State Sen. Helene Duhamel, R-Rapid City, testifies on a bill during a legislative committee hearing Feb. 24, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Budget committee approves $100 million of federal money for water projects

BY: - February 24, 2023

PIERRE – A bill that would allocate $100 million of federal money for water projects in South Dakota has passed the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee.  In March 2021, Congress passed and the president signed the American Rescue Plan Act, which provided $1.9 trillion in economic relief to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic around […]

Rep. Liz May, R-Kyle, on the floor of the House of Representatives at the Capitol in Pierre on Feb. 22, 2023. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

House passes bill requiring initiated amendments to get signatures from every district

BY: - February 22, 2023

PIERRE — The South Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would make it more difficult for citizens to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot. A petition drive to force a vote on a constitutional amendment already requires signatures from registered voters equivalent to 10 percent of the votes cast in the […]

The Joint Committee on Appropriations meets on Feb. 14, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre to review revenue projections for the remainder of fiscal year 2023 and fiscal year 2024. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

State budget committee adopts ‘conservative’ fiscal year 2024 revenue estimates

BY: - February 15, 2023

PIERRE – The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations officially adopted the revenue projections for the remainder of fiscal year 2023 and fiscal year 2024 on Wednesday morning at the Capitol. The committee adopted an ongoing revenue estimate of $2.3 billion for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which is an 8.2% increase over last […]

Gov. Kristi Noem receives applause in the House chamber at the state Capitol in Pierre during her 2023 State of the State Address. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Noem signs transgender youth health care ban into law

BY: - February 13, 2023

Gov. Kristi Noem signed a bill into law Monday that would ban some forms of health care for transgender youth. HB 1080 is dubbed the “Help Not Harm” Bill by proponents. When it takes effect July 1, it will ban health care professionals who treat transgender children from prescribing drugs such as puberty blockers and […]

Officials break ground in September 2022 on the Nucor Mineral Industries Building at South Dakota Mines in Rapid City. (Photo courtesy SD Mines)

Officials blame inflation for state building projects that are millions over budget

BY: - February 13, 2023

Eight building projects already approved by the Legislature need about $30 million in additional funding due to rising costs, state lawmakers were told Monday at the Capitol in Pierre. State officials told the Joint Committee on Appropriations about the challenges of trying to keep project costs under control amid high inflation. One of the projects […]

Sen. Michael Rohl, R-Aberdeen, testifies at the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. (Makenzie Huber, South Dakota Searchlight)

Bill barring legislative spouses from becoming lobbyists passes Senate committee

BY: - February 13, 2023

PIERRE — A bill that would prohibit a spouse of a legislator from being employed as a lobbyist passed the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday morning. The bill, SB 197, was introduced by Sen. Michael Rohl, R-Aberdeen, and would apply to active members of the Senate and House of Representatives. The committee passed the […]

Samantha Chapman, of the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota, testifies in opposition to House Bill 1125 in the House State Affairs Committee on Feb. 13, 2023. (Makenzie Huber, South Dakota Searchlight)

Bills limiting drag shows: Committee passes one, tables another

BY: - February 13, 2023

PIERRE — The House State Affairs Committee tabled one bill that would limit drag performances in South Dakota but passed a related bill Monday morning. The first bill, HB 1125, would expand obscenity laws to include drag shows and prohibit exposing children to such performances. The bill was tabled after a failed motion to pass […]

The White House South Lawn. (Getty Images)

White House taps Indiana, New Mexico governors for federal-state council on national security

BY: - February 9, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday the appointment of Govs. Eric J. Holcomb, an Indiana Republican, and Michelle Lujan Grisham, a New Mexico Democrat, to a special bipartisan board that strengthens the federal and state partnership on matters pertaining to national security. The Council of Governors consists of 10 members selected by the president […]

(Getty Images)

Black Hills foundation awarded $3 million for housing work

BY: - February 7, 2023

The Bush Foundation, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, is awarding more than $3 million to the Black Hills Area Community Foundation to address affordable housing problems in Rapid City, according to a news release. The award includes a $1 million grant to support a Strategic Housing Initiative, a $2 million investment in the Rapid City […]

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

Legislative out-of-state travel reform bill fails on House floor

BY: - February 1, 2023

The House of Representatives shut down a Senate bill that would alter who approves legislative travel on the state’s dime. SB 68 sailed through the Senate with a unanimous vote last week, but was met with overwhelming opposition on the House floor, with 60 votes against and eight votes in favor. The bill was prompted […]

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 […]

The South Dakota Capitol grounds and lake in Pierre. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Committee approves bigger tax cut than Noem’s food tax repeal

BY: - January 31, 2023

A bill that would reduce the state sales and use tax by half a percentage point unanimously passed the House Taxation Committee and will head to House Appropriations. House Bill 1137 is one of many this session proposing to reduce taxes, including one backed by Gov. Noem to eliminate the food sales tax. Noem touted […]