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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Republicans Attain Statehouse Supermajority

Kealey Bultena
Lawmakers from both chambers listen to Governor Dennis Daugaard's FY2018 budget address.

Republicans have a super-majority in both chambers of the South Dakota state legislature. 

State Representative Spence Hawley is a Democrat – one of 16 total in the state legislature. He says Democrats have ideas that deserve consideration.

"We by far have no means to stop anything or to get anything passed through without help across the aisle, but sometimes it helps to have a conscience out there, too, and make them understand what priorities are and what we should be thinking about and what is important to the people of South Dakota, and I hope we can keep focused on that," Hawley says.

One Democrat who won election unopposed faces misdemeanor sexual contact charges. Reynold Nesiba is on leave from the Democratic caucus. If Nesiba does not serve in the 2017 State Senate, Governor Dennis Daugaard selects his replacement.

"I probably would appoint a Republican," Daugaard says. "I wouldn’t exclude a Democrat from consideration, but I’d be more likely to appoint a Republican. I’d be interested in appointing someone whose values I think are good, who has some willingness to study issues."

If that happens and Daugaard chooses a Republican, Democrats would have 15 of the 105 statehouse seats.