Legislative work is not confined to the 37 days we are in Session. Before the 2021 Session ended, we were already working on interim topics. I think that interim work is invaluable. There is ample time to do in-depth research on an issue and to work with interested South Dakotans to fine-tune good policy for our state.
I will be working on three specific topics between now and the start of the 2022 Session: legislative redistricting, timber land assessments, and township and county road and bridge needs. The legislative redistricting work will be done through a formal committee process. The other two are informal work groups.
I am also serving on the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council. The E-Board identified four topics for formal interim committee work: marijuana, workforce housing, delivery of mental health services, and mental health of first responders. These will be in addition to statutory interim committees such as the Ag Land Assessment Oversight committee, Government Operations and Audit Committee, appropriations, retirement laws, rules review, and State-Tribal relations.
In addition, this year South Dakota will host the 75th Annual Meeting for the Midwestern Legislative Conference for the Council of State Governments. This annual conference provides a time for legislators from eleven midwestern states and adjoining provinces to build cross-state friendships, learn with and from legislative colleagues, and participate in professional development workshops.
The legislative interim is also a good time for constituents to reach out to their legislators with questions and concerns about issues that need to be addressed. For issues that need a change to state law, the earlier your District 24 legislators can start on those, the better.
Please feel free to reach out to me, Rep. Mortenson, or Rep. Weisgram at any time with ways we can work for the good of South Dakota.