2015 South Dakota Legislative Session: Why Should South Dakotans Care?

Posted by Nate Wek on
State Capital Building (Pierre, SD)
Nate Wek-SDPB

The 2015 Legislative Session is underway at the state capital building in Pierre, SD. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard kicked off the session with his State of the State Address on Tuesday of this week. His main area of mention, for at least the first 15-20 minutes, was the growing need for improvement in transportation. Transportation includes roads, highways, bridges and railroads.

In his speech, Daugaard mentioned thirty states adopting some kind of transportation funding measure within the last three years. He also mentioned South Dakota roads being the state’s “most valuable physical asset,” worth somewhere in the range of $14 billion.

Republican State Representative Mark Willadsen, along with most of the lawmakers in Pierre, agrees with Daugaard's push to improve South Dakota’s transportation quality. Here’s why it’s important for citizens of the state.

Another large focus of Governor Daugaard's speach was the workforce issue in South Dakota. He said the state must continue its efforts in keeping South Dakota’s youth in the state for the long-term. 

Republican State Representative Roger Hunt agreed with the Governor in keeping South Dakota’s future (high school and college students) in the state. He said not only should students be given the opportunity to study what they want within South Dakota, but they should also be able to find a job in the state, once they complete their degree.

Hunt said workforce development is important for South Dakotans because it will help other factors of the state in chain-of-events fashion.

Democratic State Representative Ray Ring was a little more specific in his thoughts on the workforce issue in South Dakota. He said workforce in education, more specifically teachers, should be a priority for lawmakers. 

Ring said he was disappointed, but not surprised, to hear Governor Daugaard leave the teacher shortage out of the workforce issue during the State of the State Address. He said it’s important for South Dakota to help teachers, which will in turn keep them in the state.

State Democrats also mentioned Medicaid Expansion, which Daugaard did NOT mention in his State of the State Address, as an area of priority for lawmakers during this year's session. 

Democratic State Representative Julie Bartling said Medicaid Expansion makes sense for South Dakotans. She said she’s optimistic that something can get done soon.

Republican State Representative Herman Otten said he agrees with most of the Governor’s concerns from the speech. He said every year South Dakotans should care about actions taking place in Pierre, regardless if you’re a republican or a democrat.  

The 2015 legislative session is 39 days long with some of the key dates being: Last day to introduce new bills (February 4), crossover day (February 25), last day for a bill or joint resolution to pass both houses (March 10), and the last day of the session (March 30).

What issues would you like to see resolved during this year's session? Do you agree with the politicians above?

subscribe to sdpb email updates TileAd_Beatsupport_300x250.png food and cooking banner image learning blog link living blog link news and information blog link science and technology blog link sports blog link image

The Latest From SDPB Radio News

A Company In Business To Save Our Planet: Yvon Chinourd And Dan O'Brien

We talk buffalo, grasslands, and regenerative agriculture with Dan O'Brien, founder of South Dakota's Wild Idea...

Empowering Community Through Design

The Sioux Falls Design Center is not just for designers. It's for community memberrs to connect and engage with the...

Seeing Dakota With Sheila Agee and Ann Pederson

"Seeing Dakota: Collisions and Confluences" is a collaboration of artist Shelia Agee and writer and theologian Ann...

Haugaard Elected Speaker Of The House

Representative Steve Haugaard is elected the next Speaker of the House for the South Dakota state legislature. The...

Are The Old West Myths Really True?

In The Moment ... November 13, 2018 Show 459 Hour 1 Bill Markley co-authored Old West Showdown with Kellen Cutsforth....

Meghan O'Gieblyn "Interior States"

In The Moment ... November 13, 2018 Show 459 Hour 1 Meghan O'Gieblyn's newly released collection of essays is called...

Keystone XL On Hold; Judge Finds Environmental Study Incomplete

The Keystone XL pipeline project has been stalled by a judicial order coming out of a Montana federal court. Judge...

Solidarity On The 80th Anniversary Of Kristallnacht

In The Moment ... November 9, 2018 Show 458 Hour 1 On the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or "The Night of Broken...

Moment In Sound With John Statz

In The Moment ... November 9, 2018 Show 458 Hour 1 Relationships, travel, soul-searchinig ... they're the subjects...

The $1 Million Dollar Sanford Lorraine Cross Award

In just a few weeks on December 4th, the award for the $1 Million Sanford Lorraine Cross Award is to be presented...

The Latest from NPR News

Officer Gave Security Guard 'Multiple Verbal Commands' To Drop Gun, Police Now Say

The agency said Roberson was in "plain black clothing with no markings readily identifying him as a Security Guard."...

Sri Lanka's Newly Appointed Prime Minister Ousted In No-Confidence Motion

Just three weeks after being sworn in, Mahinda Rajapksa faced a hostile parliament with a majority of lawmakers...

Man Who Made Fatal 'Swatting' Hoax Call Pleads Guilty To 51 Charges

Prosecutors say Tyler Barriss, 26, made numerous calls falsely reporting bombs and other crimes, including one that...

The Cost of Courage: The 2 Couples Who Rescued My Family From The Nazis

Two couples sheltered Uri Berliner's family when the Nazis came to power. One thrived; the other paid a terrible price.

A Toy Monkey That Escaped Nazi Germany And Reunited A Family

Gert Berliner packed a stuffed monkey when he fled the Nazis as a child. He kept the toy for more than a half...

Hamas And Israel Agree To Egyptian-Brokered Cease-Fire

Hamas leaders announced the truce late Tuesday afternoon, thanking Egypt, Qatar, Norway and U.N. efforts. Israeli...