SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota legislative session beginning one week from tomorrow will bring lawmakers from across the state to Pierre. They’ll bring with them various perspectives, experiences and viewpoints. The legislature includes 105 lawmakers: 35 in the Senate and 70 in the House. Not only do they come from various communities across South Dakota, they also arrive in the capital at different points in their journey as lawmakers.
A term in Pierre lasts two years. Rep. Tony Randolph, a Republican from Rapid City, is not new to a legislative session.
“For me, this will be my fourth session, my second term, and each one has been different, so they’ve been interesting, they’ve been, the learning curve is not as steep as it was in the beginning,” Randolph said.
Rep. Jennifer Keintz, a Democrat from Eden, has less experience.
“For me, this is just going to be my second year there, and I’ve had a normal first-year learning curve, and things were a little different last year due to COVID, I’m hoping that things will be a little more open and interactive this year,” Keintz said. “But we’ll have, it remains to be seen what goes on with omicron variant.”
2021’s session can impact the upcoming session.
“I’m looking forward to getting back there with a little bit of knowledge and experience under my belt from being there for one year,” Keintz said.
Rep. Taylor Rehfeldt, a Republican from Sioux Falls, is like Keintz; 2022 will be her second year as a lawmaker in Pierre.
“I think we’ll see a lot of themes around workforce housing, child care,” Rehfeldt said.
But for some, the end of the legislative road may be approaching.
“I’m going into my final session,” said Sen. Troy Heinert, a Democrat from Mission. “I’m termed out of the Senate, I’ve said I wasn’t running for the House, so for me personally, I know there’s still some things that I would like to get done.”