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Governor Daugaard's Weekly Columns

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 . . .

Jun 02, 2017

Governor's Column: Helping South Dakotans Get Back To Work

My parents took pride in self-reliance and taught me the value of hard work. They worked hard on our family farm, and when the farm went upside-down financially, they both took jobs as janitors at Augustana College to make ends meet. Read more . . .

May 26, 2017

Governor's Column: By Knowing and Telling Their Stories

Bill Bianchi may not have been born in South Dakota, but he became like an adopted son when in 1936 he began attending SDSU to earn an animal science degree. Read more . . .

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 . . .