The Legislature meets at the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre. It begins its annual session of the second Tuesday of January each year. The legislative session lasts 40 working days in odd-numbered years, and 35 days working days in even numbered years. Generally, the legislature meets every business day until the session ends, excepting on last day which is delayed to allow for consideration of gubernatorial vetoes. In addition, the legislature occasionally meets on Saturdays to make-up for recesses on holidays such as Presidents' Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The legislature selects, from its membership, an Executive Board to tend to administrative matters during the time when the legislature is not in session. The administrative support for the legislature is provided by the Legislative Research Council.
State legislators are elected from 35 legislative districts; each district elects one senator and two representatives. In 34 districts, representatives are elected at-large from the entire district. District 28, however, is divided into two house districts, each of which elects one representative. This is meant to ensure greater representation of Native Americans in the legislature.
Legislative districts are redrawn every ten years, following the United States Census. The districts currently in effect were adopted by the legislature in 2001. Each district encompasses approximately 21,500 people.
As a result of a 2005 court order, several legislative districts in the southwest corner of the state were redrawn for the 2006 elections. District 26 was split into two single-member house districts, much like District 28. The state appealed the District Court decision that resulted in these changes, but the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's ruling. The legislature decided not to appeal the decision.
The senate elects one member to serve as President pro tempore; this officer presides in the absence of the president, appoints committees, and assigns legislation to committee. The current President pro tem is Senator Bob Gray, a Republican from Pierre.
At present, the Senate has 20 Republicans and 15 Democrats. Each party selects a floor leader. The current majority leader is David Knudson, a Republican from Sioux Falls; the minority leader is Scott Heidepriem, a Democrat who is also from Sioux Falls. In addition, each party also selects a number of whips, who assist the floor leader in leading their respective caucuses.
|1||Gary D. Hanson||Democrat||Sisseton|
|4||James R. Peterson||Democrat||Revillo|
|5||Nancy Turbak Berry||Democrat||Watertown|
|9||Thomas A. Dempster||Republican||Sioux Falls|
|10||Gene Abdallah||Republican||Sioux Falls|
|11||Jason Gant||Republican||Sioux Falls|
|12||Sandy Jerstad||Democrat||Sioux Falls|
|13||Scott Heidepriem||Democrat||Sioux Falls|
|14||David L. Knudson||Republican||Sioux Falls|
|15||Gil Koetzle||Democrat||Sioux Falls|
|24||Bob Gray||Republican||Fort Pierre|
|27||Theresa Two Bulls||Democrat||Pine Ridge|
|32||Tom Katus||Democrat||Rapid City|
|33||Dennis Schmidt||Republican||Rapid City|
|34||Royal "Mac" McCracken||Republican||Rapid City|
|35||William Napoli||Republican||Rapid City|
The current House has 49 Republicans, 20 Democrats, and one vacancy. Each party selects a floor leader. The current majority leader is Larry Rhoden (R) of Union Center; the minority leader is Dale Hargens (D) of Miller. In addition, each party selects a number of whips to aid the floor leaders in leading their respective caucuses.
|4||Val Rausch||Republican||Big Stone City|
|10||Roger W. Hunt||Republican||Brandon|
|Shantel Krebs||Republican||Sioux Falls|
|11||Mark Willadson||Republican||Sioux Falls|
|Keri Weems||Republican||Sioux Falls|
|12||Manny Steele||Republican||Sioux Falls|
|Hal Wick||Republican||Sioux Falls|
|13||Phyllis Heineman||Republican||Sioux Falls|
|Bill Thompson||Democrat||Sioux Falls|
|14||Joni M. Cutler||Republican||Sioux Falls|
|Marc Feinstein||Democrat||Sioux Falls|
|15||Mary Glenski||Democrat||Sioux Falls|
|Kathy Miles||Democrat||Sioux Falls|
|22||Quinten Burg||Democrat||Wess. Springs|
|24||Ryan P. Olson||Republican||Onida|
|25||Dan Ahlers||Democrat||Dell Rapids|
|27||Jim Bradford||Democrat||Pine Ridge|
|28A||Tom Van Norman||Democrat||Eagle Butte|
|28B||Betty Olson||Republican||Prairie City|
|Larry Rhoden||Republican||Union Center|
|30||Gordon Howie||Republican||Rapid City|
|32||Brian Gosch||Republican||Rapid City|
|Brian Dreyer||Republican||Rapid City|
|33||Mike Buckingham||Republican||Rapid City|
|Don Van Etten||Republican||Rapid City|
|34||David Lust||Republican||Rapid City|
|Ed McLaughlin||Republican||Rapid City|
|35||Jeff Haverly||Republican||Rapid City|
|Mark Kirkeby||Republican||Rapid City|