uber are really glorified hitchhiking opportunities.

Legislative Podcast: College Prep, Kickboxing Fees, Elder Abuse

Jan 19, 2016
Amy Varland

The Legislative Podcast for January 19th, 2016 includes stories on boosting college prep, an increase in kickboxing and MMA event fees, an effort to curb elder abuse, and a list of new prohibited drugs being considered by lawmakers.

Legislative Podcast: Bipartisanship Needed On The Big Issues

Jan 15, 2016

On the Legislative Podcast for January 15th, 2016 – Legislators speak on the need for bipartisanship on major issues like school funding and Medicaid expansion. 

Legislative Podcast: State of the Judiciary, Education, Ethics Reforms

Jan 13, 2016
Melissa Hamersma / SDPB

The January 13th, 2016  SDPB Legislative Podcast features stories on the State of the Judiciary, education, and ethics reforms efforts.

Governor Dennis Daugaard gave his State of the State Address to lawmakers on Tuesday.   Here is a rundown of the highlights.  

You can find the entire address archived here.

The Dakota Political Junkies discuss this week's South Dakota headlines. Denise Ross is an editor with Black Hills Knowledge Network/South Dakota Dashboard. Roger Whittle is managing editor of the Watertown Public Opinion. Today's conversation highlights the impact of President Obama's executive order to expand background checks on gun purchases.

Ross and Whittle also weigh in on the continuing Keystone XL Pipeline debate, what voters have to say on the subject of a wheel tax in Pennington County, and why Democrats are suffering in South Dakota.

Pennington County Voters Consider Wheel Tax

Jan 4, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

Voters in Pennington County head to the polls on Tuesday, January 5th to decide on a county wide wheel tax.  

The tax adds to the fees paid during vehicle registration.  Motorists would see an increase of three to five dollars per wheel depending on the weight of the vehicle.

The Dakota Political Junkies serve up some perspective on the top political headlines for 2015. Scandals in state government. Race relations Rapid City. Madison's cyber-security boom. The Junkies unpack the year and look forward to 2016 with signature intelligence, insight, and wit.

Featuring Seth Tupper ("Rapid City Journal"), Jon Hunter ("Madison Daily Leader"), and Jonathan Ellis ("Sioux Falls Argus Leader").

Rounds: Spending & Deficit Increases In Congressional Budget

Dec 17, 2015
Mike Rounds

Congress is increasing spending on defense and other items this year.   US Senator Mike Rounds says increased military spending is needed to  make up for past budget cuts.  Rounds says a deal made with Democrats to approve those military spending increases lead to spending increases in other discretionary areas of the budget.  

Kevin Woster (KELO-TV Rapid City bureau) and Dana Ferguson (Sioux Falls Argus Leader) joined Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to hash over the week's South Dakota political headlines. From the ongoing debate about Medicaid expansion, to the gender imbalance in the South Dakota state legislature, the Political Junkies clarify and illuminate the issues of the day.

Dakota Midday: Dakota Political Junkies

Dec 10, 2015

Roger Whittle, managing editor of the Watertown Public Opinion, and Denise Ross, editor with the Black Hills Knowledge Network/South Dakota Dashboard, discusses Tuesday's budget address by Governor Dennis Daugaard.  They also visited about the latest news concerning EB-5 lawsuits and the possibility that the U.S. Air Force could base some of its F-35 joint strike fighters in Sioux Falls.

South Dakota Speaker of the House Dean Wink and Democratic Senator Billie Sutton visited with guest host Cara Hetland ahead of Governor Dennis Daugaard's annual budget address to discuss legislative priorities for the 2016 session.

Mike Rounds

U.S. Senator Mike Rounds questions a call by the Obama Administration to prohibit someone on the no fly list from owning a gun in the United States.

The no fly list is maintained by federal intelligence agencies who flag those they deem a potential terrorist or threat.   President Obama says anyone on that list should not be able to walk into a gun shop and purchase a firearm.   

But Senator Mike Rounds worries this would violate the constitution.  

Guest host Cara Hetland welcomed the Dakota Political Junkies a day early this week.  Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter and Sioux Falls Argus Leader reporter/columnist Jonathan Ellis visited about the climate conference in France and whether anything will come out of it that pertains to South Dakotans, the latest refugee news in the state, a busy week for the Secretary of State's office as they peruse signatures for ballot initiatives, news that Black Hills State University will lead GEAR UP restructuring and more.

Dakota Political Junkies

Nov 4, 2015

Dakota Political Junkies Jon Hunter, Publisher of the Madison Daily Leader, and Kevin Woster, KELO-TV Rapid City Bureau, discussed the latest on the Keystone XL pipeline as TransCanada, this week, asked the State Department to suspend its review of the project.  Hunter and Woster also talked about Tuesday's comments by Attorney General Marty Jackley as he updated the Scott Westerhuis investigation as well as audits of the Secretary of State's office and the Department of Revenue in Pierre.


Dana Ferguson, watchdog state government and political reporter for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, joined guest host Cara Hetland to discuss DAKOTACARE's exit from the Federal Exchange and a federal immigration agency's plan to drop South Dakota's EB-5 program among other items.


West River political junkies Denise Ross and Kevin Woster participated in the weekly Dakota Political Junkies segment.  Ross attended last night's "Daschle Dialogues" event on the South Dakota State University campus as the former Senator visited with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  The Junkies also visited about last night's Democratic Presidential Debate hosted by CNN.

Dakota Midday: Dakota Political Junkies

Oct 7, 2015

U.S. Representative Kristi Noem will cast a vote later this month for the next Speaker of the House.  How will she vote and could her vote alienate some Republicans as she looks ahead to possible re-election in 2016?  Dakota Political Junkies Dana Ferguson of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and Jon Hunter of the Madison Daily Leader discussed the Speaker vote along with news out of last week's Lincoln County GOP dinner, GEAR UP, and possible scenarios for the 2018 governor's race.