South Dakota lawmakers finished the bulk of their legislative session last week, with Gov. Kristi Noem and House Republicans locked in a power struggle over the spending of federal funds as well as an impeachment investigation into Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
Republicans rule the Capitol but were clearly not on the same page this year. Several of their proposals became casualties of the fight, but lawmakers still got some done — including how to spend a massive influx of federal funds, some tweaks to the state’s new medical marijuana laws, action on several high-profile social issues.
A number of bills appear to be on Noem’s radar for a veto, and lawmakers could return to Pierre on March 28 for a chance to gain the two-thirds majority necessary for a veto override.
That’s already the day the House special committee investigating Ravnsborg for his conduct in a 2020 fatal car crash will release a report of its findings.
Noem wants Ravnsborg removed from office, but the committee has pushed back against what they call her attempts to influence the impeachment process.
Noem has already struck back at those plans, charging on Twitter that Republican House Speaker Spencer Gosch is “protecting” Ravnsborg.
The House alone will meet on April 14 to consider the committee’s recommendations. If the panel has drafted articles of impeachment, the full House will vote at that time on those charges against the attorney general.
If the articles of impeachment pass, Ravnsborg will then stand trial before the State Senate, which will decide if he stays in office.