Reflecting women empowerment in statutes, Constitution advances in South Dakota Legislature
Voters have final say over removing gender-specific references from Constitution
PIERRE — Gov. Kristi Noem’s push to rid South Dakota’s Constitution and state statutes of antiquated, gender-specific references to elected office holders and judicial officers cleared its first hurdles at the state Capitol this week.
Throughout the state’s legal codes and Constitution are dozens of provisions that assume elected and officials will be male, a product of a different era when females holding positions of power was a rarity — if not illegal.
But a pair of measures aimed at changing that earned preliminary approval from committees in both the Senate and House on Friday morning with no resistance. And while that’s an indication both House Bill 1175 and Senate Joint Resolution 505 will earn final passage in the coming weeks, voters will have the final say over the updates to the male-specific references in the state Constitution.