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Governor Daugaard's Weekly Columns

May 25, 2018

Governor's Column: In The Spirit Of Dr. Mead

In the late 19th Century, Dr. Leonard Mead served as the superintendent of South Dakota’s hospital for the mentally ill. Dr. Mead was known for treating his patients with dignity and he had a kind of compassion that wasn’t common enough for the time. Read more . . .

May 18, 2018

Governor's Column: $30.7 Million More To Support Education

If you’ve ever taken a course on psychology, you have probably heard of the marshmallow test. The social experiment was first initiated at Stanford in the 1960s and it involves sitting a child in a room by themselves with a marshmallow. Read more . . .

May 11, 2018

Governor's Column: To The Classes Of 2018

Congratulations to the classes of 2018! To all high school, college and technical school students graduating in South Dakota, I commend you for reaching this milestone. Read more . . .

May 04, 2018

Governor's Column: Appreciation For My Co-Workers

Aaron Scheibe has been instrumental in getting companies like Agropur and Terex to invest millions of dollars in South Dakota’s economy, and he played a key role in the development of Foundation Park, the state’s first mega industrial site. Read more . . .

Apr 20, 2018

Governor's Column: Celebrating South Dakota’s Conservationists

In South Dakota, we are fortunate to live on a landscape managed by dedicated farming and ranching families. For generations, they’ve known that their livelihoods depend on being good stewards of soil, water, livestock and wildlife. Read more . . .

Apr 13, 2018

Governor's Column: A Legacy That Still Inspires

This coming week will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Gov. George S. Mickelson. On April 19, 1993, Governor Mickelson was returning from Cincinnati, Ohio, where he had been meeting with the owners of the John Morrell packing plant in Sioux Falls. The plane crashed near Dubuque, Iowa. Read more . . .

Apr 06, 2018

Governor's Column: Continuing The Courtesy Patrol's Legacy

Eighty-three years ago, Gov. Tom Berry appointed South Dakota’s first patrolmen to enforce traffic laws and provide assistance to the public. Read more . . .

Mar 30, 2018

Governor's Column: Expecting Another Busy Year For South Dakota's Parks

It is officially spring and summer is around the corner. Now is a good time to plan a summer trip to one of our state parks. If not a week-long vacation, consider at least a weekend or weeknight stay. Read more . . .

Mar 23, 2018

Governor's Column: A Challenge To The SD Ag Foundation

This past week, on Tuesday, March 20, we celebrated National Ag Day. It was a day proclaimed by the President to recognize the “preeminent role that agriculture plays in our daily lives” and “agriculture’s continuing importance to rural America and our country’s economy.” Read more . . .

Mar 16, 2018

Governor's Column: The Purpose of SD's Juvenile Justice System

It has been three years since we reformed South Dakota’s juvenile justice system. When the legislation was passed, South Dakota had the second highest juvenile incarceration rate in the country. It was nearly three times the national average. At the same time, our juvenile violent crime arrest rate was approximately one-third of the national average. We were locking up primarily non-violent juvenile offenders. Read more . . .

Mar 09, 2018

Governor's Column: 2018 Legislative Session Accomplishments

As I write this, the South Dakota State Legislature is concluding the main run of its legislative session. This has been a productive year in Pierre, and I think South Dakotans can be proud of what has been accomplished. Read more . . .

Mar 02, 2018

Governor's Column: South Dakota's Economic Development Wins

There are many things happening in our state that lead me to be hopeful about South Dakota’s future, especially in the realm of economic development. Overall, 2017 was a great year in terms of economic development wins. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development helped facilitate deals that total over $735 million in investment and are expected to create more than 1,400 new jobs. Read more . . .

Feb 23, 2018

Governor's Column: Good Reason To Be Hopeful

On Tuesday, February 13th, the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations adopted revenue projections for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and FY2019 state budgets. Fortunately, since I offered my budget proposal in December, more recent months of revenue collections have been stronger. These months of improved revenue, coupled with the economic stimulus expected from federal tax cuts, portend better future revenue. Read more . . .

Feb 16, 2018

Governor's Column: The Perseverance Of Our Largest Industry

Last year was another tough year for agriculture. After seeing a lack of moisture in the spring, we declared a statewide emergency in June. The drought persisted throughout the summer, and even today, as I write this, over 90 percent of the ground in the state is abnormally dry with almost 60 percent of the state in moderate to severe drought. Read more . . .

Feb 09, 2018

Governor's Column: The Complex Issue Of Addiction

As a state, we grapple with many issues. Some are very complex, with no easy fix or single solution. These may require sustained effort over long periods, through different administrations and legislatures and generations of South Dakotans. Drug abuse is one such issue. Read more . . .

Feb 02, 2018

Governor's Column: Planting Trees Now

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” This old saying is a good description of how we have approached managing state government in the last seven years. Read more . . .

Jan 26, 2018

Governor's Column: Improving Our Medicaid Program

South Dakotans believe in self-reliance. The pioneers who settled this state over a century ago, as well as the natives who preceded them, understood the need for self-reliance. In fact, they knew no other way. Those who came to Dakota sought freedom and a fresh start. They understood, though, that freedom requires responsibility, because they could only survive by taking care of themselves. Read more . . .

Jan 19, 2018

Governor's Column: Giving the Open Waters Compromise Time to Work

The issue of nonmeandered waters has been a contentious one in recent decades. Problems arose in the 1990s, when water bodies in eastern South Dakota expanded greatly, after receiving far more moisture than normal. Several legislative efforts tried to address this challenge, but the many competing opinions and interests made compromise elusive. Read more . . .

Jan 12, 2018

Governor's Column: The Workforce Relay

The legislative session commenced on Jan. 9 with my final State of the State Address. I began my speech by talking about workforce, which will be a focus in my last year as governor. Read more . . .

Jan 05, 2018

Governor's Column: Another Way To Manage The Cold

With the extremely cold weather we have recently experienced, I am reminded how important it is to plan for it. This doesn’t just mean stocking long underwear and packing emergency kits in cars. Read more . . .

Dec 29, 2017

Governor's Column: The Legion Lake Fire

There is no place like Custer State Park. Each year nearly 2 million people from all over the world come to see the buffalo, drive the wildlife loop, hike Lover’s Leap, fish on Legion Lake, and swim and kayak at Sylvan. Read more . . .

Dec 22, 2017

Governor's Column: Memories Of Christmas

I have many fond memories of Christmas. One year, I remember singing Christmas carols in Dell Rapids with my 4-H club. Afterward, we ended the evening at the Lutheran Church where we sang Silent Night with all the lights out and only the Christmas tree lit. Read more . . .

Dec 15, 2017

Governor's Column: Christmas at the Capitol

If you want to see the Christmas season in full display, make time to visit your state capitol for the annual displays created for Christmas at the Capitol. E Read more . . .

Dec 08, 2017

Governor's Column: Confronting the Realities of Another Lean Year

The Capitol Building was a busy place on Dec. 5 when lawmakers came to town for the annual Budget Address. Read more . . .

Dec 01, 2017

Governor's Column: A Man Who Made The Most Of His Time

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to reflect on our blessings, and to spend time with family and friends. This year, though, the holiday took on a somber note, because on Wednesday night I received word of the passing of Rep. Craig Tieszen. Read more . . .

Nov 22, 2017

Governor's Column: Wind Power Contributing To South Dakota’s Economy

As most people in rural South Dakota can tell you, the wind is almost always blowing. Living on the prairie, windy days are inevitable. It just comes with the territory – which is why it only makes sense for us to develop this fast resource and put it to good use. Read more . . .

Nov 17, 2017

Governor's Column: 138 Thanksgivings Ago

Linda and I are thankful for many things this year. We are thankful for our children and grandchildren, for the friends old and new we’ve made across the state, and for the opportunity to serve as governor and first lady. Read more . . .

Nov 09, 2017

Governor's Column: Soldier Who Stands Alone

Sixty-nine years ago, a young man named Philip left his home in South Dakota to serve his country. Philip J. Iyotte was a Rosebud Sioux Tribe member who lived in White River and became a sergeant in the 8th Army and a member of Company E’s 21st Infantry Regiment and 24th Infantry Division. Read more . . .

Nov 03, 2017

Governor's Column: Those Who Administer The Law

This week, it was my honor to participate in the investiture of Steven R. Jensen as the newest member of the South Dakota Supreme Court. Read more . . .

Oct 27, 2017

Governor's Column: Get Serious About Tackling Opioid Abuse

This week President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. According to the White House, in our country, drug overdose deaths now outnumber fatal crashes and gun-related deaths, with 175 Americans dying each day. Read more . . .

Oct 20, 2017

Governor's Column -- Putting New Transportation Revenue To Good Use

In a rural state like South Dakota, roads are our lifeline. We depend upon the 82,000 miles of roadway in our state to get to work, school, church and the grocery store. Read more . . .

Oct 13, 2017

Governor's Column: Keeping Our Promise To Taxpayers And Teachers

Two years ago, South Dakotans joined together to solve a longstanding problem. Our state’s average salaries for teachers were lowest in the nation. Read more . . .

Oct 06, 2017

Governor's Column: Cause For Celebration This Native Americans’ Day

Since 1990, South Dakota has celebrated Native Americans’ Day. We were the first in the nation to establish Native Americans’ Day as an official state holiday, done at the urging of Gov. George S. Mickelson as a part of his “Year of Reconciliation” efforts. Read more . . .

Sep 29, 2017

Governor's Column: The Man Who Labored To Preserve South Dakota’s Beauty

I couldn’t help but think of Gov. Peter Norbeck while I was in Custer State Park for the Buffalo Roundup this past week. Read more . . .

Sep 22, 2017

Governor's Column: Appreciation for South Dakota Newspapers

The week of Oct. 1 is National Newspaper Week, an opportunity to recognize the important role newspapers play in our country. Read more . . .

Sep 15, 2017

Governor's Column: 2017 Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup

On Friday morning, Sept. 29, a few dozen cowboys will put on their boots and saddle their horses. Custer State Park employees will arise before dawn. And thousands from across the state, country and world will gather, all to continue a 52-year tradition. Read more . . .

Sep 08, 2017

Governor's Column: Recovering Debts Owed To South Dakotans

When a debt is owed to you, sometimes it can be difficult to collect. Whether it’s a grocery store that receives a bad check, a carpenter seeking payment on a bill or a person who loans a friend fifty dollars, it’s not enjoyable or easy to recover what you are owed. Read more . . .

Sep 01, 2017

Governor's Column: Fortifying SD’s Defense Against Animal Disease Threats

The last day of August was an eventful one for Linda and me. We stopped first in Huron at the South Dakota State Fair where we toured the value-added agriculture tent and also attended the Century Farms Recognition and Salute to Veterans ceremonies. Read more . . .

Aug 25, 2017

Governor's Column: Beacom College At DSU A Step Forward For South Dakota

South Dakota is full of hidden gems. One secret we’ve kept too well is Dakota State University. DSU is one of the nation’s leading schools for cybersecurity, and it is rising to a new level of excellence. Read more . . .

Aug 18, 2017

Governor's Column: There's Something For Everyone At The State Fair

Before the season turns and the kids are fully immersed in school activities, there’s one more summer event you will want to experience. Read more . . .

Aug 11, 2017

Governor's Column: Graduating College, Career and Life Ready

It’s hard to believe my oldest grandchild is starting kindergarten this year. With a week-and-a-half left before his first day, Henry is looking forward to starting school. Read more . . .

Aug 04, 2017

Governor's Column: The 2017 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

It’s almost rally time in South Dakota. What started in 1938 as a single motorcycle race in a small town has grown into one of the largest and best-known motorcycle gatherings in the world. Read more . . .

Jul 28, 2017

Governor's Column: No Better Place To Live And Work

When people around the country think about South Dakota, the first image that comes to mind is probably Mount Rushmore. Read more . . .

Jul 21, 2017

Governor's Column: Budget Practices -- SD vs. DC

I have long been troubled by the federal government’s budget situation. According to the online U.S. debt clock, which uses figures from the U.S. Treasury, our national debt is currently at 19 trillion dollars, or 61,346 dollars per citizen. Read more . . .

Jul 14, 2017

Governor's Column: The Direct Effects Of Financial Stewardship

As Governor of South Dakota, financial stewardship is one of my top priorities. When it comes to balancing the budget, managing the retirement system and maintaining our AAA credit ratings, I dive into the details. Read more . . .

Jul 07, 2017

Governor's Column: Matching Students with Workforce Needs

Last week, I was honored to begin a one-year term as chairman of the Western Governors Association. The WGA includes governors of 19 western states – those to the north and south of South Dakota, and every state to the west. Each WGA chair selects a policy initiative to focus on during the chair’s one-year term. Over the next 12 months I will focus on workforce development. Read more . . .

Jun 30, 2017

Governor's Column: South Dakota's Presidential Independence Day

It was an eventful Fourth of July week 90 years ago when President Calvin Coolidge spent the holiday in the Black Hills. He and First Lady Grace Coolidge came to the State Game Lodge at Custer State Park that summer to escape the noise and congestion of Washington, D.C. Read more . . .

Jun 23, 2017

Governor's Column: Pulling Through Another Drought

As of late, I have been keeping my eye on the U.S. Drought Monitor. The monitor is updated each Thursday, and as I write this, over 50 percent of the state is in a drought with an additional 32 percent experiencing abnormally dry conditions. Read more . . .

Jun 16, 2017

Governor's Column: Good Reason To Be Proud Of The SDNG

If you live out west or near Chamberlain, you may have noticed more individuals in uniform over the last week. That’s because the South Dakota National Guard is currently in the middle of its annual Golden Coyote training exercise. Read more . . .

Jun 09, 2017

Governor's Column: A Good Compromise On Nonmeandered Waters

For at least 20 years, the northeastern part of our state has been dealing with the issue of nonmeandered waters. For that entire time, the state has NOT been dealing with the problems that our laws have caused. Read more . . .