PIERRE, S.D.(KCCR)- The first steps in resetting South Dakota’s legislative districts were taken Tuesday at the South Dakota State Capitol as the House and Senate Redistricting Committees met for the first time. Legislative Research Council attorney Matt Frame says the Redistricting Committee may not see 2020 Census numbers until the end of September.
It’s possible a special legislative session may be needed to make the December 31st deadline. Frame says the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on Census gathering may also invalidate the very information legislators need to re-draw district maps.
Frame said there are a lot of state and federal requirements that have to be followed.
Frame said some districts will be easy to draw, others will not.
Senator Jim Bolin served on the last Redistricting Committee 10 years ago and told the Committee to take the effort one step at a time.
Some pre-work is already being done. Committee meeting will take place in March or April, June, July and August with field hearings in October. Committee Chair Senator Mary Duvall of Pierre says they are working with L-R-C staff to try and make meetings as accessible to the public as possible.
A simple majority vote in each chamber is required to pass a redistricting plan, which is subject to veto by the governor.
The public meetings are set to be held in Rapid City (Oct. 11 at 8am MT), Mission (Oct. 11 at 3pm CT), Mobridge (Oct. 12 at 8am CT), Aberdeen (Oct. 12 at 1pm CT), Watertown (Oct. 12 at 5pm CT) and Sioux Falls (Oct. 13 at 2pm and 6pm). Specific locations for each meeting have yet to be determined, but the public will be notified once details are known.