South Dakota House of Representatives

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South Dakota House of Representatives

Seal of South Dakota.jpg
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   4 terms (8 years)
2015 session start:   January 8, 2013
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Brian Gosch, (R)
Majority Leader:   David Lust, (R)
Minority Leader:   Bernie Hunhoff, (D)
Members:  70
   Democratic Party (12)
Republican Party (58)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art III, South Dakota Constitution
Salary:   $12,000/two-year term + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (70 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (70 seats)
Redistricting:  South Dakota South Dakota Legislature has control
The South Dakota House of Representatives is the lower house of the South Dakota General Assembly, the South Dakota State Legislature. It consists of 70 members. Each member represents an average of 11,631 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 10,783 residents.[2]

South Dakota state representatives are elected to two year terms, and are limited to no more than four consecutive terms, as per Section 6 of Article III of South Dakota's Constitution.

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 House of Representatives 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 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through March 25.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 included reforming the state's criminal justice system and approving a balanced budget.[3]


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. [4]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the House was in session from January 12 to March 29.[5]

Ethics and transparency

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

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.[6]



See also: South Dakota House of Representatives elections, 2012

Elections for the office of South Dakota House of Representatives will be held in South Dakota on November 6, 2012. All 70 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 27, 2012.

South Dakota state representatives are subject to term limits, and may not serve more than four two-year terms. In 2012, 7 state representatives will be termed-out of office.


See also: South Dakota House of Representatives elections, 2010

Elections for the office of South Dakota's House of Representatives were held in South Dakota on November 2, 2010.

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 house raised a total of $1,675,460 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [7]


To be eligible to serve in the South Dakota House of Representatives, a candidate must be:[8]

  • 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


See also: 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 State Senate. There are no deadlines set in the state constitution to when the Governor has to fill the vacancy[9].


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.

2010 census

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.[10] On October 24, 2011, the state legislature passed HB 1001, which was signed by Governor Dennis Daugaard on October 25, and precleared on January 19, 2012.[11]


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 12
     Republican Party 58
Total 70

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the South Dakota State House of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the South Dakota State House.PNG


The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body.[12]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, South Dakota House of Representatives
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Brian Gosch Ends.png Republican
State House Speaker Pro Tempore Dean Wink Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Leader David Lust Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff Electiondot.png Democratic


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.[13]


South Dakota does not provide pensions for legislators.[14]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

South Dakota legislators assume office the first day of session after election (Jan. 11).

Current members

Current members, South Dakota House of Representatives
District Representative Party Assumed office
1 Susan Wismer Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
1 Dennis A. Feickert Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
2 Burt E. Tulson Ends.png Republican 2011
2 Brock L. Greenfield Ends.png Republican 2009
3 Daniel Kaiser Ends.png Republican 2013
3 David Novstrup Ends.png Republican 2007
4 Jim Peterson Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
4 Kathy Tyler Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
5 Roger Solum Ends.png Republican 2009
5 Melissa Magstadt Ends.png Republican 2011
6 Isaac Latterell Ends.png Republican 2013
6 Herman Otten Ends.png Republican 2013
7 Spencer Hawley Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
7 Scott Munsterman Ends.png Republican 2011
8 Scott Parsley Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
8 Leslie Heinemann Ends.png Republican 2013
9 Paula Hawks Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
9 Steve Hickey Ends.png Republican 2011
10 Don Haggar Ends.png Republican 2013
10 Jenna Haggar Ends.png Republican 2011
11 Christine M. Erickson Ends.png Republican 2013
11 Jim Stalzer Ends.png Republican 2013
12 Manford Steele Ends.png Republican 2007
12 Hal Wick Ends.png Republican 2011
13 G. Mark Mickelson Ends.png Republican 2013
13 Steve Westra Ends.png Republican 2013
14 Anne C. Hajek Ends.png Republican 2013
14 Marc Feinstein Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
15 Patrick Kirschman Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
15 Karen L. Soli Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
16 James Bolin Ends.png Republican 2009
16 David Anderson Ends.png Republican 2013
17 Nancy Rasmussen Ends.png Republican 2013
17 Ray Ring Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
18 Bernie Hunhoff Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
18 Mike Stevens Ends.png Republican 2013
19 Kyle Schoenfish Ends.png Republican 2013
19 Stace Nelson Ends.png Republican 2011
20 Tona Rozum Ends.png Republican 2011
20 Lance Carson Ends.png Republican 2007
21 Julie Bartling Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
21 Lee Qualm Ends.png Republican 2013
22 Dick Werner Ends.png Republican 2013
22 Peggy Anne Gibson Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
23 Justin Cronin Ends.png Republican 2009
23 Charles Hoffman Ends.png Republican 2009
24 Mary Duvall Ends.png Republican 2013
24 Tim Rounds Ends.png Republican 2013
25 Scott W. Ecklund Ends.png Republican 2013
25 Jon Hansen Ends.png Republican 2011
26A Troy Heinert Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
26B James Schaefer Ends.png Republican 2011
27 Elizabeth May Ends.png Republican 2013
27 Kevin Killer Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
28A Dean Schrempp Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
28B Betty Olson Ends.png Republican 2007
29 Gary L. Cammack Ends.png Republican 2013
29 Dean Wink Ends.png Republican 2009
30 Lance Russell Ends.png Republican 2009
30 Mike Verchio Ends.png Republican 2009
31 Fred Romkema Ends.png Republican 2009
31 Timothy R. Johns Ends.png Republican 2013
32 Brian Gosch[15] Ends.png Republican 2007
32 Kristin Conzet[16] Ends.png Republican 2009
33 Scott W. Craig Ends.png Republican 2013
33 Jacqueline Sly Ends.png Republican 2009
34 David Lust Ends.png Republican 2007
34 Dan Dryden Ends.png Republican 2011
35 Don Kopp Ends.png Republican 2009
35 Blaine Campbell Ends.png Republican 2013

Standing committees

The South Dakota House of Representatives has 13 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, South Dakota’’
Partisan breakdown of the South Dakota legislature from 1992-2013

During every year from 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the South Dakota State House of Representatives. The South Dakota House of Representatives is one of nine state Houses 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 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives 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 have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of South Dakota, the South Dakota State Senate and the South Dakota House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of South Dakota state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links