Lee Strubinger

Courtesy Photo

A healthcare advocacy group has lost a legal fight.

The state Supreme Court says voters will decide a ballot question that could affect Medicaid expansion. 

The state Legislature is asking voters to make it harder to pass ballot questions that raise taxes or require the state spend 10 million dollars over five years. Those ballot questions would require 60 percent voter approval.

Rick Weiland is with the Dakotans for Health, which opposes the measure. He’s disappointed but respects the court’s decision.

Office of Governor Kristi Noem


Governor Kristi Noem says she does not have plans to issue a public service announcement urging South Dakotans to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 


SDPB / Lee Strubinger

State tourism officials expect a busy season as more Americans get their COVID-19 vaccinations. 

But hospitality businesses are struggling to fill seasonable jobs, despite an increase in the number of temporary work visas. 


Joe Sneve / Argus Leader

State Supreme Court justices are considering the constitutionality of a voter-approved measure to legalize recreational marijuana.  

However, some say the legal challenge is a way to ban marijuana.  

South Dakota voters passed Amendment A by 54 percent.  

A few weeks after the 2020 election, Governor Kristi Noem and two law enforcement leaders challenged the law on several constitutional grounds.  


The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday on whether a voter approved measure legalizing marijuana is constitutional. 

Those challenging the amendment say it violates a recent law that limits constitutional changes to only one subject. The state’s high court has yet to interpret the provision.  

South Dakota voters legalized recreational AND medical marijuana last year when they passed Amendment A. Both of the measures involve cannabis and its uses, but those appealing to the state Supreme Court say they are two separate issues. 



The South Dakota High School Athletics Association is recommending schools hold off on submitting any transgender athlete waiver applications. 

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem recently issued two executive orders that could be at odds with a federal justice department memo. 

Governor Noem’s executive orders state that only girls—based on a determination at birth—can play girls’ sports. Critics say that ultimately prevents transgender girls from playing girls’ sports.  

There are currently no transgender girl athlete’s doing that. 


Governor Kristi Noem wants lawmakers back for a special session in  late May or early June.

She wants legislators to address several  issues -- changes to a  medical marijuana program and what to do with new coronavirus relief money.

Noem also wants action that could face an uphill challenge in the state Senate.

Governor Noem issued two executive orders moments after state lawmakers failed to approve  changes to a partial veto on a bill. Noem says her orders are meant to protect women’s high school and collegiate sports.

SDPB / Joshua Haiar

In the Moment: March 29, 2021,Show 1017. 

  • Senator John Thune talks immigration and a Spring surge of asylum seekers at the U.S. border with Mexico.


  • Lee Strubinger previews Veto Day and the possible outcomes for HB1217 and medical marijuana.



Governor Kristi Noem’s style and form veto of a bill that requires girls’ sports be reserved for “biological females” is considered by some lawmakers as executive overreach.  


But the revision is not without precedent.  


In the Moment: March 22, 2021 Show 1013.



The South Dakota state senate is passing a bill along to Governor Kristi Noem that proponents say protects fairness in women’s sports. 

South Dakota will join Mississippi in passing a nearly identical bill.

The bill died in a Senate committee, was revived and passed 20-15 in favor. It mandates that high school and college women’s sports are reserved for “biological women.” 

Each school will collect written waivers that state every high school and collegiate athletes’ age, reproductive biology, and whether they’ve taken performance enhancing drugs. 


February 26, 2021 Show 997. 

  • We take a closer look at "Crossover Day." What does it mean? Why does it matter?
  • House lawmakers have filed articles of impeachment against the Attorney General, Mike Card explains how impeachment works in South Dakota.
  • Delta David Gier joins us to discuss what's nex for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.
  • Eliza Blue brings us a "Postcard from the Prairie.
  • Finally, we end the week with some Poetry from Studio 47.

SDPB Reporters Talk This Week In Pierre

Feb 8, 2021

February 8, 2021 Show 987 Hour 1.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting brings you gavel-to-gavel coverage of the state legislative session, now underway. You can find coverage on our website at sdpb.org or SD.Net. You can also download the Statehouse podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts.  


In The Moment … February 1st, 2021 Show 982 Hour 1

The South Dakota state legislative session moves into February, and SDPB brings you gavel-to-gavel coverage, daily reporting, a daily Statehouse podcast, and in-depth analysis of the debates and the decisions. 

  • Guests:
  • Seth Tupper, SDPB's business and economic development reporter.
  • Lee Strubinger, SDPB's politics and public policy reporter.
  • Jackie Hendry, host of South Dakota Focus.


SDPB Forecasts Statehouse 2021

Jan 12, 2021

In The Moment January 12th, 2021 Show 971 Hour 1

Lawmakers gather in Pierre today for the official beginning of the state legislative session. Governor Kristi Noem gives her State of the State speech at 1 p.m. CDT / 12 p.m. MDT. 

Guests: Lee Strubinger, Politics and Public Policy reporter, Seth Tupper , Business and Economic Development reporterm and Jackie Hendry, host of South Dakota Focus on SDPB-TV.

Owl Album Review

Dec 18, 2020

In The Moment ... December 18, 2020 Show 964 Hour 1

SDPB's Lee Strubinger reviews the upcoming musical release Owl. It's part 2 of a 3 part release, "Traveling the Multiverse with Iktomi" written and produced by South Dakota hip hop artist Talon Bazille.

In The Moment … December 17, 2020 Show 963 Hour 1 In just a decade, South Dakota voters went from rejecting medical marijuana use, to passing it in a statewide initiative. Guest: SDPB's Lee Strubinger, politics and public policy reporter, speaks to New Approach South Dakota Executive Director Melissa Mentele.


In The Moment's Best Music Of The Year Special

Dec 14, 2020

In The Moment … December 14, 2020 Show 960 Hour 1

It's almost 2021, and that means it is time for the annual In The Moment Best Music of the Year Special.

Guests: Karl Gehrke, SDPB's Jazz Nightly host, and Lee Strubinger, SDPB's political reporter

Songs You'll Hear:

Two law enforcement officials are challenging the constitutionality of Constitutional Amendment A. The amendment would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, as well as require the legislature to pass laws on hemp cultivation and ensure access to medical marijuana. The initiative was filed by Brendan Johnson, former U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota.

First, SDPB political reporter, Lee Strubinger, joins Lori Walsh to explain how we got here. Then, Brendan Johnson joins us to go over some of nuances of Amendment A ahead of the court challenge.

SDPB's Election Update With Lee Strubinger

Nov 4, 2020

In The Moment … November 3, 2020 Show 934 Hour 1

SDPB's Lee Strubinger joins us from the Black Hills Surgical Hospital studio in downtown Rapid City with a South Dakota election update.

Marijuana Is On The Ballot

Oct 5, 2020

In The Moment … October 5, 2020 Show 916 Hour 1

Marijuana is on the ballot this year in South Dakota. In fact, there are two initiatives to legalize pot - for different uses.  One ballot measure allows both medical and recreational marijuana. The other initiative legalizes marijuana for medical use ONLY. That one has support from more than 70 percent of South Dakota voters. But the state medical association and some in law enforcement oppose it.  

Independence Day Celebration Recap

Jul 6, 2020

In The Moment … July 6, 2020 Show 852 Hour 2

This weekend, fireworks returned to Mount Rushmore for an Independence Day celebration featuring President Donald Trump. The Pennington County Republican Party planned events in Rapid City. Protesters took to the street to speak out against the president and against treaty violations.  South Dakota Public Broadcasting had reporters across the state working to bring you coverage of the event. SDPB's Lee Strubinger was at Mount Rushmore. SDPB's Seth Tupper was in Rapid City. 


In The Moment … June 22, 2020 Show 843 Hour 1

Governor Kristi Noem took the podium in Sioux Falls today for a press conference that focused on federal relief money and how it stands to impact counties and cities in South Dakota. SDPB's Lee Strubinger joins us for a recap.

How much of the 1.25 billion in CARES funding will the state’s cities and counties be receiving?

The Adventures of Lupe

May 15, 2020

In The Moment … May 15, 2020 Show 818 Hour 1

We live in a time when our world is shifting perceptively. And yet some things remain the same. The mountains. Humans taking long walks. Dogs out for an adventure. A good story. Today we bring you a conversation that unfolds at the pace of a hike through the Hills. It's about a guy and his dog and a blog about the dog ... and the guy ... and the hike.

SDPB's Michael Zimny went out with the (human) creator and (canine) star of "The Mostly True Adventures of Lupe" in order to bring you a quintessentially Black Hills story.

South Dakota hog farmers are running out of room. That's because a number of meatpacking plants are closed and still aren't sure when they will reopen. In the meantime, hog farmers have nowhere to send their animals. That despite President Donald Trump's recent executive order to reopen the country's meatpacking plants under the Defense Production Act. SDPB's Lee Strubinger reports...

South Dakota hog farmers are running out of room.

Reporter Roundtable

Apr 15, 2020

In The Moment ... April 15, 2020 Show 796 Hour 2

Today we bring you a reporter roundtable with SDPB's Lee Strubinger and the Argus Leader's Megan Raposa. We're going to look at the cities of Sioux Falls, home to the largest COVID-19 outbreak and Rapid City, where the mayor has placed stricter restrictions on businesses. 

News Special: Veto Day & Pandemic Impacts

Mar 31, 2020

In this In the Moment news special, we hear a recap of South Dakota's first digital Veto Day and the actions brought up to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, the impacts of the pandemic on the legal world, the South Dakota economy, med students, and more. 

Apple Users

Spotify Users

Lee Strubinger: Veto Day Recap

Mar 31, 2020

In The Moment ... March 31, 2020 Show 785 Hour 1

Now, we see what happened to the Governor's 10 bill legislative package and the state budget during yesterday's Veto Day. SDPB's Lee Strubinger joins us with more.

Veto Day Preview

Mar 30, 2020

In The Moment ... March 30, 2020 Show 784 Hour 2

Veto day is a traditional part of the South Dakota state legislature. This year, veto day looks drastically different, both in procedure and content. SDPB's Lee Strubinger joins us with more. 

Politics and public policy reporting is supported by The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University

CAFOs With SDPB's Lee Strubinger

Mar 9, 2020

In The Moment ... March 9, 2020 Show 769 Hour 1

House lawmakers are minutes away from taking up one of Governor Kristi Noem's pieces of legislation. She says Senate Bill 157 will streamline the county permitting process for projects that require Conditional Use Permits... like hog barns and wind farms. She says it's part of her initiative to bring more jobs to South Dakota and keep what she calls the "next generation" here. Joining us to unpack Senate Bill 157 is SDPB's Lee Strubinger.