Education, protection of the elderly and upholding Indian history and culture are top issues in the overall agenda of Native American lawmakers during the 2022 South Dakota legislative session. Following bills filed by Native lawmakers and those related to Native issues is one way to see which issues are most important to members of South Dakota's Native community.
According to a new poll, a wide majority of South Dakotans support their right to make laws at the ballot box through the citizen-led ballot initiative process. The poll of 500 state residents by South Dakota News Watch and the Chiesman Center for Democracy also revealed that a majority of respondents do not want the Legislature to make the process more difficult.
Two cousins who were close to the man killed when struck by a car driven by South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg are concerned that investigators may not be seeking the full truth about what happened to their cousin. Joseph Boever, 55, was stuck and killed the night of Saturday, Sept. 12 by a car driven by Ravnsborg, who was driving home from a GOP event in Redfield around 10:30 p.m. Ravnsborg, who has a history of speeding violations, told authorities he thought he had struck a deer.
A strong reputation and strong relationships have helped Sioux Falls attorney Matt McCaulley position himself as both a top adviser to Gov. Kristi Noem and as a lobbyist for numerous private entities across the state. McCaulley shuns publicity and operates mostly behind-the-scenes of the legislative process. But his dual role in working for Noem, while continuing to lobby for 16 private clients, has drawn some criticism in Pierre.
A legislative battle is heating up in Pierre between municipal electric utilities and rural electric co-operatives over a law that allows cities to take over rural electric customers and infrastructure when annexations take place. The co-ops are supporting a bill that would give them more rights when cities expand and take customers and revenues away from the rural providers. Municipalities say the law helps them attract development; the co-ops say the taking of more customers could lead to higher rates for rural customers.
The state Legislative Research Council modernized its bill filing and tracking system this session, but some people in Pierre worry it has reduced public access to the legislative process.
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