PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Two different statewide proposals for election boundaries have been posted for the public to consider before the Legislature’s redistricting committees visit six communities across South Dakota later this month.
The layouts now carry generic names of birds, rather than the legislators who proposed them.
The Blackbird proposal outlines all 35 districts, including six for Sioux Falls and four for Rapid City.
The Falcon proposal shows only 31 districts, with seven for Sioux Falls, but doesn’t detail lines for Rapid City districts.
The maps are also different from each other in how they would treat many other parts of South Dakota.
Neither one was shown publicly Thursday when the committees held their most recent joint meeting.
Reed Holwegner, director for the Legislative Research Council that serves as lawmakers’ nonpartisan staff, was called to the meeting room at one point to advise off-microphone on the dispute.
House members adjourned at 3:55 p.m. and left in frustration, while senators stayed and drafted lines for the Rapid City legislative districts.
One of the disagreements was whether the Senate on its own could propose a statewide map.
A statewide map wasn’t on the two committees’ identical official agendas. House members spoke against taking the step because it wasn’t on the agendas. Senators defended the move, arguing that something was needed to show the public during the tour.
The committees next hold a series of public listening sessions October 11-13 across South Dakota. Details are on the Legislature’s official redistricting page. The Blackbird and Falcon proposals however are on a separate documents page for the Senate committee.
The Legislature plans to meet in special session November 8 to consider the final redistricting plan. The boundary changes would apply for House and Senate elections during the next decade, starting in 2022.