Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Senate walks out on first day of redistricting special session


A months long disagreement between legislative chambers came to a head in the state capitol on Monday.

State lawmakers are still divided on how to draw new political boundaries.

More than 10 hours of procedure and negotiations yielded little results in Pierre.

Each chamber passed their respective maps. After hours of negotiations behind the scenes, the state Senate adjourned before House lawmakers called the conference committee.

Republican Senate Leader Lee Schoenbeck says the House keeps pushing its own map, which he says has no chance in the Senate.

"This is going to the supreme court unless they [the House] decide to follow some map that follows the law," Schoenbeck adds.

Schoenbeck is alluding to the redistricting process if lawmakers can't agree by December first—the state supreme court draws the maps.

However, House Republicans are still working on negotiations.

House Majority Leader Kent Peterson says they're working on getting the best map for South Dakota.

"It takes two to tango," Peterson says. "We're not to the finish line, yet. My job is to worry about what we're doing.

Lawmakers have to take up another special session topic—whether to form a committee to investigate the impeachment of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

A memorial for the late-governor Frank Farrar is getting held at 1 p.m. in the Capitol rotunda.

Lawmakers are expected to take up redistricting in the afternoon once the service is over.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.