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Governor Daugaard's Weekly Columns

Nov 09, 2018

Governor's Column: On Veterans Day, We Recognize Commitment and Courage

When I was a young boy, sometimes on trips to town I would see an old soldier or sailor on the street. The Korean War was still fresh in our minds, and World War II as well. The veterans I spotted didn’t go out of their way to be noticed. Folks around town just knew who they were and what they had done. They were some of my boyhood heroes, and on Veterans Day, the whole town turned out to recognize them. Read more . . .

Nov 06, 2018

Governor's Column: Stopping the Flu Starts With You

As my term comes to a close, Linda and I have been planning for our future outside the Governor’s office. One of the things we are most looking forward to is spending more time with friends, family and loved ones. In addition to planning for our financial future, we’ve also been taking steps to ensure we’re taking care of our health, including getting our annual flu vaccination. Read more . . .

Nov 02, 2018

Governor's Column: Big Sioux River Flood Information System is now Online

During my time as governor, I have always tried to learn from experience, and to improve systems and processes to lead to better performance. Recently, a new flood information system came online that will help with future flooding events on the Big Sioux River. Read more . . .

Oct 26, 2018

Governor's Column: Celebrating A Milestone For Democracy

The 2018 election is an important milestone for South Dakota elections. It was 100 years ago – on November 5, 1918 – that South Dakota voters, all men, gave women the right to vote in our state for the first time. It was a long-awaited victory for voting rights for women. Women’s suffragists – both men and women – had campaigned for women’s suffrage since the 1870s, during the era of Dakota Territory. Read more . . .

Oct 19, 2018

Governor's Column: Leaving It Better Than You Found It

Over the past few months, Linda and I have been getting ready to turn the Governor’s Mansion over to its next occupants. We’ve been working with state maintenance crews to replace light bulbs, repaint rooms, clean out the drains, and make other small improvements. The Mansion is just like any other house – over time, small projects like these accumulate. We want to get these projects done now, so the home is in great shape for its next occupants. Read more . . .

Oct 12, 2018

Governor's Column: SD's 100th Pheasant Season

October in South Dakota is a glorious month. I love the crisp mornings, chilly evenings and weekend sounds of marching bands in homecoming parades. Read more . . .

Oct 05, 2018

Governor's Column: In SD, It's Native Americans' Day

If you look at your calendar, I’ll bet on Monday, Oct. 8, it says Columbus Day. Though the designation may serve as a good reminder for those who don’t have school that day or whose offices are closed, it’s not quite accurate . . . Read more . . .

Sep 21, 2018

Governor's Column: 2018 Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup

On Friday morning, Sept. 28, a few dozen cowhands 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 53-year tradition. Read more . . .

Sep 14, 2018

Governor's Column: Finally Attaining Tax Uniformity

This past week, legislators returned to Pierre for a special legislative session. I don’t call a special session lightly. During my two terms as governor I have called only one other during the summer of 2017. Read more . . .

Sep 07, 2018

Governor's Column: Dakota At Home

Aging can be a difficult thing. Whether it’s harder on the one growing older, or their loved ones, I’m not sure. Read more . . .

Aug 31, 2018

Governor's Column: Be The One

Suicide is a growing problem in South Dakota. Last year we had the highest number of suicides on record. It was the ninth leading cause of death and the second leading cause of death for individuals age 10 to 34. Read more . . .

Aug 24, 2018

Governor's Column: The State Fair Grandstand’s Centennial Year

Much changes in the course of a century. Looking back to 1918, it was a different world. The United States was engaged in World War I, communities were experiencing the devastation of the Spanish flu pandemic and the right to vote was extended to women in South Dakota. Read more . . .

Aug 17, 2018

Governor's Column: Make It A Healthy School Year

Now that back-to-school season is here, I know parents have no shortage of items on their to-do lists. You have school supplies to buy, school lunch arrangements to make and new schedules to coordinate. With so much to do, I hope you will still be sure your children are up-to-date on their vaccines. Read more . . .

Aug 10, 2018

Governor's Column: The Fast Track To Bright Futures

With the first day of classes on the horizon, I encourage our high school students to take advantage of dual credit courses this school year. Read more . . .

Aug 03, 2018

Governor's Column: The 2018 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

It’s 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 27, 2018

Governor's Column: A New System To Serve ALL Of Our Students

Nearly 50 cents of every state tax dollar goes to education. That includes funding for our public universities, technical schools, and the state Department of Education, but the majority is used to fund our K-12 system. Read more . . .

Jul 20, 2018

Governor's Column: Promises Kept

We had a lot of good news to share this week, all related to South Dakota’s outstanding financial condition. On Monday, we announced the close of the fiscal year with a surplus. On Tuesday, we got word that S&P is maintaining our AAA status. Read more . . .

Jul 13, 2018

Governor's Column: Bringing Our Alcohol Laws To The 21st Century

When I speak with business prospects, I often praise our common sense regulatory environment. I emphasize that we don’t place unnecessary hurdles before our citizens or entrepreneurs in South Dakota. Success is allowed here and government doesn’t get in the way. Read more . . .

Jul 13, 2018

Governor's Column: Bringing Our Alcohol Laws To The 21st Century

When I speak with business prospects, I often praise our common sense regulatory environment. I emphasize that we don’t place unnecessary hurdles before our citizens or entrepreneurs in South Dakota. Success is allowed here and government doesn’t get in the way. Read more . . .

Jul 06, 2018

Lt. Governor's Column: SD National Guard Leading The Nation

One of the greatest honors of serving as lieutenant governor is getting to work with the South Dakota National Guard. Our Guard members are some of the most dedicated, capable and reliable men and women I know. Under Adjutant General Tim Reisch's leadership, we have an exceptional group of soldiers and airmen serving our nation and state. Read more . . .

Jun 29, 2018

Governor's Column: Finding Enjoyable, Well-Paying Work

Work is an important part of personal fulfillment. True, most of us work because we must – to provide for ourselves and our families – but a job nevertheless gives us purpose. And when it’s work we enjoy that pays enough, well, that’s the goal. Read more . . .

Jun 22, 2018

Governor's Column: A Win For States' Rights

It’s been a historic week for South Dakota. On Thursday, June 21, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., ruling in our favor 5-4. Read more . . .

Jun 15, 2018

Governor's Column: SD's Strong Foundation

This month marks the 110th anniversary of the laying of the State Capitol cornerstone. The four-foot by four-foot Ortonville granite cube, which features an engraving of the State Seal on the south side, was laid in a Masonic ceremony on June 25, 1908, two years before workmen completed the building. Read more . . .

Jun 08, 2018

Governor's Column: Three More Trail of Governors Statues

June is a beautiful time to visit our Capital City. The flowers at the State Capitol are in bloom, the sun shines brightly on the Fighting Stallions and the veterans memorials, and fishing and sport boats flock to the Missouri River. Read more . . .

Jun 01, 2018

Governor's Column: Some Environmental Markers

Growing up on a farm, my sisters and I were raised to leave things better than we found them. This meant taking care of the land, planting trees, maintaining our barn and treating the animals well. Read more . . .

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 . . .