One advantage of living in South Dakota is the ability for the average person to engage with their legislators. Your legislators want to hear from you. Many issues are won because the average citizen wrote and submitted a letter to the local paper, wrote an email or letter, went to a Cracker Barrel/Legislative Coffee on a Saturday morning to talk to them, called them on the phone, or traveled to Pierre and visited with them on the chamber floor. Citizens are also welcome to attend committee hearings and to testify in person, online or over the phone.
Who are my legislators? Find my legislators -- Type in your address to find your district and your legislators.
How do I learn about bills?
The South Dakota Legislature Research Council website is very accessible and easy to navigate. On the homepage, you will find buttons to help you locate critical information. The Legislators button will take you to their contact information. The Session button will take you to a list of bills that have been filed. Click on a bill and you can follow it through the process. The Chambers/Committees tab contains more specific information such as agendas, links to bills, links to the members, etc.
Here’s a hot tip: wherever you see a little bird, you can click and listen to testimony and debate, live or recorded. You can also watch videos of the general sessions for each chamber live on SDPB.org or SD.net . Recorded sessions are also available on YouTube. Search “SD Legislative Session 2023.”
If you want to follow a bill closely, sign up for MyLRC and you will receive notifications about the status of the bill.
How do I contact my legislators?
Simply find their contact info on their listing and give them a call or send an email. Remember to always be polite and professional. If you are a constituent mention that in the email header or right away when speaking. Put the bill number and the way you want them to vote on it in the subject line of the email. "No on Senate Bill 57." Thank them for their service and taking the time to read your message. Even if they're voting against us on a current bill we want to maintain a good working relationship for the future.
Our legislative session runs from January to March. With many important elections happening in the primaries in June as well as November.