Troy Heinert

Troy Heinert & Jamie Smith

23 hours ago

In The Moment ... April 15, 2020 Show 796 Hour 1

With the 2020 South Dakota legislative session behind us, what went particularly well and what work was most important to the legislators? The coronavirus pandemic has affected many and more than likely will affect what was done and what is yet to be done. Troy Heinert is Assistant Minority Leader in the SD Senate, and Jamie Smith is Minority Leader in the SD House of Representatives.


A bill allowing for the creation of community-based schools centered on Native American cultural curriculum passes the Senate unanimously.

Senate Bill 66 allows for schools centered on the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings. They deal with language, treaty rights, sovereignty, and other topics.

On the floor, Senator Wayne Steinhauer explains this isn’t just about separate schools for Native Americans.

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... January 16, 2020 Show 735 Hour 1

Troy Heinert (D) represents District 26 and is the senate minority leader, and Jamie Smith (D) represents District 15 and is the house minority leader. They join us to discuss their goals for the 2020 legislative session.

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

SD Legislative Research Council

South Dakota's Water Management Board is holding hearings on the Keystone XL pipeline during the week when a Keystone oil spill in North Dakota is making national news.

Reports say 383,000 gallons of oil spilled before containment, contaminating wetlands but not drinking water.

State Senator Troy Heinert told the board on Thursday, Oct. 31, that he's concerned about potential damage to South Dakota's agriculture and tourism industries if water is polluted.

Two controversial bills addressing the cost of hosting pipelines have landed on the governor's desk ready for Kristi Noem's signature.

One law sets up a fund to pay for the pipeline-related costs incurred by state and local governments.

The other introduces the term "riot boosting" and links the actions of rioters to the organizations that support their causes.

In The Moment ... February 12, 2019 Show 514 Hour 2

Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert and House Minority Leader Jamie Smith provide perspective from the Democratic Party on the 2019 legislative session currently underway in Pierre.

Steve Munsen

In The Moment ... January 9, 2019 Show 491 Hour 2

The state's Democratic leaders, Senator Troy Heinert and Representative Jamie Smith, discuss Governor Noem's State of the State address and provide a preview of the 2019 legislative session in Pierre.

Courtesy photo / Mark Trahant

A Native American political observer says 2016 could be a record year for the number of native candidates on the ballot across the country.

Mark Trahant says just under 100 candidates are running for office.

Mark Trahant is a journalism professor at the University of North Dakota.

He says this could be a record year for the number of native people running for office.   He’s tallying up the number of native candidates nationwide, but he says since this is the first time a count like this has been done, he says he’s cautious about making a superlative statement.


South Dakotans go to the polls tomorrow to cast their votes in the statewide primary election. The contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to become the Democratic presidential nominee continues to make news across the nation. Two South Dakota Democrats join Dakota Midday to talk about what’s at stake for the party on Tuesday. We talk about why South Dakota votes matter, the importance of getting out the vote, and why these two Democrats are touting two different candidates. 

 Indian Health Service facilities in Pine Ridge and Rosebud were closed earlier.  The move comes alongside allegations the IHS facilities are failing to meet basic standards of service and care. Now, the U-S Senate Committee for Indian Affairs is planning a hearing in South Dakota in June.  

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A United States Senator and a state lawmaker agree that the federal government is failing to provide adequate health care to Native Americans. United States Senator John Thune and South Dakota State Senator Troy Heinert see different solutions to ongoing problems with the Indian Health Service.

U-S  Senator Thune has legislation in Congress aimed at comprehensive reform for federal health services for Native Americans. He says the bill makes it easier to fire ineffective IHS leaders, examines whistle-blower protections, and requires fiscal accountability so patient care funds actually make it to patients.