Legislators Announce "First Woman Governor" Bill and Constitutional Amendment

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January 26, 2023

Contact: Ian Fury


Legislators Announce “First Woman Governor” Bill and Constitutional Amendment


PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Rep. Jess Olson (R-34) and Sen. Erin Tobin (R-21) announced both HB 1175 and SJR 505 to reflect the fact that South Dakota has its first woman Governor. Both the bill and constitutional amendment change references to the Governor and other officials in state statute and the South Dakota Constitution to acknowledge this fact.


Governor Kristi Noem opened her 2023 State of the State address by citing Article 4 § 3 of the South Dakota Constitution: ‘The South Dakota state constitution requires the Governor to begin each legislative session by ‘[giving] the Legislature information concerning the affairs of the state and [recommending] the measures he considers necessary.’ Notice I didn’t say ‘she.’ The Constitution doesn’t say that. We’re going to fix that.” You can find video of these remarks here.


HB 1175 amends instances in state statute that refer to the Governor of South Dakota as “he” to now read “the Governor.” Similar changes are made for other state officials. SJR 505 makes the same changes in the South Dakota Constitution.


“We have a long history of strong female leaders in South Dakota,” said Representative Olson. “It’s time for our laws and Constitution to reflect the leaders that the people of South Dakota have elected to represent them.”


“Just over 100 years after women obtained the right to vote in South Dakota, we are finally coming forward with this language change,” said Senator Tobin. “I am excited to work with our first woman governor on this. My daughter will never have to question her place at the table because of this positive legislation.”


Kristi Lynn Noem is the first woman Governor of South Dakota.