State government

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

Paid family leave expansion for state employees clears first administrative hurdle

BY: - April 13, 2023

A Thursday vote from South Dakota’s Civil Service Commission sent the question of expanded paid family leave for state employees to lawmakers. The commission voted unanimously to move from eight weeks of paid leave at 60% pay for new parents to 12 weeks of leave at 100% pay. The leave can be used for “bonding […]

An employee of the Rapid City Public Library hands out free COVID-19 tests. (Courtesy of Rapid City Public Library)

1 million free COVID tests, one year later: Some used, some not, some nearly thrown out

BY: - January 4, 2023

Mellette County Emergency Manager Karen O’Brien has hundreds of unused, free COVID-19 tests sitting in a box in her office. With COVID-19 still circulating across South Dakota and the country, she’d gladly hand them out to any residents of the rural, south-central South Dakota county who want them. But they expired in November, according to […]

(South Dakota Searchlight illustration)

State expects to resume printing paper titles in February

BY: - December 27, 2022

The state Department of Revenue said Tuesday in a news release that it expects to receive a shipment of title paper in late January and resume printing all paper titles in mid-February. South Dakota, like other states, uses paper that includes security features to protect vehicle owners against title fraud. A shortage of the paper […]

(Illustration by Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight; photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Ranchers say they’re waiting months for brand registrations

BY: - December 18, 2022

Some South Dakota ranchers say they’re waiting more than six months to get a livestock brand registered with the state board, while the wait is about a week in neighboring North Dakota and Nebraska.  Brands are the symbols on hot irons used for marking livestock and identifying ownership. Rancher Tim Allen received his first licensed […]

Gov. Kristi Noem presents her fiscal year 2024 budget proposal to legislators on Dec. 6, 2022, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Noem closes state offices ahead of winter storm

BY: - December 12, 2022

Gov. Kristi Noem has ordered all state government executive branch offices statewide to be closed Tuesday because of the winter storm expected in South Dakota. The National Weather Service forecast calls for freezing rain, heavy snow and high winds to occur throughout South Dakota. Travel will be impacted in those areas. Officials continue to closely […]

Some of the TikTok accounts that appear to be affiliated with state entities in South Dakota. (TikTok screenshots)

Noem’s TikTok ban kills tourism account, leaves other state entities mulling options

BY: and - November 29, 2022

The South Dakota Department of Tourism deleted its TikTok account Tuesday, abandoning the 61,200 followers and 1.7 million likes the state agency cultivated on the popular social media app. And South Dakota State University is meeting with its general counsel on how to handle its 9,000-follower TikTok account — all after Gov. Kristi Noem banned […]