South Dakota
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How Legislation Works

Any proposal to change the laws that govern SDRS must go through an intricate legislative process. Most legislative proposals pertaining to SDRS begin with the SDRS Board of Trustees. The SDRS Board of Trustees is the governing authority of SDRS. The Board consists of fourteen elected representatives from all participating groups, two appointees of the governor, and an ex-officio nonvoting representative of the South Dakota Investment Council.

All proposed legislation is discussed and voted on by the Board during a scheduled meeting. If the Board recommends that any legislation be introduced, those bills, like any agency's bills, must be sponsored by a committee of the Legislature. The Retirement Laws Committee typically sponsors the SDRS Board of Trustees' bills. If the House Retirement Laws Committee sponsors the bills, they are given to the Chief Clerk of the House, or if sponsored by the Senate committee, to the Secretary of the Senate.

Each bill is assigned a number, given a First Reading, and referred to committee. SDRS bills are typically referred to the Retirement Laws Committee where each bill is carefully examined and proponent and opponent testimony is heard. The committee then decides whether to send a bill to the floor of the full House or Senate for further discussion or whether to kill the bill by a motion to table or to defer the bill to the 41st day of the Legislative Session, which also kills the bill because there are no more than 40 legislative days in a session.

If the committee decides to send a bill to the floor, it is debated and voted on by the full House or Senate. If it passes, the bill is forwarded on to the other legislative body, where it goes through the same committee process.

If a bill passes both the House of Representatives and Senate, it is signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and is sent to the Governor. If the Governor signs the bill, it becomes law. If the Governor vetoes the bill, it does not become law. However, the Legislature has an opportunity to override the Governor's veto. If the veto is overridden by the Legislature, the bill becomes law.