2021 Legislative Session

SD Legislative Resource Council

A Stand Your Ground bill shot down by the Senate Judiciary committee has been resurrected and approved by the full Senate. Supporters of House Bill 1212 say the bill clears up vague and outdated language in current self-defense statutes. But lawyers in the legislature say the bill replaces current self-defense law and wipes out decades of case law that interprets what self defense is and is not.

Victoria Wicks tracks this bill as it travels through committees and chambers on its way to the governor's desk.

SD Legislative Resource Council

The "open fields" bill has been resurrected, amended, and passed in the South Dakota Senate.

House Bill 1140 puts restrictions on Game Fish & Parks officers entering private land. The Senate Judiciary killed the bill in committee on Tuesday, March 2, but the full Senate smoked the bill out the next day and voted on an amended version on Monday, March 8.

Victoria Wicks has been following this legislation for SDPB.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has killed House Bill 1140, called a "poachers' bill" by its detractors.

The proposed legislation would have required Game Fish & Parks officers to have landowners' permission to do compliance checks on private land.

Opponents say current policies already encourage cooperation between the agency and landowners, and the bill protects hunters.

Victoria Wicks has more of this story for SDPB.

SD Legislative Resource Council

Lifers who committed their crimes before they were 25 years old will not have a chance at parole when they turn 50.

Senate Bill 146 has been killed in the House Judiciary Committee. The bill offered a second chance to young offenders serving life sentences.

But opponents say "life means life" in South Dakota.

Victoria Wicks reports for SDPB.

Bill To Restrict Death Penalty Dies

Feb 11, 2021
SD Legislative Resource Council

A bill to drastically limit the death penalty has died in the State Senate.

Proponents say capital punishment does not deter murder, and it serves as vengeance rather than justice.

Opponents say some murders are so cruel that vengeance is justified.

Victoria Wicks reports for SDPB.


A bill to restrict public testimony before the state Water Management Board has moved forward.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources approved the bill on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Proponents testified that the bill streamlines hearings on water use for pipelines, mining, and confined animal operations.

But opponents say the bill takes another step toward silencing public input on environmental concerns.

Victoria Wicks has more of this story for SDPB.

Marijuana Could Define 2021 Legislative Session

Nov 10, 2020

 Backers of a marijuana ballot measure say they’re looking forward to working with South Dakota lawmakers on cannabis reform to keep it safe and well regulated. 


But… several state lawmakers have questions about the addition to the state constitution.  


South Dakota voters approved a ballot question to place recreational and medical marijuana—as well as industrial hemp—into the state constitution.