PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Legislature opens its 2023 regular session on January 10, with House and Senate calendars already posted for the first three days.
The 70 representatives and 35 senators will meet in their respective chambers on the state Capitol’s third floor at noon on that Tuesday. Then they will gather for a joint session at 1 p.m. to hear the governor’s State of the State speech in the House.
On Wednesday, January 11, the two bodies will meet in their respective chambers at 1 p.m. and then assemble for a joint session at 1:30 p.m. in the House for the State of the Judiciary address from South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven Jensen.
On Thursday, January 12, the lawmakers will meet in their respective chambers at 1 p.m. and then move into a joint session at 1:30 p.m. in the House for the State of the Tribes address. The invited tribal leader is Crow Creek Sioux Chairman Peter Lengkeek.
Lawmakers plan a 38-day session, with committee meetings most of the mornings and chamber action each afternoon. The session’s main run wraps up Thursday, March 9. After a two-week break, lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday, March 27, to handle any remaining vetoes or other unfinished business.
The House will have new leadership, with Hugh Bartels of Watertown presiding as speaker and Mike Stevens of Yankton as speaker pro tem. Will Mortenson of Pierre will lead the 63 Republicans, while Oren Lesmeister of Parade will lead the seven Democrats.
The Senate will again have Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden as its president and Senator Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown as president pro tem. The Senate’s new caucus leaders are Casey Crabtree of Madison for the 31 Republicans and Reynold Nesiba of Sioux Falls for the four Democrats.
There will be 33 brand-new legislators. They include five senators: Randy Deibert of Spearfish, Brent “B.R.” Hoffman of Sioux Falls, Steve Kolbeck of Brandon, Liz Larson of Sioux Falls, and Jim Mehlhaff of Pierre.
They also include 28 representatives: Amber Arlint of Sioux Falls, Julie Auch of Yankton, Jessica Bahmuller of Alexandria, Byron Callies of Watertown, Roger DeGroot of Brookings, Joe Donnell of Sisseton, Steve Duffy of Rapid City, Eric Emery of Rosebud, Mellissa Heerman of Brookings, Chris Kassin of Vermillion, Ben Krohmer of Mitchell, Dennis Krull of Hill City, David Kull of Brandon, Karla Lems of Canton, Curt Massie of Rapid City, Scott Moore of Ipswich, Brian Mulder of Sioux Falls, Kameron Nelson of Sioux Falls, Drew Peterson of Salem, Neal Pinnow of Lemmon, Tim Reisch of Howard, Stephanie Sauder of Bryant, Brandei Schaefbauer of Aberdeen, John Sjaarda of Valley Springs, Kenneth Teunissen of Sioux Falls, Tyler Tordsen of Sioux Falls, Tony Venhuizen of Sioux Falls, and Kadyn Wittman of Sioux Falls.
Lawmakers who moved from the House to the Senate are Arch Beal of Sioux Falls, Shawn Bordeaux of Mission, Sydney Davis of Burbank, Tom Pischke of Dell Rapids, Tim Reed of Brookings, and Dean Wink of Howes. Moving from Senate to the House is Gary Cammack of Union Center.
Former legislators who are returning are representatives William Shorma of Dakota Dunes and James Wangsness of Miller.
More information about the Legislature is at sdlegislature.gov.