As the 2024 South Dakota Legislative Session starts today, all eyes and ears will once again be on Pierre.
The ACLU of South Dakota will be monitoring a wide variety of bills and working to defend and protect the civil liberties of all South Dakotans. The ACLU’s educational, organizing and lobbying efforts will be focused primarily on voting rights, free speech and expression, LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit equality, Indigenous sovereignty and justice, and bodily autonomy and abortion rights.
“Lawmakers have indicated they want to prioritize workforce needs, the budget and tax cuts – all issues that affect our daily lives and matter most to South Dakotans. But in previous years, that hasn’t always been the case, with bill after bill attacking the rights of some of the most vulnerable people in our state,” said Samantha Chapman, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager. “Voters from all sides of the political spectrum just want our legislators to get good things done on their behalf – not stoke the ‘culture wars’ at the expense of our civil rights. Let’s make sure that happens this year.”
Priority bills that the ACLU will be following will be posted on the ACLU of South Dakota’s legislative bill tracker. The ACLU has also created legislative advocacy resources for people to learn more about the legislative process and how they can best influence elected officials on the issues they care about most.
About the ACLU of South Dakota
The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of South Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and Wyoming. The team in South Dakota is supported by staff in those states.
The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of South Dakota.