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Noem signs bill removing gender references to governor, other officials

Noem state of state 2023.png
Lee Strubinger
Gov. Kristi Noem delivers her 2023 State of the State Address at the Capitol building in Pierre.

Gov. Kristi Noem has signed a bill updating pronoun references to the governor and other officials in the state constitution.

Currently, the constitution frequently refers to the governor, lieutenant governor, and other state officials as “he” or “him.”

House Bill 1175 makes those references gender neutral. The bill passed both chambers with strong support. Noem announced she signed the bill Wednesday.

“Every little girl in South Dakota should realize that she can grow up to do whatever she wants to do – to be whoever she wants to be,” Noem said in a press release. “We are fixing our laws and South Dakota Constitution so that they reflect the fact that women and men can both attain offices like governor. I began my State of the State Address by promising to deliver on this, and I am grateful to the legislature for working with me.”

Noem has signed more than 140 bills into law this legislative session. She has vetoed four bills.