Legislative Session

Legislators consider vetoes from Gov. Kristi Noem on March 27, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Hemp and crypto bills fall as legislators sustain Noem vetoes

BY: - March 27, 2023

PIERRE — Lawmakers debated the future of money and the amount of an intoxicating compound that should be allowed in industrial hemp, but they failed to override any of Gov. Kristi Noem’s vetoes Monday at the Capitol. None of the four bills up for override votes received the necessary two-thirds majority. Legislators also failed to […]

Rep. Becky Drury, R-Rapid City, speaks on the House floor during the 2023 legislative session at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

House fails to override Noem’s veto of optional hotel tax increase

BY: - March 7, 2023

The state House of Representatives failed on Tuesday to override Gov. Kristi Noem’s veto of a bill that would allow hotels and motels in “business improvement districts,” or BIDs, to raise a per-room tax. Supporters of the bill fell six votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto. The vote was 41-29, […]

Rep. Tim Reisch, R-Howard, speaks on the floor of the South Dakota House of Representatives during the 2023 legislative session at the Capitol in Pierre. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Lawmakers nix bill to raise SD’s nation-leading juror pay

BY: - March 3, 2023

It’s illegal to duck jury duty, even if you’re too broke to afford time off work. A bill meant to address the difficulties that reality can cause for blue-collar jurors died in a state Senate committee this week after passing through the House of Representatives. The 5-2 vote on House Bill 1098 came after testimony […]

The Senate floor in the South Dakota Capitol at Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Truth in sentencing bill advances to full Senate

BY: - February 7, 2023

A bill to lengthen prison stays for violent offenders earned an endorsement from all but one member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning. Senate Bill 146 saw testimony from nine supporters beyond its prime sponsor, Sen. Brent Hoffman, R-Sioux Falls, including police chiefs, sheriffs and Attorney General Marty Jackley. The bill would abolish parole […]

Lobbyist Jeremiah Murphy testifies in favor of a bill that would add eight conditions to those that qualify for a medical marijuana card during a hearing Jan. 18, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Bill would add conditions for medical marijuana, but also repeal public process

BY: - January 18, 2023

PIERRE — A bill in the Legislature would add eight conditions to those that qualify a patient for a medical marijuana card, but the bill would also remove a public process to add more conditions to the list. A legislative committee approved the bill Wednesday on a 6-1 vote and sent it to the full […]

Game, Fish and Parks Secretary Kevin Robling addresses the Legislature's House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Jan. 17, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Public access programs enroll a record amount of private land

BY: - January 17, 2023

PIERRE — A record 1.48 million acres of private land are enrolled in public access programs around the state, according to the state’s Game, Fish and Parks secretary.  “We’ve never had that number that high before and it’s a compliment to the efforts from our teams up there working with producers, building relationships,” said Kevin […]

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)

New bill would ban several forms of transgender health care for youth

BY: - January 17, 2023

PIERRE – A group of South Dakota Republicans introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit physicians from providing some services to transgender youth. A Democratic legislator and the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota immediately condemned the bill, which the ACLU labeled as “discriminatory.” Rep. Bethany Soye, R-Sioux Falls, introduced the “Help Not Harm […]


Two-and-a-half party system operating in Legislature

BY: - January 6, 2023

The first week of the legislative session is feast and famine for Capitol reporters.  The famine is in the mornings when committees are supposed to meet. In that first week, some of them won’t meet at all. Others will meet to “organize.” Few, if any, will make any news that first week.  The feast is […]

The state accounting and software system that Gov. Kristi Noem and the Bureau of Finance and Management argue is due for an update. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Serachlight)

Noem recommends $70 million to update ‘outdated’ accounting software

BY: - December 6, 2022

PIERRE — Gov. Kristi Noem says state government’s accounting and software system is so out of date that it needs millions of dollars and multiple years to fix. That revelation came during Noem’s annual budget address Tuesday at the Capitol in Pierre. Noem’s recommended budget for fiscal year 2024 includes $70 million in one-time funding […]