South Dakota State Senate
|South Dakota State Senate|
|Term limits:||4 terms (8 years)|
|2015 session start:||January 8, 2013|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Matthew Michels, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Russell Olson, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Jason Frerichs, (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 6, 2012 (35 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (35 seats)|
|Redistricting:||South Dakota Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Elections
- 3 Term limits
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Senate Committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
As of March 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 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 8 through March 25.
- 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
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 is 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 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|
|Utah State Senate, 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|
- 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
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.
- 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 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 precleared 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. 11).
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of March 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.
|Current Leadership, South Dakota State Senate|
|President of the Senate||Matthew Michels||Republican|
|President Pro Tempore of the Senate||Bob Gray||Republican|
|State Senate Majority Leader||Russell Olson||Republican|
|State Senate Minority Leader||Jason Frerichs||Democratic|
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 have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
- Official website of the South Dakota State Senate
- List of 2010 members of the South Dakota State Senate
- List of state legislative term limits
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- KTIV, "UPDATE: SD Governor asks lawmakers to revamp criminal justice system," January 8, 2013
- 2011 SD Legislative Calendar
- 2010 session dates for South Dakota Legislature
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money: "South Dakota Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Qualifications for running for South Dakota Senate
- South Dakota Legislature "South Dakota Constitution"(Referenced Section Article 3, Section 10)
- State legislative term limits
- U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 South Dakota census statistics, retrieved July 5, 2012.
- All About Redistricting, Loyola University School of Law, retrieved 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 |