2020 SD Legislative Session

SD Legislative Research Council

This year's legislature is sending two riot boosting bills to the Governor for her signature.

The first one, House Bill 1117, was introduced early in the session and passed out of both chambers last week.

After that bill passed, the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee drafted an amendment to it and put the new language into a separate bill, House Bill 1199. That amendment cleared the full Senate on Monday, March 9.

Part of the amendment eliminates the term "riot boosting."

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Legislative Research Council

This year South Dakota's "riot boosting" bill was introduced early in the session, unlike last year. And by all appearances, House Bill 1117 has completed the last leg of its journey to the Governor's desk. The state Senate overwhelmingly voted Thursday, March 5, to pass it. But earlier in the day, a Senate committee passed Riot Boosting Part Two, starting that bill on a new journey. Now the legislature will have to consider that new bill in both houses by the end of the day Monday, which is the last day for bills to pass both chambers.

SD Legislative Research Council

South Dakota's critical infrastructure bill passed the House Commerce and Energy Committee on Wednesday, March 4. Senate Bill 151 is modeled after similar legislation in other states. It offers special protections to public utilities, including pipelines and pipe yards. Proponents say the threat of felony charges lets potential vandals know the state takes its utilities seriously. Opponents agree, except for one thing: they say the bill unconstitutionally stifles protest of the Keystone XL pipeline. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Indigenous Environmental Network

This year's riot boosting bill got a thorough hearing at a special evening meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 3. But after hearing close to two hours of testimony from opponents, committee members still voted 6-1 to pass the bill along to the full Senate for floor debate.

The state says this law fixes problems that were deemed unconstitutional in last year's version. Opponents say it still restricts speech and assembly through intimidation.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Victoria Wicks file photo

A bill to protect utilities from vandalism and trespassing has cleared its first committee hearing. The bill includes protections for electrical and communications structures, pipelines, and temporary pipe yards.

The Senate Energy and Commerce Committee has removed a controversial section from the original bill. But at least one legislator says the state might still end up in court, as it did last year with the "riot boosting" law. Victoria Wicks has this report for SDPB.

Zebra Mussels Bill Passes South Dakota Seante

Feb 21, 2020
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A bill to help prevent the spread of Zebra Mussels in South Dakota lakes passed through the Senate by a 33-1 vote.


The bill requires boaters to clean and drain their boats every time they’re removed from the water.


Mike Greiner is the Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator at the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. He said that several inspection stations are to be created in the state.


SD Legislative Research Council

House State Affairs has voted against allowing tribes to seek reimbursement for expenses associated with pipeline protests.

Last year's legislature established the PEACE fund to collect money for state or political subdivisions whose budgets might be stressed if the Keystone XL pipeline is built and protests rise up.

The committee voted 9 to 4 against including tribes in that group.

Listen to audio for the rest of the story.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Legislative Research Council

South Dakota's 2020 "riot boosting" law has been approved by the state House and is on its way to the Senate. The controversial bill is a rewrite of last year's law, found largely unconstitutional by a federal judge. Advocates say this version ensures safe and peaceful protests, but opponents say it still deters free speech and assembly and pits government against tribes. For more of this story, click on the audio arrow.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report, with rotunda audio contributed by Lee Strubinger.