We’re joined this week by Roger Whittle of the Watertown Public Opinion and Jonathan Ellis of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.  Some of the topics include Representative Kristi Noem’s support for Paul Ryan as the new House Speaker, the legal "minefield” of tribal marijuana, and a decision by the South Dakota Legislature’s permanent committee on state-tribal relations to ask the governor to appoint a race commission.  

U.S. Senate

United States Senator John Thune says he generally supports trade deals, but some parts of the latest international agreement raise his concern. Eleven countries and the United States have struck a deal called TPP. That stands for Trans-Pacific Partnership. It has economic and political implications.

Thune says he’s heard pieces of the deal since Monday’s agreement, and he’s concerned about some of the elements.

Remembering Governor Walter Dale Miller

Sep 29, 2015

Flags fly at half-staff out of respect for former South Dakota Governor Walter Dale Miller. He died Monday at the age of 89. Miller was born in October of 1925 in Meade County, South Dakota. He was a longtime school board member and state politician before becoming governor in 1993. 

Walter Dale Miller served in the state’s top office for less than one term, but those who worked with him say South Dakota still feels the impact of his decades of leadership. He was a tall man who some call a cowboy gentleman – always in boots and his hat. 

Dakota Political Junkies –  KELO-TV Rapid City reporter Kevin Woster and Denise Ross – the editor of the Black Hills Knowledge Network/South Dakota Dashboard discuss the sentencing of Clayton Walker, Republican Presidential debate and even compare Donald Trump to Bill Janklow.  

Rounds for Senate

A United States Senator from South Dakota says lawmakers have less than two weeks to figure out how to fund the federal government. September 30th is the deadline to appropriate money to government programs.

Senator Mike Rounds says he doesn’t support simply extending appropriations already in place without other changes attached. SDPB’s Kealey Bultena asks him about that position.

Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher is coming to Sioux Falls. He’s bringing his stand-up tour to the Washington Pavilion on Sunday, September 13th. The New York native has been the host of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher since 2003. Previously he hosted a similar late-night show, Politically Incorrect, for nine years.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

One of South Dakota’s US Senators says Congress is more dysfunctional than he realized. Mike Rounds started his term in January; he spent part of his time back in South Dakota Tuesday talking to members of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. Rounds says lawmakers must take pointed steps to make federal systems more efficient. 

United States Senator Mike Rounds has been talking about a broken Washington since he started his campaign for Congress. Less than one year since he took the oath, Rounds says the system is worse than he suspected. He says lawmaking is slow by design.

Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader, and Kevin Woster, Rapid City bureau reporter for KELO-TV, joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed Governor Dennis Daugaard's visit to Madison during Capital for a Day; the board of regents' request for a tuition freeze for in-state university students; and the search for a Democratic candidate to challenge Republican U.S. Senator John Thune in 2016.

Jonathan Ellis, reporter and columnist for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and Kevin Woster, Rapid City bureau reporter for KELO-TV, joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed competing payday lending ballot petitions; a proposed constitutional amendment establishing nonpartisan elections; new South Dakota Democratic Party executive director Suzanne Jones Pranger; Kristi Noem's re-election announcement plans; and the aftermath of the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

United States Senator John Thune spent part of his Tuesday talking with young professionals in Sioux Falls. The lawmaker first spoke to members of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce before the smaller Q&A. People who work in energy, banking, business, and other industries are asking the lawmaker questions and explaining their concerns.

It may be a roundtable discussion, but young professionals in Sioux Falls line a long, rectangular tabletop to ask questions of United States Senator John Thune.

Erin Mairose

With over 17 Republicans seeking their party’s nod for the presidency, things are bound to get confusing.  Minnehaha County Republicans gathered Thursday to watch the first GOP debate.

Reactions to the Republican presidential debate were as mixed as the 17 candidates themselves. Minnehaha County Republican Jim Stalzer says for him the debate didn’t lend a clear front runner.  

“I’ve been impressed with most of the field today, I like at least half of them and I don’t think anyone has messed up tonight that has lost anything,” says Stalzer.

Thune Decries Carbon Reduction Plan As Arctic Sea Route Opens

Aug 5, 2015

U.S. Senator John Thune joined the rest of the South Dakota congressional delegation and several industry groups in condemning a White House plan to reduce carbon emissions.

The Obama Administration is proposing a cap on carbon emissions from coal fired power plants in an effort to reduce global warming.   

The debate comes as arctic ice has melted back early enough so a sea route is open over the polar ice cap.

Democrats have their first candidate for the U.S. House. Two-term state Representative Paula Hawks of Hartford announced her candidacy on Monday for the seat held by Republican Kristi Noem. Hawks says her experience in the legislature makes her a good candidate for Congress.  She wants to focus on seniors, farmers and ranchers, equality for women, education and student loan debt.

Jonathan Ellis, reporter/columnist for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and Seth Tupper, enterprise reporter for the Rapid City Journal, joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed hardball tactics by opponents to a proposed ballot initiative capping payday loan interest rates at 36 percent; Democratic state representative Paula Hawks' possible candidacy for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Kristi Noem; and newly-released FBI files revealing that late South Dakota U.S.

South Dakota Legislative Research Council

Since first being elected in 2010, Republican State Representative Steve Hickey has been an outspoken champion of social conservative causes. He's opposed abortion and same-sex marriage. But he’s also worked with Democrats on abolishing the death penalty and establishing a truth and reconciliation commission to address problems between Native Americans and whites. He’s also been working with openly gay Democratic strategist and Sioux Falls businessman Steve Hildebrand to collect signatures for a 2016 ballot measure capping payday lending  interest rates at 36 percent.

Nate Wek SDPB

Two laws passed by the legislature this year won’t go into effect today, but instead will go before voters next year. Senate Bill 177 established a youth minimum wage at $7.50, a dollar less than that set by voters in 2014. Senate Bill 69 is an election reform package that includes a provision preventing members of registered parties from signing petitions of independent candidate.

Three people who represent South Dakota in the nation’s capital are reacting to a US Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. Thursday six of the nine justices agreed that people are still eligible for insurance subsidies using a federal health insurance exchange. Thirty-four states do not have state-run marketplaces.

U.S. Senator Mike Rounds

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling any day now in King v. Burwell. The ruling will answer the question of whether health insurance subsidies are limited to those states with their own exchanges. If subsidies are limited to the 17 states that established exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, 6.4 million people could lose their insurance subsidies, including some 19,000 South Dakotans.

ACLU leaders have filed a federal lawsuit over a new election deadline for third-party candidates. The lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota says an earlier date for new parties to get on the ballot violates Constitutional rights. The case is filed Libertarian Party of South Dakota versus Krebs.

South Dakota lawmakers approved a measure that sets the date a candidate must turn in signed petitions a month earlier than it used to be. In January Secretary of State Shantel Krebs explained to lawmakers that an earlier deadline offers more time for scrutiny. 

Charles Michael Ray SDPB

Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader, and Seth Tupper, enterprise reporter for the Rapid City Journal, joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed Tuesday's elections in Rapid City and Mitchell that saw losses by incumbent mayors; municipal election turnout; former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth's conviction on election law violation charges; and U.S. Senator Mike Rounds' first speech on the Senate floor.

Federal Judge Moves Wanblee Voting Case Forward

May 4, 2015

A federal judge has ruled in favor of some Pine Ridge residents who allege unequal access to the polls in Jackson County.
In 2014, early in-person voting opened at the county courthouse in Kadoka. A similar office did not open in Wanblee and some community members cried foul.
Voting rights groups say they want to ensure that in 2016 residents of Wanblee have the same easy access to the ballot box as residents in the county seat of Kadoka.

Victoria Wicks SDPB

Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter and KELO-TV Rapid City reporter Kevin Woster joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed the state Public Utilities Commission's delay in the Keystone/XL Pipeline evidentiary hearing; the state legislature's summer studies; a bill introduced by Senator John Thune that requiring collaboration between federal and local officials before a prescribed burn on federal lands when fire danger is high; upcoming Rapid City elections; and determining Platte's next mayor by luck of the draw.

Lake Area Technical Institute

Sioux Falls Argus Leader reporter and columnist Jonathan Ellis and Watertown Public Opinion managing editor Roger Whittle joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed President Obama's upcoming visit to Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown; a new marketing campaign comparing South Dakota to Mars; and the legacy of  "gentleman politician" Walt Conahan who died over the weekend.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter and Rapid City Journal enterprise reporter Seth Tupper joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed the announcement that President Obama will visit Watertown next month; the possibility of 2016 presidential candidates visiting the state; the likelihood of Republican Senator John Thune running unopposed in his re-election bid; and the rise of registered independents.

KELO-TV Rapid City reporter Kevin Woster and Black Hills Knowledge Network and South Dakota Dashboard editor Denise Ross joined Dakota Midday and discussed the latest in state politics. Topics this week included new leadership for state senate Republicans; controversy over the new 80 mph interstate speed limit; Democrats search for a candidate to oppose Senator John Thune in 2016; and the state congressional delegation's opposition to the listing of the Northern Long-Eared Bat as a threatened species.

Student Leaders Share Opinions on Issues

Apr 1, 2015
Cara Hetland SDPB

This week in Pierre, the South Dakota High School Activities Association hosted the State Student Council Convention. Over 900 of South Dakota’s best and brightest high school students gathered in the state capital. As aspiring future leaders many of the students are keeping an eye on what’s happening in politics at the local and national level. 12 students shared their opinions on major government issues at the state and national level, including new youth minimum wage legislation, education funding and transgender policies.

Sioux Falls Argus Leader reporter and columnist Jonathan Ellis and Watertown Public Opinion managing editor Roger Whittle joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed veto day which wrapped up the 2015 session and the resignation of Senate majority leader Tim Rave and assistant majority leader Dan Lederman. Other topics included South Dakota’s status as the only state President Obama hasn’t visited during his six years in office and an invitation to Watertown.

Effort Started To Put Two SD Senate Bills On Ballot

Mar 30, 2015
Kealey Bultena

Two bills passed by the legislature this session could see a challenge from voters in 2016 if the efforts to put them on the statewide ballot succeed.

Opponents to Senate Bills 69 and 177 submitted their intent to circulate petitions to the Secretary of State.
SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray reports that the issues deal with the minimum wage for teenagers and independent candidates who want to run for office.

Nate Wek SDPB

Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter and Rapid City Journal reporter Seth Tupper joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed the petition reform and youth minimum wage bills signed into law by Governor Dennis Daugaard. Other topics included FAA approval of a plan expanding a bomber training area and a new political action committee formed by former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rick Weiland.

South Dakota lawmakers passed a $4.3 billion budget late Friday night. Despite lower than expected revenue projections, the budget provides for increases in Medicaid reimbursements, state employee salaries and education funding. Lawmakers also passed a bill that increases funding for roads and bridges. It raises the gas tax by six cents and raises license fees and license plate feed by 20 percent. Lawmakers return to Pierre on Monday, March 30 to consider any gubernatorial vetoes.