South Dakota Senate

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. […]

The House of Representatives Chamber of the South Dakota state Capitol building in Pierre. (Getty Images)

Term limits lead to legislative whack-a-mole

BY: - January 26, 2023

In the 1990s, term limits were a hot topic in a variety of states, including South Dakota. In 1992, voters here endorsed a constitutional amendment that would limit U.S. senators to two consecutive six-year terms, U.S. representatives to six consecutive two-year terms, state constitutional officers to two four-year terms and state legislators to four consecutive […]

SD House Republican leaders for 2023 Session. Front: Assistant Majority Leader Taylor Rehfeldt, R-Sioux Falls, Majority Leader Will Mortensen, R-Ft. Pierre, Speaker Hugh Bartels, R-Watertown, Speaker Pro Tem Mike Stevens, R-Yankton. Middle: Whip Becky Drury, R-Rapid City, Whip Kirk Chaffee, R-Whitewood, Whip Rocky Blare, R-Winner. Back: Whip Gary Cammack, R-Union Center, Whip James D. Wangsness, R-Miller.

Leadership teams lean moderate in South Dakota House, Senate

BY: - November 21, 2022

The South Dakota House of Representatives elected its leadership team for the 2023 legislative session over the weekend, a week after their counterparts in the Senate did the same. Members of the 94-member GOP supermajority’s more moderate faction came out ahead in both chambers. Speaker of the House Hugh Bartels, Watertown, was elected to replace […]

The South Dakota Capitol building in Pierre. (Seth Tupper/SD Searchlight)

Republicans lose a seat in state Senate, gain in the already deeply red House

BY: - November 9, 2022

The makeup of South Dakota’s deeply red legislature didn’t change much Tuesday night, although some races could see a recount. The 70-person House of Representatives has seen the number of Democrats steadily drop from 29 in 1992 to just seven now. Democrats managed to squeeze out a win in the 35-person senate, bringing the caucus […]

Analysis: Over one-third of state legislative races already decided

BY: - November 1, 2022

Election day is a week away, but more than a third of South Dakota’s state legislative races are already decided. Of 105 seats up for grabs in the South Dakota Senate or House of Representatives, 38% are unopposed races. A clear majority of Senate seats — exactly 60% — are unopposed. Every unopposed candidate is […]