Joshua Haiar

Joshua Haiar

Joshua Haiar is a reporter based in Sioux Falls. Born and raised in Mitchell, he joined the Navy as a public affairs specialist after high school and then earned a degree from the University of South Dakota. Prior to joining South Dakota Searchlight, Joshua worked for five years as a multimedia specialist and journalist with South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

Rep. Will Mortenson, chair of the South Dakota House State Affairs Committee, listens to testimony on Jan. 20, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Bill would require companies to disclose ag land and foreign owners

By: - February 9, 2023

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the South Dakota House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee passed a bill requiring companies to disclose whether they own agricultural land and have any foreign owners. The bill will now move to the full House for consideration. The bill is a response to a loophole in a law passed in […]

Rep. Bethany Soye, R-Sioux Falls, speaks on Jan. 17, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre about a bill she introduced to ban some forms of health care for transgender youth. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Transgender youth health care ban passes another committee

By: - February 8, 2023

A bill that would ban some forms of health care for transgender youth passed the state Senate Health and Human Services committee 4-2 Wednesday at the Capitol in Pierre, after testimony similar to earlier hearings. Senators Sydney Davis, R-Burbank; Michael Diedrich, R-Rapid City; Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen; and Erin Tobin, R-Winner, all voted to pass the […]

Inside the state Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Bill would require trespassing hunters and anglers to pay landowners

By: - February 7, 2023

A bill that would require hunters and anglers to pay a landowner for trespassing on their property, in addition to fines already enforced by the state, passed the South Dakota House Ag and Natural Resources Committee on an 8-5 vote Tuesday at the Capitol in Pierre.  The bill, sponsored by Rep. Neal Pinnow, R-Lemmon, aims […]

Landowners and stakeholders impacted by the two carbon capture pipeline projects planned for South Dakota listen as the House State Affairs Committee decides on six bills impacting the projects on Feb. 6, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Courtesy of Jason Harward/Forum News Service)

Committee advances bill to stop carbon pipelines from using eminent domain

By: - February 6, 2023

A bill intended to prevent two proposed carbon pipeline projects from using eminent domain passed a legislative committee Monday.  The committee considered a total of six bills aimed at giving landowners more power in their fight against the pipeline projects. It was the first step in the legislative process for each of the bills during […]

These boxes can be buried almost entirely underground, leaving room to remove the lid, and are spliced into a drain tile system. Structures in the boxes can be used to raise the level of drainage outlets, helping to retain more water in the soil during dry times. (Courtesy of SDSU)

Researcher says simple fix could help farmers retain water and nutrients, but few are using it

By: - February 6, 2023

Few farmers have installed a control system to manage water discharged from underground pipes, even though it could benefit their bottom line and the environment, according to research underway at South Dakota State University.  “Drain tile” is the common name for perforated pipes that many farmers bury under their fields to remove excess water. John […]

Dana Rogers, a spokesperson with South Dakota Bowhunters, testifies in a legislative committee on Jan. 2, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Bill to let landowners bag an elk every year gets grilled, dies in committee

By: - February 2, 2023

PIERRE – The elk population is a “two-sided coin,” according to Jeremiah Murphy, a lobbyist for the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. “It’s a trophy and it’s trouble,” he told legislators Thursday at the Capitol. A bill that tried to reconcile those two sides of the coin died in a legislative committee on an 11-1 vote. […]

Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller and her husband, Mike Mueller, stand outside the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Pierre during a vote to censure her on Feb. 1, 2023. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Senate censures Frye-Mueller

By: - February 1, 2023

PIERRE – The South Dakota Senate took swift action today and censured one of its members, eight days after she allegedly made harassing comments to a legislative staffer. The Senate voted 33-1 to censure Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller, R-Rapid City. The action also lifts the temporary suspension against her that had been in place since last […]

From left, Mike Mueller, Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller, R-Rapid City, and her lawyer Steven Haugaard at a Senate committee hearing on Jan. 31, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Committee will draft censure recommendation against state senator

By: - January 31, 2023

PIERRE – A committee of nine state senators unanimously voted to draft a censure recommendation against a fellow senator who allegedly made inappropriate comments to a legislative employee. The committee, which met for several hours Tuesday evening at the Capitol, also voted to include in the draft recommendation a lifting of the suspension against Sen. […]

Rep. Roger Chase, R-Huron, talks with House Republican intern Abbie Schneider on the House floor during the 2023 legislative session at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

House surprises bill sponsor, rejects higher campaign contribution limits

By: - January 31, 2023

PIERRE – To the surprise of its Republican sponsor, a bill aimed at raising the maximum amount that individuals and entities can contribute to political campaigns in South Dakota has failed to pass in the state’s House of Representatives.  The bill, which was introduced during South Dakota’s 38-day legislative session in Pierre, would have raised […]

South Dakota transgender 16-year-old Elliot Morehead testifies Jan. 31, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre against a bill to ban some forms of health care for transgender youth. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Ban on youth transgender care passes committee after impassioned debate

By: - January 31, 2023

PIERRE – A bill that would ban some forms of health care for transgender youth passed its first committee today at the Capitol, sparking a passionate debate among supporters and opponents.  The bill has been met with resistance from LGBTQ advocacy groups, medical professionals and concerned citizens. They argue the bill violates the rights of […]

The South Dakota State Capitol, as seen on Nov. 2, 2022.

Suspended state senator files lawsuit as staff complaint against her is released

By: - January 30, 2023

A South Dakota state senator allegedly made lewd comments to a legislative staffer about breastfeeding and said vaccines would harm or kill the staffer’s baby, according to the staffer’s written complaint. The complaint by the Legislative Research Council staffer against state Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller, R-Rapid City, was released Monday by Senate President Pro Tempore Lee […]

Some farmers have argued that their land shouldn't be subject to eminent domain for liquid carbon dioxide pipelines. (Photo by Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

558 people and groups now have legal standing in two carbon pipeline applications

By: - January 27, 2023

More than 500 people and organizations now have standing to participate in the regulatory review of two proposed carbon-capture pipelines that would go through South Dakota. The latest is Lesley Pedde of Texas, who received late notice of the application process. The Public Utilities Commission granted him “party status” Friday in the review of the […]