South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands

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South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2014 FY FY Budget:  $839,955
Term limits:  2 consecutive
Structure
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  South Dakota Constitution Article IV, Section 7
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Vern Larson.jpg
Name:  Vernon L. Larson
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  August 16, 2013
Compensation:  $83,135
Elections
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other South Dakota Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerCommissioner of School and Public LandsNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands is an elected, constitutional officer in the executive department. The Commissioner of School and Public Lands is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.

Current officeholder

The current South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands is Vernon L. Larson. Governor Dennis Daugaard announced on May 20, 2013 that he would appoint Larson to fill the vacancy created by Republican officeholder Jarrod Johnson's resignation. Johnson was first elected in 2006 and subsequently re-elected in 2010.[1] He announced on April 5, 2013 that he would resign from office before the end of his term to spend more time with his family.[2]

Larson previously served as State Auditor and State Treasurer.[3] Serving as South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands makes him the first person in South Dakota to have held three different constitutional offices. Larson stated upon the announcement of his appointment that he would not seek election to a full term as commissioner in 2014.

Authority

The South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands's powers, term of office, etc. are derived from Article IV of the South Dakota Constitution.

Article IV, Section 7:

Other Executive Officers--Powers and Duties

There shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the state at the general election of the Governor and every four years thereafter the following constitutional officers: attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, and commissioner of school and public lands, who shall severally hold their offices for a term of four years. Commencing with the 1992 general election, no person may be elected to more than two consecutive terms as attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, or commissioner of school and public lands.

Qualifications

There are no specific qualifications for the office of South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands.

Elections

South Dakota elects the Commissioner of School and Public Lands in midterm elections, not presidential election years. South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands election years included: 2006, 2010, 2014, etc.

Term limits

No person may serve as South Dakota Commissioner of Schools and Public Lands for more than two consecutive terms, as stated in Article IV, Section 7 of the South Dakota Constitution.

Full History


Vacancies

According to the South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 3, Chapter 4, the office of South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands is considered vacant if the incumbent:

  • Dies;
  • Resigns;
  • Is removed from office;
  • Fails to qualify as provided by law;
  • Is no longer a resident of the state;
  • Is convicted of "any infamous crime or of any offense involving a violation of his official oath;"
  • Or, breaches of his or her official bond.[4]

If a vacancy occurs in the office of Commissioner of School and Public Lands after May 30 of an even numbered year, it is filled till the end of the vacated term by gubernatorial appointment. If the vacancy is created prior May 30 of an even numbered year, it is filled by election, unless the year the vacancy is created in a year when the term of office would normally expire. If a person is elected for to fill a vacancy, the newly elected commissioner waits to take office until the day of that year when a full term for that office would normally commence.[5][6]

Duties

See Energy policy in South Dakota for information on the state's energy portfolio and goals.

The South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public lands has several duties prescribed by Article VIII of the state constitution.

The office was mainly created to deal with lands designated for educational use by the federal government. Section 4 lays out the details for appraising such school lands that might be sold. It states that the commissioner sits on a board of appraisers that evaluate all school lands that are to be sold. This is board also includes the auditor and county superintendent of schools. Section 6 describes that such sales are to be conducted through the commissioner's office. All sales are subject to approval by the governor. Section 9 details the commissioner's role in leasing these lands.

Funds that are generated from the sale and lease of these lands and their mineral rights are used to fund education in the state.

Other duties of the Commissioner of School and Public Lands include:

  • Managing Permanent Trust Fund
  • Issuing and maintaining grazing leases
  • Inspecting and repairing state owned CCC and WPA Dams
  • Issuing and monitoring all mineral leases for the State
  • Controling noxious weeds on school and public lands, state-owned dams and meandered lakes
  • Recording land transactions for easements on right-of-ways and state-owned lands
  • Purchasing and selling property as requested by the legislature or other state agencies
  • Issues Seismic Permits on state-owned mineral acres[7]

Divisions

  • Education Permanate Trust Fund
  • Minerals Acres
  • Surface Acres

State budget

South Dakota School and Public Lands had an appropriated budget of $839,955 for the 2014 fiscal year.[8]

Compensation

See also: Compensation of state executive officers

2013

The South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands was paid $83,135.17 in 2013.[9]

Historical officeholders

There have been 26 South Dakota Commissioners of School and Public Lands since 1889. Of the 26 officeholders, 22 were Republican and 4 were Democrat.[10]

Recent news

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Contact info

South Dakota School and Public Lands
500 East Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3303
Fax: (605) 773-5520

See also

External links

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References