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AARP AARP States South Dakota Advocacy

Big Decisions Ahead: 2024 Legislative Session Underway

South Dakota State Capitol in Winter

The 2024 South Dakota legislative session is off and running, and AARP South Dakota has Pierre covered for you!

Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 501 ( has been introduced and is a proposal that would ask voters in the 2024 general election to amend the Constitution of the State of South Dakota and authorize the state to impose work requirements on certain individuals who are eligible for Medicaid expansion.

As you recall, a similar bill – which AARP South Dakota opposed – was introduced last year and failed. AARP South Dakota will oppose SJR 501 because, once again, the legislature is attempting to undermine South Dakota voters who voted for Amendment D in November 2022 and overwhelmingly approved implementing Medicaid expansion in South Dakota.

Please be on the lookout for an Action Alert as soon as next week from AARP South Dakota asking your legislators to oppose SJR 501.

Now, let’s first go back to early December and Governor Kristi Noem’s annual budget address.

The Governor is asking lawmakers to budget $7.27 billion for fiscal year 2025 for state funding obligations, which is a small increase from the proposed $7.25 billion Noem asked for the previous year.

The Governor has recommended a 4% increase for K-12 education, Medicaid providers and state workers; however, she did not recommend any funding for long-term care or mental health. Governor Noem also asked for an additional $18.3 million for funding the state’s Medicaid enrollment program. Finally, the Governor’s budget includes $425,000 for tax refunds for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

Following tradition to kick off the annual legislative session, the Governor delivered the State of the State address on Tuesday, January 9. During her speech, Governor Noem highlighted the Top Ten Ways Freedom Works in South Dakota. The title of her address was a play on the Freedom Works campaign featuring ads of the Governor doing various jobs to help encourage people to move to South Dakota to fill open positions. The top ten list was both a recap of issues and initiatives accomplished over her past five years in office and a nod to policy issues she intends to pursue during the 2024 legislative session.

More than 650 bill draft requests have already been made in Pierre, so expect a big bill load this session. Bills will emerge over the next 2-3 weeks as the introduction deadlines approach. The work of the Joint Appropriations Committee has begun with state agency hearings underway. Other Committees are scheduling hearings, which begins our state’s process of ensuring that every bill introduced receives at least one hearing.

As we move forward with the 2024 legislative session, here are some of the issues/bills AARP South Dakota will be working on:

  • Medicaid expansion implementation
  • Voting access
  • Healthcare access
  • Long-term care issues and Home and Community-Based Services
  • Consumer protection

Keep reading every week to learn about these and many more issues during the 2024 South Dakota legislative session.
Lobby Day is Coming!
We hope you will be involved as an advocate in South Dakota. From time to time, we may provide opportunities for you to contact elected officials. And, we are excited that we can once again host an in-person Lobby Day in Pierre on Tuesday, January 30. We still have room if you would like to join us, and there will be buses leaving from several locations across the state. Register before January 19.