South Dakota lawmakers cooperated last year to pass measures revamping the state's criminal justice system and its economic development programs. Republican and Democratic leaders hope they can once again avoid, or at least limit, bitter partisan fights in the legislative session that begins Tuesday.
House Democratic Leader Bernie Hunhoff says the two parties cooperate in the South Dakota Legislature because lawmakers want to avoid the dysfunctional atmosphere that has led to gridlock in Congress.
House Republican Leader David Lust notes that Republicans hold sizable majorities in both the House and Senate, so the GOP could ram things through the Legislature. But he says Republicans want to include minority Democrats in key discussions.
Senate leaders say the two parties may disagree on issues but try to respect each other.
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