PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A Senate map and a House map, that’s what South Dakota lawmakers will be discussing during a special legislative session on redistricting Monday.
The Legislature gavels in at 10 a.m. at the state Capitol. KELOLAND News will have updates throughout the day online and on-air. Here’s what you need to know ahead of Monday’s session.
The South Dakota Senate has adjourned for Monday and neither chamber has agreed to a new redistricting map.
A conference committee is being created to work out differences between House and Senate redistricting maps.
The South Dakota Legislative Research Council says “for a bill to become law, identical versions of the bill must pass both the Senate and House of Representatives for consideration by the Governor.” The differences between Blackbird (Senate map) and Grouse (House map) can be seen below.
One sticking point between the two proposals has been the overall deviation from the 2011 maps. The Blackbird map goes over 10% with deviations of 12.79%, while the Grouse map is under 10% at 9.71%.
There’s also differences in southeastern South Dakota, Sioux Falls and Rapid City districts.
The Blackbird map would combine Parker, Lennox, Canton and Beresford into a district, while combining Vermillion, Elk Point and Dakota Dunes. The Grouse map would combine Parker, Freeman in with Vermillion, while tying Canton, Beresford, Elk Point and Dakota Dunes together.
In Minnehaha County, the Blackbird map would leave eastern Sioux Falls tied together with Brandon as a district, while the Grouse map combines eastern Sioux Falls, Brandon in with Dell Rapids.
In Rapid City, there’s changes between Districts 33,34 and 35.
Senators Mary Duvall (R-Pierre), Casey Crabtree (R-Madison) and Troy Heinert (D-Mission) will meet with Representatives Spencer Gosch (R-Glenham), Kent Peterson (R-Salem) and Ryan Cwach (D-Yankton).
The House is voting to not-concur with SB 1 after the Senate “hoghoused” HB 1001 with an amendment that replaced HB 1001 with SB 1.
The not-concur passed 68-0 with two excused.
The discussion now moves to a conference committee.
The House heard SB 1 and issued it to the House State Affairs Committee to be further discussed.
The Senate is considering HB 1001 now.
Sen. Mary Duvall (R-Pierre) offered an amendment to put SB 1 in HB 1001 to get a conference committee setup. The “hoghoused” amendment passed 27-8.
The Senate then passed the Senate-amended HB 1001 26-9.
The Senate passed the Blackbird map, SB 1, 20-15. The Senate will recess and Senate Republicans will meet in a caucus.
The House passed the Grouse map 48-20 and has adjourned to await decisions from the Senate.
The House is now speaking about HB 1001, the Grouse map version of redistricting, on the House floor. Representative Drew Dennert (R-Aberdeen) said more than 200 people testified during redistricting meetings.
The Senate is hearing SB 1.
Sen. Jim Bolin (R-Canton) offered an amendment map. He highlighted the 9.57% overall deviation and how it gives the city of Sioux Falls seven legislative districts, similar to the House map. It maintains Tea, Harrisburg and Lennox in one district.
Sen. Maggie Sutton (R-Sioux Falls) said Minnehaha County represents 30% of the state and Bolin’s amendment map represents that county well.
Sen. President Pro Tem Lee Schoenbeck (R-Watertown) said Bolin’s amendment map was not in front of the public like the Blackbird map. He and a handful of other Senators spoke in opposing Bolin’s map.
Bolin’s amendment failed 23-12.
The House State Affairs Committee passed HB 1001 out of committee 9-4. It will now go to the full House floor.
The Senate State Affairs Committee passed the Senate map 7-2 onto the Senate floor.
After Sen. Duvall presented SB 1 to the committee, and it was amended to draw single-member sub-districts in Districts 26 and 28, Rep. Mike Derby (R-Rapid City) tried to get it amended for similar treatment in a Rapid City district but couldn’t get a senator on committee to offer it.
The House State Affairs Committee hearing has started. Legislative attorney Matt Frame said amendments and bills will be filed under the SDLRC website but the actual maps can be found on the 2021 Redistricting section of the website.
Representative Drew Dennert (R-Aberdeen) presented the Grouse 2.1 map and said it “was a product of hundreds of hours of work to develop this map.” He also said “there’s no perfect map” and the map meets all the standards set by state law and court precedent.
He said out of South Dakota’s 66 counties, 58 don’t have populations big enough to be legislative districts. He said District 9 (eastern) and 25 (western) represent the rural areas of Minnehaha County. He said there would be seven districts within the city of Sioux Falls.
Dennert said people in Turner County testified to remain as part of a full legislative district and they would be fine paired with Clay County.
There was opponent testimony regarding District 27, which incorporates the city of Wall in with the Pine Ridge Reservation.
House Speaker Spencer Gosch (R-Glenham) said the redistricting process didn’t start until late August because of COVID-19 delaying the Census data. In past years, the data would have been available in March.
Representative Tim Goodwin (R-Rapid City) introduced an amendment for District 30 to include the city of Wall. He said the city of Wall promotes South Dakota more than any other city and he called it a “tourist district.”
Goodwin’s amendment motion failed and the original bill passed 9-4.
The Senate State Affairs Committee hearing has started. There will be proponent and opponent testimony for Senate Bill 1.
The House gaveled in but is now in recess while the House State Affairs committee meets. Three Representatives were listed as excused absences — Liz May (R-Kyle), Sue Peterson (R-Sioux Falls) and Peri Pourier (D-Pine Ridge).
The Senate State Affairs committee will also be meeting Monday morning.
Lawmakers will be working to find common ground between the two different proposed redistricting maps.
If the House and Senate don’t agree on boundaries for legislative districts, the South Dakota Supreme Court, for the first time, would be in charge of drawing the new districts. Lawmakers are optimistic they will find common ground between the two current leading maps — Blackbird and Grouse.
The Senate redistricting committee map is known as Blackbird. During redistricting meetings and the statewide tour, lawmakers have heard feedback on maintaining clear rural and urban districts. Lawmakers have also heard from people who mostly don’t want their district to change. You can view the statewide map below.
The full proposal and breakdown of population per district and deviation from the 2011 districts can be found on the South Dakota Legislative Research Council’s website. The Senate map reflects an amended proposal that originated from Senator Casey Crabtree.
Some main differences between the top maps surround Sioux Falls in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties. You can view those differences in the slider below.
Sen. Mary Duvall (R-Pierre) chairs the Senate Redistricting Committee. She told KELOLAND News the process has been challenging this year.
“In sparsely populated areas, compact has a different meeting than it does in a really densely populated area,” Duvall told KELOLAND News in September.
It’s possible the chambers kill each other’s legislation. If that happens, House Majority Leader Kent Peterson (R-Salem) told KELOLAND News the House would create a conference committee to “get a compromised final map.”
Each district needs to be contiguous, home to 25,333 South Dakotan or within 5% more (max of 27,901) or less (minimum of 22,829) of that number.
Voters from each district elect a senator and nearly every district elects two representatives. Districts 26 and 28 are each split into two sub-districts where voters elect one senator and one representative, so that American Indian voters have a better chance of electing their candidates to House seats. Neither chamber’s plan provides for splitting district 34’s two House seats into sub-districts so that American Indian voters in North Rapid City would have a better chance too of picking a winning candidate.
One South Dakota organization is looking to change the redistricting process, by establishing a redistricting commission, through a ballot measure for 2022.