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Legislative Research Council director resigns

By: - October 23, 2023 5:27 pm
The state Capitol in Pierre. (Getty Images)

The state Capitol in Pierre. (Getty Images)

The South Dakota Legislature’s Executive Board accepted the resignation of the state’s Legislative Research Council (LRC) director on Monday.

Reed Holwegner, a McLaughlin native, was appointed director in the spring of 2020 after several years working in a similar office in Kansas. In an interview with the National Conference of State Legislatures published in January of 2022, Holwegner said he’d covered 16 sessions in Kansas and eight in South Dakota, the latter of which included a stint with the LRC in Pierre in the early 2000s.

LRC staffers collect data on behalf of legislators and help them write bills. They also produce white papers on the impact of bills that become law, and cost estimates for proposals that will impact the state budget.

Lawmakers on the committee voted to accept Holwegner’s resignation in a short public session after a closed-door meeting, then voted to appoint LRC Chief Research and Legal Analyst John McCullough as interim director.

Shortly thereafter, Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown, moved to “authorize the executive committee to work out any severance termination issues” with the former director. House Speaker Hugh Bartels, R-Watertown, called a vote on the motion “to work out termination severance and other issues,” which received unanimous support from the executive board.

There was no discussion on the reason or reasons for Holwegner’s resignation. 

A call to Holwegner was not immediately returned on Monday.

McCullough takes the helm at the LRC less than three months before the start of the 2024 legislative session.



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John Hult
John Hult

John is the senior reporter for South Dakota Searchlight. He has more than 15 years experience covering criminal justice, the environment and public affairs in South Dakota, including more than a decade at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.