South Dakota State Senate
|South Dakota State Senate|
|Partisan control:||Republican Party|
|Term limits:||4 terms (8 years)|
|2015 session start:||January 13, 2015|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Matthew Michels (R)|
|Minority Leader:||Billie Sutton (D)|
Democratic Party (8)
Republican Party (27)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art III, Sec 1, South Dakota Constitution|
|Salary:||$12,000/2 years + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (35 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (35 seats)|
|Redistricting:||South Dakota Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Senate Committees
- 7 History
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
As of May 2015, South Dakota is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article III of the South Dakota Constitution establishes when the South Dakota State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 7 of Article III states that the Legislature is to meet in regular session each year on the second Tuesday of January.
The South Dakota Constitution also contains provisions concerning special sessions of the Legislature. Section 3 of Article IV allows the Governor of South Dakota to convene a special session of the Legislature. Additionally, Section 31 of Article III allows for a special session to be convened by the presiding officers of both legislative houses upon the written request of two-thirds of the members of each house.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the Legislature was in session from January 13 to March 30.
Republicans and Democrats both expressed differing opinions on the major issues that the legislature would be tackling in 2015. According to State Rep. Alex Jensen (R), lawmakers would focus on infrastructure and transportation issues. This included a Senate bill (S.B.1) that proposed the use of county and local taxes to fund road projects. Democrats, on the other hand, would focus on teacher pay (and recurring issue in front of the state's legislature) and the expansion of Medicaid.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through March 31.
Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included the state budget, a texting ban and domestic violence.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through March 25.
Major issues in the 2013 included reforming the state's criminal justice system and approving a balanced budget.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 10 through March 19.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Legislature was in session from January 11 through March 28.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
Role in state budget
- See also: South Dakota state budget and finances
|South Dakota on|
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in June and July of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
- State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in September.
- Agency hearings are held in September and October.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in December.
- The legislature typically adopts a budget in March. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The fiscal year begins July 1.
The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the legislature is legally required to pass a balanced budget.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 indicating that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis, while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. The challenges states faced included a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. South Dakota was one of 11 states that made rare use of cost-benefit analyses in policy and budget processes.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, South Dakota received a grade of B+ and a numerical score of 89.5, indicating that South Dakota was "advancing" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. South Dakota was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The general elections for the office of South Dakota State Senate took place on November 4, 2014. A primary election took place on June 3, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 25, 2014.
The signature filing deadline was March 27, 2012.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, South Dakota State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 25||Tim Rave||2.5%||10,988||Dan Ahlers|
|District 2||Chuck Welke||2.8%||10,581||Art Fryslie|
|District 17||Tom Jones||4.9%||9,065||John Chicoine|
|District 26||Larry Lucas||6%||8,314||Kent Juhnke|
|District 7||Larry Tidemann||7%||8,150||Pamela Merchant|
|District 3||Al Novstrup||7.1%||10,368||H. Paul Dennert|
|District 22||Jim White||8.8%||9,550||Chris Studer|
|District 15||Angie Buhl||9.5%||5,428||Kathy Miles|
|District 14||Deb Soholt||11%||11,259||Brian Kaatz|
|District 12||Mark Johnston||12.5%||10,490||Kent Alberty|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 30, 2010. The primary Election Day was June 8, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $1,090,800 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:
|2010 Donors, South Dakota State Senate|
|South Dakota Senate Republicans Campaign Cmte||$36,500|
|South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association||$19,750|
|South Dakota Education Association||$15,750|
|South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations||$15,750|
|South Dakota Republican Party||$15,422|
|South Dakota Association of Realtors||$14,700|
|South Dakota Retailers Association||$13,850|
|Codington County Republican Central Cmte||$11,500|
|South Dakota Corn Growers Association||$11,250|
Elections for the office of South Dakota State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 3, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $2,196,661. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, South Dakota State Senate|
|South Dakota Republican Party||$169,874|
|Senate Republican Campaign Cmte Of South Dakota||$97,500|
|Adelstein, Stanford M||$60,783|
|South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association||$47,000|
|South Dakota Education Association||$39,800|
|South Dakota Association Of Realtors||$18,850|
|South Dakota Association Of Healthcare Organizations||$18,750|
|Heineman, Phyllis M||$17,500|
Elections for the office of South Dakota State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 6, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $1,811,174. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, South Dakota State Senate|
|South Dakota Republican Party||$165,101|
|Adelstein, Stanford M||$102,813|
|South Dakota Democratic Party||$67,250|
|South Dakota Education Association||$50,575|
|South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association||$48,850|
|Oscar Anderson South Dakota Freedom Fund||$24,740|
|South Dakota Freedom Fund||$23,522|
|Women Run! South Dakota||$18,065|
Elections for the office of South Dakota State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 1, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $859,976. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, South Dakota State Senate|
|Adelstein, Stanford M||$124,703|
|South Dakota Republican Party||$54,793|
|21St Century South Dakota PAC||$47,077|
|South Dakota State Medical Association||$16,650|
|South Dakota Association Of Healthcare Organizations||$16,050|
|South Dakota Association Of Realtors||$15,600|
|South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association||$11,450|
|South Dakota Association Of Specialty Care Providers||$11,350|
|International Brotherhood Of Teamsters||$10,500|
Elections for the office of South Dakota State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 4, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $429,255. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, South Dakota State Senate|
|South Dakota Republican Party||$26,860|
|South Dakota Democratic Party||$14,593|
|South Dakota Association Of Healthcare Organizations||$11,450|
|South Dakota Association Of Realtors||$8,050|
|South Dakota State Medical Association||$7,900|
|South Dakota Education Association||$6,150|
|South Dakota Optometric Association||$6,000|
|South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association||$5,850|
|Associated General Contractors Of South Dakota||$5,300|
Elections for the office of South Dakota State Senate consisted of a primary election on June 6, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $429,065. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, South Dakota State Senate|
|South Dakota Republican Party||$69,405|
|South Dakota Democratic Party||$63,694|
|South Dakota Education Association||$14,412|
|South Dakota Association Of Healthcare Organizations||$13,100|
|De Hueck, Patricia||$10,597|
|South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association||$8,850|
|South Dakota Association Of Realtors||$8,250|
|South Dakota State Medical Association||$8,200|
- A U.S. citizen at the time of filing
- 21 years old at the filing deadline time
- A two-year resident of South Dakota at the filing deadline time
- May not have been convicted of bribery, perjury or other infamous crime; may not have illegally taken "public moneys"
- A qualified voter. A qualified voter is someone who is:
- * A U.S. citizen
- * Reside in South Dakota
- * At least 18 years old old on or before the next election
- * Not currently serving a sentence for a felony conviction which included imprisonment, served or suspended, in an adult penitentiary system
- * Not be judged mentally incompetent by a court of law
- * Not have served 4 consecutive terms
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
Under the state constitution, the Governor is responsible for appointing a replacement in the event a vacancy happens in the senate. There are no deadlines set in the state constitution to when the Governor has to fill the vacancy.
- See also: State legislatures with term limits
The South Dakota legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the South Dakota Term Limits Act in 1992. That initiative said that South Dakota senators are subject to term limits of no more than four consecutive two-year terms, or eight consecutive years. State senators can run again after they have been out of office for a term.
The South Dakota State Legislature has tried on more than one occasion, each time unsuccessfully, to persuade the state's voters to repeal term limits. The most recent such failed attempt was when Amendment J lost in 2008 by 75-25%.
The first year that the term limits enacted in 1992 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 2000.
The Legislature is tasked with drawing and passing new legislative maps, which the Governor can veto. The maps must be pre-cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia per Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Census data was delivered to South Dakota on February 11, 2011. The state's population grew 7.9 percent to 814,180, making it the 25th fastest-growing state in the country. On October 24, 2011, the state legislature passed HB 1001, which was signed by Governor Dennis Daugaard on October 25, and pre-cleared on January 19, 2012.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the South Dakota Legislature are paid $12,000/two-year term. Legislators receive $110/day per diem. Rates are set by the legislature.
South Dakota does not provide pensions for legislators.
When sworn in
South Dakota legislators assume office the first day of session after election (Jan. 13).
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of May 2015|
The Lieutenant Governor acts as President of the Senate. The President only votes in the case of a tie. The senate elects one member to serve as President pro tempore; this officer presides in the absence of the president, appoints committees, and assigns legislation to committee.
List of current members
The South Dakota State Senate has 13 standing committees.
- Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- Appropriations Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- Commerce and Energy Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- Education Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- Government Operations and Audit Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- Health and Human Services Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- Judiciary Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- Legislative Procedure Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- Local Government Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- Retirement Laws Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- State Affairs Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- Taxation Committee, South Dakota State Senate
- Transportation Committee, South Dakota State Senate
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the South Dakota State Senate for two years while the Republicans were the majority for 20 years. The South Dakota State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. South Dakota was under Republican trifectas for the final 19 years of the study.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the South Dakota state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. For all but two years of the study, South Dakota had Republican trifectas. For over half the years of the study South Dakota was ranked in the top-10. Its best ranking, finishing 5th, occurred in 2010, and its worst, finishing 14th, occurred in 2000.
- South Dakota
- South Dakota House of Representatives
- South Dakota State Legislature
- South Dakota state legislative districts
- State legislative scorecards in South Dakota
- Governor of South Dakota
- South Dakota Constitution
- Official website of the South Dakota State Legislature
- List of 2015 members of the South Dakota State Senate
- termlimits.org, "List of state legislative term limits," accessed December 18, 2013
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
- Caiti Blase, KDLT News, "South Dakota Legislature To Tackle Big Issues For 2015," January 12, 2015
- kotatv.com, "Sneak Peek into 2014 South Dakota Legislative Session," December 24, 2013
- KTIV, "UPDATE: SD Governor asks lawmakers to revamp criminal justice system," January 8, 2013
- South Dakota Legislative Research Council, "2011 SD Legislative Calendar," March 12, 2010
- South Dakota Legislative Research Council, "2010 session dates for South Dakota Legislature," January 21, 2010
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money, "South Dakota Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 2, 2014
- Follow the Money, "South Dakota 2008 Candidates," accessed July 31, 2013
- Follow the Money, "South Dakota 2006 Candidates," accessed July 31, 2013
- Follow the Money, "South Dakota 2004 Candidates," accessed July 31, 2013
- Follow the Money, "South Dakota 2002 Candidates," accessed July 31, 2013
- Follow the Money, "South Dakota 2000 Candidates," accessed July 31, 2013
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "Qualification to Hold Office & Term Limitations," accessed August 2, 2014
- South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Constitution," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Section Article 3, Section 10)
- All About Redistricting, Loyola University School of Law, accessed July 5, 2012
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
State of South Dakota
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Secretary of Education | Director of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources | Secretary of Labor | Chairman of Public Utilities |