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Governor Daugaard's Weekly Columns

May 19, 2017

Governor's Column: South Dakota Works

In South Dakota we have the third lowest unemployment rate in the nation. This is a source of pride, but it’s also a double-edged sword. Because so few South Dakotans are unemployed, we have a shortage of qualified workers to fill job openings. Read more . . .

May 05, 2017

Governor's Column: Great State, Great Staff

The State of South Dakota impacts the lives of its citizens daily. We drive on roads maintained by the Department of Transportation. We enjoy parks and recreational areas operated by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Many in need receive help from the Department of Social Services. Read more . . .

Apr 28, 2017

Governor's Column: Choices Behind The Wheel

Traffic fatalities are a recurring headline. Hardly a day goes by when we don’t read another story, hear a radio report or see the terrible images on television. Read more . . .

Apr 21, 2017

Governor's Column: Celebrate Farmers and Ranchers on Earth Day

In 1973, a woman by the name of Beverly Gabriel decided to leave her profession to get back to her roots. She had received a teaching degree from Black Hills State University a few years earlier and had taught in Rapid City and Wyoming. Read more . . .

Apr 13, 2017

Governor's Column: Remembering South Dakota's Ace

South Dakota draws an ace. That was one headline following the gubernatorial election of Joe Foss. The plain-spoken, unpretentious South Dakota hero held many titles throughout his life, only one of which was governor. Read more . . .

Apr 07, 2017

Governor's Column: Stewardship Of State Pension Not Something To Reprimand

South Dakotans are not afraid to do things differently when different means a better way. Different defines how we have been running our state’s retirement system. Read more . . .

Mar 31, 2017

Governor's Column: Juvenile Justice Reforms Showing Promising Results

This week, the juvenile justice reform oversight council released its first annual report. The report encapsulates the progress made in the first full year of implementation of the 2015 Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Initiative. Read more . . .

Mar 24, 2017

Governor's Column: A Chance To Be SD's Capital For A Day

In the 1990s, Gov. George S. Mickelson started a new tradition in South Dakota called Capital for a Day. Gov. Mickelson would travel to a community and issue an executive proclamation declaring that town as South Dakota’s Capital for a Day. Read more . . .

Mar 17, 2017

Governor's Column: Looking Back On A Successful Legislative Session

Friday, March 10, was the last day of the main run of the 2017 Legislative Session. Although the session was more “low profile” than in some past years, we can all be proud of our legislators’ hard work. Read more . . .

Mar 10, 2017

Governor's Column: State Officials Of All Stripes Upholding IM22 Promise

During the first few weeks of the 2017 Legislative Session, Initiated Measure 22 dominated the headlines. The 14,000-word initiated measure became the center of attention because of the constitutional problems it posed and the bizarre unintended consequences it would create. Read more . . .

Mar 03, 2017

Governor's Column: South Dakota's Seat At The Table

Action is not a choice, it is a necessity. Those were President Trump’s words on Obamacare to Congress. As the President mentioned in that speech, one-third of America’s counties now have only one insurer. Read more . . .

Feb 24, 2017

Governor's Column: An Unglamorous, Yet Necessary, Undertaking

The word that best sums up the public trust held by elected officials is stewardship. Stewardship – the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care – has been my goal as governor. Read more . . .

Feb 17, 2017

Governor's Column: Steps Forward In Mental Health

A significant number of Americans struggle with mental illness. For many the struggle is silent. Some experience short-term mental health problems. It’s not uncommon for individuals temporarily to face mild forms of mental illness at some point during their lives. Read more . . .

Feb 10, 2017

Governor's Column: South Dakota's Gun Laws

Gun control measures have been gaining ground in some places around the nation in recent years. In the more urban areas of the country and along the coasts, people are more wary, and perhaps fearful, of guns. Read more . . .

Feb 03, 2017

Governor's Column: Pursuing Constitutional Reforms

Being governor is a serious responsibility, and I’ve never taken it lightly. Sometimes, it means making a difficult decision that is necessary, but unpopular to some. Read more . . .

Jan 27, 2017

Governor's Column: Washington Looking To The States

On Friday, Jan. 20, I was in Washington, D.C., among the many who attended the inaugural ceremonies for our 45th President. Read more . . .

Jan 20, 2017

Governor's Column: Taking On The Meth Problem

I recently heard a story about a young man who was exposed to meth as a child. The young man, named Chris, grew up around meth and the violence that the drug brings. Like any normal kid, he wanted attention from the adults in his life. Read more . . .

Jan 13, 2017

Governor's Column: Amazon's Big Step In The Right Direction

South Dakota is a state with a low tax burden. We are one of only seven states without a personal income tax. We also have no corporate income tax, no business inventory tax, no personal property tax and no inheritance tax. People who live here get to keep more of their earnings. Read more . . .

Jan 06, 2017

Governor's Column: Good News from the State Financial Report

This past week the state budget office issued South Dakota’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, or what those of us within state government sometimes refer to as “the CAFR.” The Bureau of Finance and Management made the report public on the Friday before New Year’s Day. Read more . . .

Dec 30, 2016

Governor's Column: The Importance of South Dakota’s Animal Health Laboratory

For a state like South Dakota, with five times as many cattle and twice as many hogs and chickens as we have citizens, livestock health is a big deal. We all know the tremendous impact the livestock sector has on our state’s economy, but it’s easy to forget the connection between livestock health and human health. Read more . . .

Dec 22, 2016

Governor's Column: Remembering Friends

The years go faster as one gets older, and as 2016 closes, I have been thinking back on the past year. As always, Linda and I have much to be thankful for. We are also remembering four good friends and great South Dakotans who we lost this year. Read more . . .

Dec 16, 2016

Governor's Column: A Christmas Reminder From Laura Ingalls Wilder

Christmas is a special time in South Dakota, and it was no less special in the 1880s. Read more . . .

Dec 09, 2016

Governor's Column: Budget Address Overview

Given our current revenue situation and what other states are dealing with right now, South Dakota is fortunate not to be looking at spending cuts or freezes this year. Read more . . .

Dec 02, 2016

Governor's Column: Preparing For A Lean Year

In 1963 Gov. Archie Gubbard signed a bill into law which requires governors to submit an annual budget report to the Legislature. The report must be given to each member of the state Legislature on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in December. Read more . . .

Nov 23, 2016

Governor's Column: Christmas at the Capitol

When she was in the third grade, Linda Krutzfeldt received a Colorado blue spruce seedling. It was 1986 and a South Dakota Department of Agriculture forester was giving an Arbor Day presentation at Linda’s school in Huron. To go along with his presentation, the forester brought little trees for the children. Read more . . .

Nov 17, 2016

Governor's Column: Teacher Pay Increases

During the 2016 session, the State Legislature passed a package of three bills, based on the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. The purpose of these bills was to direct new funding to school districts to increase teacher salaries. Read more . . .

Nov 10, 2016

Governor's Column: The Real Heroes

Politicians have a tendency to try to take credit for things, especially in an election year. They talk about how many jobs they’ve created, how they’ve kept our cities safe and how they’ve assisted the less fortunate. Our veterans, on the other hand, don’t seek the spotlight. Read more . . .

Nov 04, 2016

Governor's Column: SD's Rest Area Revitalization Plan

South Dakota currently has 21 rest areas, some of which were constructed as long ago as 1969. Due to age, several of these facilities are in dire need of major maintenance, renovation or complete reconstruction. Read more . . .

Oct 28, 2016

Governor's Column: Decisions Are Made By Those Who Show Up

The presidential election is getting most of the attention this election season, but in South Dakota, voters are deciding much more. Of course, South Dakota has general elections this fall for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and the Public Utilities Commission. We are also voting on ten ballot measures. Read more . . .

Oct 21, 2016

Governor's Column: To Show Posterity What Manner Of Men They Were

I never tire of Mount Rushmore. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve visited, but I can say the splendor of South Dakota’s biggest tourist attraction hasn’t worn thin for me. Read more . . .

Oct 14, 2016

Governor's Column: The Last Great Stronghold For Pheasant Hunting

Pheasant hunting comes as naturally as the changing colors of autumn here in South Dakota. Our hunters look forward to opening day like kids looking forward to Christmas. Read more . . .

Oct 07, 2016

Governor's Column: Envisioning Spearfish Canyon State Park

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to enjoy a few quiet days in the Black Hills. After the Buffalo Roundup my family and I spent the weekend in Custer State Park, soaking up the beautiful weather and experiencing the leaves changing into their remarkable fall colors. Read more . . .

Sep 30, 2016

Governor's Column: The ‘Dignity’ of All Peoples

National headlines tell us America is divided, and that we are becoming an increasingly polarized nation. Read more . . .

Sep 23, 2016

Governor's Column: 2016 Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup

On Friday morning, Sept. 30, a few dozen cowboys will put on their boots and saddle up 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 51-year tradition. Read more . . .

Sep 09, 2016

Governor's Column: The South Dakota Way

Eight decades ago, in 1936, South Dakota received a presidential visit. It was the height of the Great Depression and the state was in the middle of the worst drought in history. Read more . . .

Sep 02, 2016

Governor's Column: Criminal Justice Reform Update

In January of 2012, I introduced in my State of the State Address a proposal to comprehensively reform our criminal justice system. The Public Safety Improvement Act legislation was pieced together with help from the Chief Justice, legislative leaders and stakeholders from across the state. Read more . . .

Aug 26, 2016

Governor's Column: The Great South Dakota Get-Together

Summer activities and vacations are coming to an end and practices for school-related events have begun. But there’s one final gathering to attend before summer is truly over – the South Dakota State Fair. Read more . . .

Aug 18, 2016

Governor's Column: Make School Attendance A Priority

Across South Dakota, a new school year is getting underway. Students and families are getting back into the school day routine, reestablishing study habits and juggling activities. Read more . . .

Aug 12, 2016

Governor's Column: Rail and the South Dakota Way of Life

We never had a new car, when I was growing up, but we always spent what was necessary to maintain our car, and keep it in dependable running condition. New isn’t necessarily better, but the old must be maintained. Read more . . .

Aug 05, 2016

Governor's Column: Meth Changes Everything

Over the past several years, South Dakota has seen a rise in the use of methamphetamine, or meth. In our state, 3.8 percent of high school students have tried meth. Read more . . .

Jul 29, 2016

Governor's Column -- The 2016 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 22, 2016

Governor's Column: Tragedies Felt In South Dakota

Flags across South Dakota have been at half-staff for most of the last two weeks. Following the violence perpetrated in Dallas, France and Baton Rouge, President Obama issued three consecutive proclamations calling for the lowering of the flag. Read more . . .

Jul 15, 2016

Governor's Column: Another AAA and Budget Surplus

Throughout my time serving as governor, good stewardship of taxpayer dollars has been my goal. Two pieces of recent news can encourage South Dakotans that their state government is handling their money responsibly. Read more . . .

Jul 08, 2016

Governor's Column: South Dakota’s Wildland Fire Crew

Sixty percent of the land in South Dakota is abnormally dry and counties west of the river and in the northeast are experiencing moderate to extreme drought. Drought is most severe in the Lawrence County area where the fire at Crow Peak burned more than 2,700 acres over the course of two weeks. Read more . . .

Jun 30, 2016

Governor's Column: Celebrating An Unparalleled Way Of Life

In the spring of 2012, I had the chance to visit somewhere I’d never expected to go. I joined Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee for a Department of Defense trip to Kuwait and Afghanistan. Read more . . .

Jun 24, 2016

Governor's Column: A Walk Through South Dakota's History

South Dakotans may not be aware of a new attraction that is being added to our Capital City – the Trail of Governors. This project combines art and history, and is placing life-sized bronze statues of every former South Dakota governor in Pierre. Read more . . .

Jun 17, 2016

Governor's Column: An Invitation To The Governor's Mansion

Linda and I are very fortunate these days. We live in a big home on Capitol Lake where we have a great view of the Capitol Building. Read more . . .

Jun 10, 2016

Governor's Column: Give The Gift Of Life

Three-year-old Stella was a joy to her parents. Her smile lit up the room and she was a very happy little girl. Then, Stella’s family suffered a trial they never expected. Read more . . .

Jun 03, 2016

Governor's Column: Supporting Renewable Energy in South Dakota

In the past decade South Dakota has seen tremendous job creation and capital investment in renewable energy. Read more . . .

May 27, 2016

Governor's Column: The Memory Shall Be Ours

The birth of Memorial Day is much like the birth of America. It is a story of people from different backgrounds uniting as Americans under one flag. Read more . . .