South Dakota’s 15 member Legislative Redistricting Committee is currently conducting public hearings in order to gather citizen input and feedback in order to help us effectively redraw all 35 legislative district boundaries in the state. I am honored to be one of the members who are tasked with this important responsibility that occurs every 10 years after the new federal census numbers are unveiled.
The 2010 federal census numbers were very interesting to analyze. Consider these facts and figures derived from the 2010 census:
* The population of South Dakota is now 814,180 people
* There are 25 counties in the state that increased in population since 2000
* There are 41 counties in the state that decreased in population since 2000
* Minnehaha, Lincoln and Pennington Counties have experienced 20.8% growth in the last 10 years
* The pockets of growth appear to be in the southeast region of South Dakota, to certain counties along the I-29 corridor, the Black Hills region and then many of the Native American Reservations.
The Legislative Redistricting Committee consists of the following members:
Rep. Jim Bolin (Canton), Sen. Jim Bradford (Pine Ridge), Sen. Corey Brown (Gettysburg), Sen. Joni Cutler (Sioux Falls), Rep. Mitch Fargen (Flandreau), Rep. Brian Gosch (Rapid City), Rep. Kent Juhnke (Vivian), Rep. Mark Kirkeby (Rapid City), Rep. David Lust (Rapid City), Sen. Russell Olson (Madison), Sen. Deb Peters (Hartford), Rep. Val Rausch (Big Stone City), Sen. Larry Rhoden (Union Center), Sen. Todd Schlekeway (Sioux Falls), Rep. Susan Wismer (Britton).
Our next public meeting will be July 28 in Pierre, South Dakota. We will be conducting other public committee and sub-committee meetings throughout the summer and fall. The entire 105 member legislature will ultimately debate and vote on a new redistricting plan on October 24 during a special session of the legislature.
All of our meetings and hearings are streamed live on the Legislative Research Council website (www.legis.state.sd.us). Feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions and insight for me during the redistricting process.