Lawmakers head to Pierre for the 96th Legislative Session

PIERRE, S.D. —All eyes will be on Pierre Tuesday as the 96th legislative session gets underway. Lawmakers will be sworn-in and Governor Noem will deliver her “State of the State” address.

“I am looking forward to the Governors State of the State Address to see more of what her vision is. Last year we had ‘South Dakota is Open for Business,’ and I am excited to hear what our continuance with that is going to be, and then what our new theme for this year will be,” said State Senator Jessica Castleberry of District 35.

Lawmakers in South Dakota will have a lot to discuss during the 96th Legislative Session. In addition to approving the states budget for the next fiscal year, legislators will have to deal with the nuts and bolts of legalized marijuana and sports betting. They will also need to decide what to do with one-time COVID-19 aid from the federal government.

State Senator Helene Duhamel of District 32, said, “This year COVID will take up a lot of oxygen, but so will cannabis. We have to deal with medical and recreational and sports wagering. So those are some of the really big things we have to deal with, and everyone has different ideas on how to do that.”

Vlcsnap 2021 01 11 17h18m26s559

Voters approved recreational and medical marijuana in November and now lawmakers must figure out how to regulate it.

State Representative Mike Derby of District 34, said, “South Dakota is the first state to pass both of those at the same time, so we’ve got a lot of learning to do, a lot of education. We’ve created in the White House what we are calling a ‘Cannabis Caucus’. There is about 15 of us that are interested in varying degrees in regards to legislation and I’ll be putting forth a bill and some legislation is regards to that.”

All 105 South Dakota lawmakers are expected to be in the capitol at some point during the legislative session.

NewsCenter1 will carry the governor’s address tomorrow beginning at noon both on MY-TV channel 21.2 and on


Categories: ConnectCenter1-Events, Local News, South Dakota News