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Government of South Dakota

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The Government of South Dakota is divided into three branches the Executive branch, the Legislative branchGovernment of South dakota and the Judiciary branch. The Governor is the head of the executive Branch of South Dakota. The Legislative Branch of South Dakota consists of the House of Representative and the State Senate. The Supreme Court of South Dakota looks after all the judicial decisions of the state.

The Executive Branch of South Dakota


The Executive Branch of South Dakota consists of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor and State Treasurer.

The Governor is the head of Executive Branch of South Dakota. The Governor of The State has the following duties:
  • He makes policy recommendations that lawmakers in both the state House and Senate chambers may sponsor and introduce as bills.
  • He also appoints members of boards and commissions who look after the heads of state agencies and departments.
  • He either approves or veto bills passed by the Legislature.
  • He serves as commander-in-chief of the military forces of the state.
  • He convenes special sessions of the Legislature for specific purposes.
  • He recommends the General Bill to appropriate each year’s funding, which the Legislature then amends.
  • The Governor also granting reprieves and commutations of punishment and pardons upon the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles and revoking conditional pardons.
  • He declares special elections to fill vacancies in certain elected offices.

Contact Details

Office of the Governor
500 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: 605-773-3212
Website: Governor

The Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota is the second highest elected official in the State. The roles and responsibilities of the Lt. Governor include:

  • He serves as an advisor on the Governor's Executive Committee.
  • He serves as the President of the Senate but shall have no vote unless the senators are equally divided.
  • He is the first successor to the Office of the Governor in the event of vacancy.
  • He shall also perform the duties and exercise the powers that may be delegated to him by the Governor.

Contact Details
Seal of South Dakota
500 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: 605-773-3212
Website: Lieutenant Governor

The Secretary of the State serves as the Custodian of Official Public Documents, Legislative Records Keeper, Chief Elections Officer, Chairman of the State Board of Elections, Member, State Board of Canvassers, Recorder of Permits for Concealed Weapons, Secretary, State Board of Finance, Trade and Service Marks Registrar and Corporations Administrator.

Contact Details
Secretary of State
Capitol Building
500 East Capitol Avenue Ste 204
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Phone no: 605-773-3537
Fax: 605-773-6580
Email: sdsos@state.sd.us
Website: Secretary of State

The Attorney General of South Dakota is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the State.

Contact Details
Office of the Attorney General
1302 E Hwy 14
Suite 1
Pierre SD 57501-8501
Phone no: 605-773-3215
Fax: 605-773-4106
Website: Attorney General

The State Treasurer is the chief banking official of the state. He serves as the receiver and custodian of all funds of the state.

Contact Details
SD State Treasurer
500 E Capitol Ave., Ste 212
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone no: 605-773-3378
Fax: 605-773-3115
Website: State Treasurer

The Legislative Branch of South Dakota

House of Representatives of South Dakota


The Legislative Branch of South Dakota consists of the House of Representative and the State Senate.

The House of Representatives of South Dakota is the lower house of the State Legislature. The House comprises of 70 members who is elected for four year term. The Speaker is the presiding officer of the House of Representative of South Dakota.

Read more: House of Representatives of South Dakota

The Senate is the upper house of the State of South Dakota. The Senate consists of 35 members and they are elected for two year term. The Lieutenant Governor is the President of the Senate and is the presiding officer of the senate.

Read more: State Senate

The Judiciary Branch of South Dakota


The Judiciary branch of South Dakota applies law and regulations and also ensures justice in the state. The South Dakota Judiciary consists of South Dakota Supreme court, Circuit Courts and Magistrate Court.

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the state of South Dakota. The Supreme Court of South Dakota has the power to review decisions made by lower courts. The South Dakota Supreme Court comprises of the Chief Justice and five Associate Justices.

Read more: South Dakota Supreme CourtSouth Dakota Supreme Court

Circuit courts are the next highest court in South Dakota. These are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in the Unified Judicial System of South Dakota. The circuit courts of South Dakota have original jurisdiction in all criminal and civil cases.

Read more: Circuit courts in South Dakota

Magistrate courts are the third tier of courts in the unified system consists of South Dakota. These courts assist the circuit courts in processing minor criminal cases and less serious civil actions.

Read more: magistrate courts

Also read:

Taxes in South Dakota


The Department of Revenue of South Dakota is responsible to collect taxes required by law. The Department categorizes Taxes into three separate sections namely Business Tax, Property Taxes and Special Taxes. The Special Tax Division is responsible for collecting a large number of state taxes. The taxes in South Dakota include:

Taxes in South Dakota


Business Tax
  • Sales Tax
  • Contractors' Excise Tax
  • Municipal Tax
  • 911 Emergency Surcharge

Property Taxes

  • Property Assessment
  • Taxation of Real Property
  • Public Utilities
  • Railroads and Air-line Companies

Special Taxes

  • Cigarette Excise
  • Estate
  • Bank Franchise
  • Energy Mineral Severance
  • Coin Operated Laundromat License Fees
  • Beer
  • Wine and Distilled Spirits
  • Gaming Excise
  • Beer and Liquor License Fees
  • Alcohol Beverage Brand Registration Fees

Motor Fuel
involves assessing taxes on Gasoline, Undyed Diesel Fuel, , Ethanol Blends, Aviation Fuel, Jet Fuel , Liquefied Petroleum Gas, and Compressed Natural Gas.

Read more: Taxes in South Dakota

South Dakota Government Agencies


Under the leadership of the Governor of South Dakota, many state agencies administer and manage different departments of South Dakota. The main state agencies of South Dakota are:

South Dakota Department of AgricultureSouth Dakota Department of Agriculture


South Dakota Department of Agriculture is responsible to promote, protect, and preserve the agriculture of the state for today and future.

Contact Details
South Dakota Department of Agriculture
523 East Capitol Avenue
Joe Foss Building, 3rd Floor
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone no: 605-773-5425
Website: South Dakota Department of Agriculture

South Dakota Department of TransportationSouth Dakota Department of Transportation


South Dakota Department of Transportation is responsible efficiently provide a safe and effective public transportation system and also to achieve excellence in providing transportation facilities that meet the needs of the common people.

Contact Details
South Dakota Department of Transportation
Becker-Hansen Building
700 E. Broadway Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone no: 605-773-3265
Fax: 605-773-3921
Website: South Dakota Department of Transportation

South Dakota Department of Social Services South Dakota Department of Social Services


The primary aim of the department is to strengthen and support individuals and families by promoting comprehensive and cost effective services in connection with the partners that encourage independent and healthy families.

Contact Details
South Dakota Department of Social Services
700 Governors Drive
Pierre SD 57501
Phone no: 605.773.3165
Website: South Dakota Department of Social Services

South Dakota Department of Veterans AffairsSouth Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs


The main goal of the department is to advocate for and provide the pathway for all veterans and their families to receive the benefits due to them.

Contact Details
South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building
425 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone no: 605-773-3269
Fax: 605-773-5380
Website: South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs

Read more: South Dakota Government Departments
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