SD House wants MMIW liaison in AG’s office

Capitol News Bureau
KELO SD capitol winter snow Pierre

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Representatives strongly backed legislation on Tuesday that would establish a liaison in the South Dakota attorney general’s office to concentrate on murdered and missing indigenous people.

House members voted 57-12 for HB 1199 sponsored by Representative Peri Pourier. The legislation now advances to the Senate.

“It’s a step toward a solution,” Pourier told representatives.

No one was listed yet as a Senate sponsor Tuesday.

Representative Spencer Gosch suggested the same result could be accomplished if the attorney general’s office had simply been asked. He urged the bill’s defeat.

Representative Randy Gross noted that the House was scheduled to debate HB 1269 later Tuesday that would provide $175,000 to the attorney general for creating and developing a new missing persons clearinghouse website.

Many more Democrats and Republicans spoke in favor, including Oren Lesmeister, Becky Drury, Carl Perry, Shawn Bordeaux, Liz May and Steve Haugaard.

The two bills were passed just hours after Representative Will Mortenson, House Republican leader Kent Peterson and House Democrat leader Jamie Smith filed two articles of impeachment against Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. Earlier, Governor Kristi Noem called on Ravnsborg to resign. He ran over and killed pedestrian Joe Boever the night of September 12, 2020.

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