The Legislature begins

Today, the previews end and the lawmaking starts.

Well, the lawmaking probably actually only starts in earnest tomorrow. Today two significant things will happen:

  • lawmakers will elect their official leaders, such as Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate. These decisions have been made in advance, but the Speaker vote in particular could be interesting. Brian Gosch will almost certainly be the next Speaker, but will dissident Republicans speak or vote against him in what’s usually a litmus test of party-line support?
  • Gov. Dennis Daugaard will give his State of the State address, laying out the condition of the state and setting out some priorities. Spoiler: There will be a lot of comparisons to neighboring states, and South Dakota will come out ahead. Read a preview here, and learn more about his policy centerpiece, the criminal justice initiative, here.

Also, each day in the session, I’ll be recording a video interview with a lawmaker, lobbyist or official, talking about an issue of the day. (Perhaps by the 38th video I’ll finally be semi-comfortable in front of the cameras.) The first, a legislative preview with Lt. Gov. Matt Michels, is available to watch here.