Senate Chamber, Pierre
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

    The Senate convened at 1:00 p.m., pursuant to adjournment, the President presiding.

    The prayer was offered by the Chaplain, Rev. Craig Wexler, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Senate page Casondra Gerlach.

    Roll Call: All members present.

    The oath of office was administered to Senator Lance Russell at 12:35 p.m. on January 9, 2019, by the Honorable Lieutenant Governor, Larry Rhoden.

    Which was subscribed to and placed on file in the office of the Secretary of State.



    The Committee on Legislative Procedure respectfully reports that the Secretary of the Senate has had under consideration the Senate Journal of the first day.

    All errors, typographical or otherwise, are duly marked in the temporary journal for correction.

    And we hereby move the adoption of the report.

Respectfully submitted,
Brock L. Greenfield, Chair

    Which motion prevailed.
    The oath of office was administered to Legislative Intern, Ally Brandner, on
January 9, 2019, by the Honorable Lieutenant Governor, Larry Rhoden.

    Which was subscribed to and placed on file in the office of the Secretary of State.



The Joint Committee on Legislative Procedure respectfully reports that it has had under consideration the following additions to the joint rules and returns the same with the recommendation that said rules be adopted:

6G-2. Reprinting of bills and joint resolutions. If a bill is amended, the amendment shall be engrossed on the bill before the bill advances to the next stage of the legislative process. The engrossed bill shall become the original bill.   (Reserved)

6G-4. Printing without consent.
Each house may print bills, messages, and reports without the consent of the other. (Reserved)

6G-5. Engrossing of bills and joint resolutions.
All bills or joint resolutions in either house of the Legislature, which have been favorably acted upon and amendments have been made thereto, before going upon the calendar shall be engrossed. If a bill or resolution is amended, the amendment shall be engrossed on the bill or resolution before advancing to the next stage of the legislative process. Amendments to any bill or joint resolution, made by either house after engrossment, shall likewise be engrossed upon the original bill or joint resolution.

6H-3. Printing and calendaring of commemorations.
Upon introduction, the presiding officer shall order the legislative commemoration printed in the journal of that legislative day. Subsequently the The presiding officer shall place each pending legislative commemoration along with a notation of the page upon which it is printed in the journal on the calendar of the next legislative day following its printing.

6H-5. Calendaring of commemorations in the second house.
Upon receipt of a legislative commemoration from the other house, the presiding officer shall place it on the next day's legislative calendar along with a notation of the page upon which it is printed in the journal.

6A-5. Review of bills by the Legislative Research Council. Before a bill, resolution, or commemorative commemoration may be introduced, it shall be reviewed by the Legislative Research Council for style and form. No bill or joint resolution may be submitted to the Legislative Research Council for review less than forty-eight hours of the final introduction date for bills or joint resolutions as provided in Joint Rule Chapter 17.

6B-1. Time for introduction of bills, number of copies for introduction, bills are property of Legislature. Any member or committee desiring to introduce a bill, resolution, or commemoration shall file two copies of the bill, resolution, or commemoration with the bill

clerk at least two hours prior to the opening of the daily session. Any bill, resolution, or commemoration filed with the bill clerk and duly numbered becomes the property of the Legislature and may not thereafter be withdrawn.

6G-7. Enrolling of bills and joint resolutions. A bill which has passed both branches houses of the Legislature shall be at once enrolled. An enrolled bill or joint resolution shall be free from erasures, marks and interlineations, and each sheet thereof shall be initialed by the chief of engrossing and enrolling and numbered for identification. The cover of the bill or joint resolution shall indicate the house of origin.

6A-2. Format of bills and joint resolutions. If a bill amends an existing statute, the new matter shall be underscored and the omitted matter shall be overstricken. If an entire title, chapter, or section, subdivision, or subsection is to be repealed, only the code citation need be listed.

Respectfully submitted,
Steven G. Haugaard, Chair



    I have the honor to inform your honorable body that the House has approved the adoption of the permanent joint rules of the Ninety-third Legislative Session with recommended changes to those joint rules for the Ninety-fourth Legislative Session as adopted in March, 2018, as the temporary joint rules for the Ninety-fourth Legislative Session.


    I have the honor to inform your honorable body that the House has appointed Reps. Johns, Haugaard, McCleerey, and Rasmussen as a committee of four on the part of the House to meet with a committee of three on the part of the Senate for the purpose of arranging for a memorial recognition of deceased former members of the House and Senate.

Sandra J. Zinter, Chief Clerk


    Sen. Langer moved that SCR 4 be deferred to Thursday, January 10th, the 3rd legislative day.

    Which motion prevailed.

    Sen. Langer moved that SCR 2 be deferred to Monday, January 14th, the 5th legislative day.

    Which motion prevailed.

    SCR 1: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, Urging Congress to increase federal funding for special education.

    Was read the second time.

    Sen. Nesiba moved that SCR 1 as found on page 13 of the Senate Journal be adopted.

    And the roll being called:

    Yeas 32, Nays 3, Excused 0, Absent 0

Blare; Bolin; Cammack; Cronin; Curd; DiSanto; Ewing; Foster; Heinert; Kennedy; Klumb; Kolbeck; Langer; Maher; Nesiba; Novstrup; Otten (Ernie); Partridge; Rusch; Russell; Schoenbeck; Smith (VJ); Soholt; Solano; Stalzer; Steinhauer; Sutton; White; Wiik; Wismer; Youngberg; Greenfield (Brock)

Jensen (Phil); Monroe; Nelson

    So the motion having received an affirmative vote of a majority of the members-elect, the President declared the motion carried and SCR 1 was adopted.

    Sen. Langer moved that SCR 3 be deferred to Thursday, January 10th, the 3rd legislative day.

    Which motion prevailed.

    Sen. Langer moved that when we adjourn today, we adjourn to convene at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 10th, the 3rd legislative day.

    Which motion prevailed.

    Sen. Cronin moved that the Senate do now adjourn, which motion prevailed and at
1:24 p.m. the Senate adjourned.

Kay Johnson, Secretary


    The Senate convened with the House of Representatives in the House Chamber for the purpose of receiving a message from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, David Gilbertson. The President of the Senate, Larry Rhoden, presided.

    The following prayer was delivered by Bishop David B. Zellmer, South Dakota Synod of the ELCA, Sioux Falls, South Dakota:

    Lord of all, you have declared what is right: to seek justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with you. On this day we remember Supreme Court Justice Steven Zinter. We give thanks for his love of family, his balanced upholding of the Law and its administration, and his dedicated service to the people of South Dakota. May our memory of his life be a guide to all those set aside to serve.

    We ask your continued blessing upon Chief Justice Gilbertson, our Supreme Court Justices, our Judges and Magistrates in this state. Guard them from retribution and from corruption. Give them the spirit of wisdom, that they may perceive the truth and administer the law impartially.

    We pray as well for Governor Noem, our Representatives and Senators and all those elected and appointed to serve the people of South Dakota. Bless them with wisdom and courage that they might faithfully serve all the people of this State.

    We pray in Your Holy Name. Amen.

    The Secretary of the Senate, Kay Johnson, called the roll of the Senate and the following members were present:

Blare; Bolin; Cammack; Cronin; Curd; DiSanto; Ewing; Foster; Greenfield, Brock; Heinert; Jensen, Phil; Kennedy; Klumb, Kolbeck; Langer; Maher; Monroe; Nelson; Nesiba; Novstrup, Al; Otten, Ernie; Partridge; Rusch; Russell; Schoenbeck; Smith, VJ; Soholt; Solano; Stalzer; Steinhauer; Sutton; White; Wiik; Wismer; Youngberg.

    The Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, Sandra J. Zinter, called the roll of the House and the following members were present:

Anderson; Bartels; Barthel; Beal; Bordeaux; Borglum; Brunner; Chaffee; Chase; Cwach; Dennert; Deutsch; Diedrich; Duba; Duvall; Finck; Frye-Mueller; Glanzer; Goodwin; Gosch; Greenfield, Lana; Gross; Hammock; Hansen; Healy; Howard; Hunhoff; Jensen, Kevin; Johns; Johnson, Chris; Johnson, David; Karr; Koth; Lake; Latterell; Lesmeister; Livermont; Marty; McCleerey; Mills; Milstead; Miskimins; Mulally; Olson; Perry; Peterson, Kent; Peterson, Sue; Pischke; Post; Qualm; Randolph; Rasmussen; Reed; Reimer; Ring; Rounds; Saba; Schoenfish; Smith, Jamie; St. John; Steele; Sullivan; Weis: Wiese; Willadsen; York; Zikmund; Speaker Haugaard.

    Sen. Langer moved that a committee of three on the part of the Senate and a committee of four on the part of the House be appointed to escort Chief Justice David Gilbertson to the rostrum.

    Which motion prevailed and the President announced as such committee Sens. Langer, Bolin, and Heinert on the part of the Senate and Reps. Qualm, Beal, Smith, and McCleerey on the part of the House.

    The Lieutenant Governor, Larry Rhoden, introduced the Honorable David Gilbertson, to deliver the State of the Judiciary Address.

    The Sergeant at Arms announced the arrival of Chief Justice David Gilbertson who was escorted to the rostrum.

State of the Judiciary Address

Dear Fellow Citizens of South Dakota:

    Once again it is my pleasure to present to you the State of the South Dakota Judiciary, this time for the year 2019. It is in many respects a tapestry. It weaves together the various strands of the past with a goal of presenting the past that inevitably leads to the present. It also weaves in the problems of today and how we will face them as we venture into the future.

    More often than not, these are not the actions of an individual, but rather a group of individuals or even the public as a whole who strive for improvement. It has been said many times there is no such thing as standing still -- you are either moving forward or if not, you are falling behind.

    The dedicated Justices, Judges and personnel of the Unified Judicial System work diligently at their task of providing judicial services to the public of this state. Although courtroom proceedings are a fundamental component of this process, they are far from being the only process. The numerous programs of the UJS spread outside the courtroom and outside the courthouse. In many instances we now go where the problems are instead of waiting for them to come to us in our courthouses.

    I wish to express my appreciation to the citizens of South Dakota for allowing me to serve as their Chief Justice for the past 18 years. The beard may have gone from black to white, but the desire to serve the public in my capacity remains stronger than ever.

    Governor Noem, Lieutenant Governor Rhoden, Speaker Haugaard, members of the Legislature, Constitutional Officers, my fellow Justices, Judges, Unified Judicial System (UJS) employees and all citizens of the State of South Dakota.

    The writer of the ancient Book of Ecclesiastes declares to everything there is a season. 2019 opens with significant changes in state government. We have a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Cabinet. We have many new legislators and important changes in legislative leadership. A new Attorney General has taken office.

    In the past four years the court system has welcomed three new Justices to the Supreme Court. A fourth will arrive shortly. We have also welcomed 21 new Circuit Judges out of a total of 43 Judges, and 13 new Magistrate Judges out of a total of 16 Magistrates. And, after 29 years of service, Thomas Barnett retired as Executive Director of the State Bar of South Dakota and was replaced by Andrew Fergel.

    We do not ignore the past, however, and start totally anew. As Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Presidential historian Jon Mecham noted: To fail to consult the past consigns us to what might be called the tyranny of the present--the mistaken idea that the crises of our own time are unprecedented and that we have to solve them without experience to guide us. If we know, however, that those who came before us found the ways and means to surmount the difficulties of their age we stand a better chance of acting in the moment with perspective and measured judgment.

    Armed with the lessons of the past, we have a great opportunity to move forward with new vigor and new ideas to address old problems and come up with new solutions. This is the essence of democracy--at regular intervals it re-invents itself.

    Change does not, by itself, guarantee success. Those who now assume leadership roles still need to communicate with, challenge, and properly motivate our citizens. This is crucial for a judicial system because it has no army or police force to enforce its decisions. It in large part relies on public consent to the judicial system and its decisions. It could not function if it were relegated to a category of "fake news." While such terms may be modern, the concept has existed over the ages. Over 2000 years ago, a Biblical prophet warned that the time will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine. Instead, they will follow their own desires and will collect more and more teachers who will tell them what they are itching to hear.

    The South Dakota Rural Attorney Program continues to be the gold standard for every state in the nation that lacks attorneys in rural areas. The problem exists in every state in the country. Even California and New York have rural counties that need attorneys. I am pleased to report that we currently have contracts with 24 rural counties in South Dakota to assist them in placing an attorney in their county. Since 48 rural counties are eligible for participation that is half of the eligible counties in the state.

    A recent expansion of the law allows the program to benefit municipalities with a population of 3500 or less. We are in discussions with several municipalities. I am pleased to announce that the City of Elk Point is our first municipal contract. We hope to enroll at least two more municipalities in the near future.

    From time to time I receive questions about the success of the program. The program has been in existence for five years. That allows us the opportunity to review how it is doing. All the trends are positive. Chief among them is that not one attorney who has gone into the

program later left a rural practice due to lack of available legal work. The need is there and the need is being met.

    I have been asked how many attorneys have signed up for the program and later left for any other reason. That happened in only one of our 24 counties and under very unique circumstances. In that one case, we were able to replace the vacancy within a matter of months and the county continues to enjoy the benefits of the program.

    I have also been asked how many people who signed up for the program were not able to participate because they failed to pass the South Dakota bar examination. At the end of FY 2018, of the 24 counties, only one county had that experience. In that county, the person who initially failed the bar exam subsequently passed it and today is practicing full-time in that county.

    It is clear that we are obtaining quality participants to go into the South Dakota Rural Attorney Program. Both the attorney and the county are beneficiaries. This is taxpayer money that is well invested and will pay long term benefits for the participant counties and the state. It assists the infrastructure of these rural counties to vibrantly expand and grow, rather than wither away and ultimately become uninhabited with only remnants of courthouses and what once was a thriving rural society.

    When I first started to advocate for Drug and Alcohol Courts, I was called upon to justify why they were needed. Some saw drug and alcohol addiction as a minor irritant in a society with larger problems to deal with. However, the UJS proceeded knowing that the need was substantial and growing. Today, one cannot pick up a newspaper or listen to the news without being overwhelmed by the effect drugs have on society. They are everywhere. In the last decade, South Dakota's population grew 8.23% while drug offenses increased an alarming 222 percent. That hardly balances the scales of justice.

    This curse plays no favorites in selecting its victims. It strikes both sexes, all races, and people in rural and urban areas of South Dakota. A simple question to ask is where are drugs not a problem? The simpler answer, sadly, is "nowhere."

    Law enforcement officers who deal primarily in the area of illegal drug suppression say that in a perverse way, drug addicts are staunch advocates of the free enterprise system. Addicts believe in the law of supply and demand by buying whatever drug is available and whatever drug is the cheapest. Thus, what started out in 2007 as a Drug Court program to deal with meth, has now been forced by the evolving nature of addiction to address prescription drugs, synthetic meth, heroin, and fentanyl-laced drugs. The list expands by the month.

    Drugs do not respect age. Law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges report an increase in drug use by juveniles. The most problematic situation is where a juvenile uses meth or other drugs because the parents or adult figures in his or her home are addicted. It does not do a lot of good to be told in school about the evils of drug usage when one is confronted with it daily, at home, by parents. Between 2000 and 2018 enough Americans died of drug overdose to wipe out every man, woman, and child in South Dakota. Were this state totally obliterated, it would be front page news worldwide. While the current drug crisis gets some public attention

it falls well short of what it deserves, presumably because the deaths occur one at a time.

    Drug and Alcohol Courts continue to grow and are a vibrant force to save people from the curse of drug and alcohol addiction. Last year these courts served 490 clients. One hundred four clients completed the programs and graduated. What happens to these graduates? Seventy-three percent continue to be productive citizens who contribute to society by holding jobs, maintaining homes, and supporting their families. That is in stark comparison to those who fall back into addiction and are placed in the state penitentiary.

    The cost of participation in these programs continues to be approximately one-third of the cost of sending a person to the state penitentiary for a year. In addition, 1266 children of program participants live with their family rather than becoming wards of the State of South Dakota at $10,000 per-year, per-child.

    For many years, I have encouraged members of this Legislature to attend Drug and Alcohol Court graduations to see firsthand the positive effect these programs have, and to hear each graduate's life story. Many of you have done so and have told me how impressed you were. A graphic visual example of what is accomplished is to see a person on the first day they are enrolled in the program and compare that with the person you see on graduation day. The difference is startling. They were able to follow Winston Churchill's advice: "When you are going through hell, keep going."

    It has been said there is no way to place a value on human life. However, I can do that in a limited way today. It is $8065. That is the cost of keeping a person in our drug or alcohol programs for one year. As I previously noted, it is about one-third of the cost of keeping a person in the penitentiary for that year. It is probably cheaper than a funeral which is where those with addictions are ultimately headed unless the deadly downward spiral of addiction is broken.

    In 2015 the media alerted the public that people accused of crimes were being held in county jails longer than necessary while they waited for an evaluation to determine if they were competent to enter a plea to their criminal charge. For unknown reasons the number of court-ordered competency evaluations jumped from 48 in FY 2013 to 147 in FY 2015. As a result, a defendant was stuck in limbo in a county jail while waiting months for an evaluation. After reviewing extensive task force recommendations this Legislature passed comprehensive legislation in 2017 addressing the intersection of mental illness and the criminal justice system. The legislation broadened the definition of who could perform a competency evaluation to reduce delay and provided a funding mechanism to assist counties with the costs of these evaluations.

    This legislation has achieved very positive results. The average time to complete a competency evaluation has been reduced from the four to six month range to only 37 days. This is a win for those needing evaluations. It is a win for law enforcement who interact with these individuals. It is a win for county jails that house them for shorter lengths of time. And, it is a win for taxpayers who funded the lengthy jail stays under the logjam of the old procedure.

    Another improvement is in the area of those initially deemed mentally incompetent to

stand trial. In the past, a person the Human Services Center (HSC) determined competent to stand trial after an evaluation and treatment remained there until transferred back to the county where the crime was alleged to have been committed. This caused significant problems at HSC. It has a limited number of beds. A bed occupied by a competent person waiting for transportation back to his or her county of origin is a bed that cannot be used for someone who needs mental health treatment. It costs the State $631 per day to house prisoners at HSC. In a cooperative effort between the Governor's Office, my office, and the state's circuit judges, this time delay has been slashed. It is a win-win for the defendant, the legal system, and the taxpayer.

    Law enforcement provides the initial response to many of South Dakota's mental health crises. To help law enforcement address these crises safely and effectively the Division of Criminal Investigation hired a Crisis Intervention Training State Coordinator last July. This Coordinator trains officers in urban and rural areas and ensures that all South Dakota residents benefit from trained officers who can de-escalate a crisis. Officers also help residents contact appropriate mental health services rather than sending them to jail or transporting them to one of the few hospitals in the state that serve people with significant mental health challenges. These few hospitals should not be islands of treatment in a rural sea of misery because of unavailable treatment.

    We all agree that people who commit crimes need to be held accountable. On the other hand, we also know that jail is not the best place for many people with serious mental illness. Nationally 26% of jail inmates have serious mental illness issues. In South Dakota we had no way to determine the extent of this issue. HB 1183 designated a pilot program to do just that. The Legislature required four jails to participate in the pilot program. This was so important, however, that seven sheriffs stepped forward to collect the necessary data through a standardized screening tool designed for correctional populations. They found that between 14% and 27% of those booked into their jails have indicators of serious mental illness and could benefit from obtaining a mental health assessment, and treatment, if appropriate.

    In 2017 no money was available to fund a pilot project for a Mental Health Court in Pennington County. Creative minds came together and the money was appropriated in 2018. Led by a specially trained judge, that program includes a team of mental health professionals to provide a treatment plan and services. The team works in coordination with a court services officer, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, treatment provider, and law enforcement to ensure adherence to the treatment and supervision plan. The Pennington County Mental Health Court became a reality on July 1, 2018. The goal to be fully operational by January 1, 2019, was met.

    In Minnehaha County the need for a Mental Health Court is great. From February through June of 2018, 515 or 13.5% of prisoners screened at intake in that county jail suffered from a mental illness. It is time to seriously consider the creation of a Mental Health Court in the Sioux Falls area.

    All of these improvements increase the efficiency of the judicial system in this state and render quicker and fairer justice to South Dakota citizens. Over the past six years, we have made great strides in how the criminal justice system functions, but we can still do better.

    Last year I informed you that the Supreme Court was contemplating a thorough review of the South Dakota bar exam. We did so as part of our annual rules hearing in February. We received input from the Bar, the public, and the Bar Examiners.

    The genesis of this review was the substantial decline in the bar passage rates during the past few years. This decline is not unique to South Dakota. It exists on a nation-wide basis. The causes for the decline are numerous, and most lie outside of the bar exam process itself. Nevertheless, the Court found it appropriate to review South Dakota's testing standards.

    Our thorough review occurred over several months. The Court concluded that the bar exam is being conducted in a fair manner to protect the public. That is the ultimate goal of the bar exam. We also knew that South Dakota needs sufficient attorneys who demonstrate professional competence and good moral character. We determined that it was appropriate to drop the minimum passing score on the multistate multiple choice portion of the exam from 135 to 133. We also now allow a carryover of up to three points from the essay portion of the exam to the multistate portion of the exam.

    With changes pending across the board in legal education and law school admissions standards, the Court hopes these bar exam modifications will contribute to a greater passage rate while protecting the public's need for competent professional legal services.

    The Court continues to be pleased with the dedicated work of the Board of Bar Examiners. The Board administers and grades the bar exam and conducts hearings if an applicant's good moral character is subject to question. We not only strive for intelligent attorneys, we strive for honest ones.

    Last year I visited with you about the problems facing the law school at the University of South Dakota. To assist the law school this Legislature provided additional funds to improve its situation. Private individuals stepped forward with generous contributions. This resulted in the funding of 15 scholarships for students who demonstrated exceptional scholastic achievement. We hope that these scholars will choose to spend their professional career in this state after they graduate.

    The plan appears to be working. Enrollment had been declining at the law school. It went from an average of around 70 students to 52 in 2016 and 58 in 2017. Declining enrollment resulted in the loss of tuition to the school, and inhibited the number of attorneys in South Dakota. This year this unfortunate trend was reversed with an entering class of 72 students. An increase of 14 additional law students each year goes a long way to providing 14 additional attorneys for South Dakota each year.

    The improvement in the bar exam results for USD School of Law graduates is nothing short of stunning. In July 2016, 59% of USD graduates who were first-time test takers passed the exam. In July 2017, first-time bar exam takers from USD had a pass rate of 52%. In July 2018, first-time test takers from USD had a success rate of 82%--a 30% improvement over last year.

    These are important steps in improving the status of legal education and the legal system in South Dakota. When combined with our successful Rural Attorney Program they will provide competent legal services to every area of the state.

    The South Dakota Supreme Court's caseload is not static. It changes with the times. Recently the Court has seen significant growth in cases dealing with trusts. Twenty years ago, the Court's docket of trust litigation was minimal.

    To some, South Dakota is a "fly-over" state. That erroneous perception, however, does not apply to the world of trusts. The significant expansion of trusts is due to the foresight of governors beginning with Governor Janklow and Legislatures that enacted laws attractive to moving trust assets into South Dakota. The combination of no personal state income tax, no corporate income tax, no inheritance tax, and no rule against perpetuities has produced stunning results.

    South Dakota now has 100 trust companies that maintain a physical presence in our state. According to the FDIC, 3.2 trillion dollars is invested in trusts in South Dakota. South Dakota is the number one state in the nation in the amount of trust deposits. While many people find a way to "fly-over" South Dakota, their dollars find a way to land here. With this significant growth, the Supreme Court anticipates its trust docket will continue to grow.

    In 2015 I became concerned about the financial, physical, and emotional elder abuse in South Dakota. I convened a task force chaired by Justice Steven Zinter. The task force recommended broad protections for South Dakota's senior citizens. A comprehensive legislative proposal was enacted and went into effect in 2016.

    A key component of the law was the hiring of a fulltime investigator and a full-time Assistant Attorney General to prosecute these crimes. Their exclusive task was to ferret out elder abuse. They have received 790 complaints and obtained 10 convictions. The number of complaints tells us that my original suspicion was correct--there is significant elder abuse in South Dakota.

    South Dakota's comprehensive program works for South Dakotans and has become a model for the rest of the country. Very few states have full-time, state-wide investigative and prosecution units. The elder population is the fastest growing segment of South Dakota's population. We can take pride that South Dakota passed a law to protect seniors that actually has teeth and works.

    This is increasingly important because of the great number of seniors. Statistically seniors possess the largest concentration of wealth in one age group that we have ever seen in this state and country. They earned it and should not be cheated out of it. As one long-time attorney quipped, "we should not be probating estates of people who are still living."

    For the past several years I have been reporting to you on the progress of the restoration of the Supreme Court's law library. The on-going progress generated much interest. To my

knowledge this was the last public area of the Capitol that had not been restored to its original grandeur.

    Today it is my pleasure to announce to you that the restoration project is completed. You can enter it and see the same decor that those who entered the building in 1911 saw for the first time. Yet, it is a fully functioning law library with the latest computer legal research available.

    Our architect, Koch-Hazard, was awarded the American Institute of Architecture South Dakota Design Honor Award in September 2018 for its design and renovation work on this project. My appreciation goes out to all who had a hand in this restoration.

    Most people are aware that the South Dakota Supreme Court has five permanent Justices. However, South Dakota is a state where everyone seems to know everyone else. This, along with family relationships, can influence which Justices sit on an individual appeal to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

    Judicial rules called "canons" provide guidance on when a permanent Justice should be disqualified on an individual case. If a Justice is related to a party to the appeal or an attorney involved in an appeal that creates a conflict of interest. Moreover, a case might involve a close friend or a former business associate of a Justice. If this situation exists, the Justice will not participate in that case.

    Moreover, Justices can become seriously ill or pass away. That leaves four remaining Justices and creates the risk of a tie vote. In that instance the Chief Justice authorizes a retired Justice, a circuit court judge, or a retired circuit judge to act in place of the disqualified Justice. Many retired jurists retain the mental and physical vigor from their years of full-time service, but have simply passed the mandatory statutory retirement age of 70. The jurist selected has the equal rights and responsibilities of a permanent Justice for that individual case. In most cases, only one replacement is needed. In one case, however, all five permanent Justices recused themselves and five replacement Justices were authorized to hear the case. The system has been in place for decades and works very efficiently.

    On October 30th, the South Dakota Judiciary and legal community were shocked by the sudden death of Justice Steven Zinter. Justice Steven Zinter was a dominant force on our Court for 17 years. He was totally dedicated to his calling to serve the citizens of South Dakota as a Justice. Whether you were of humble means or extremely wealthy, you would get the same fair treatment in his courtroom.

    Justice Zinter was a giant in the South Dakota legal community and judiciary and possessed a positive personality the likes of which I have never seen. We are all better for knowing him.

    I was asked many times what Justice Zinter's greatest opinions were. He approached each case knowing that he would do his very best to understand the facts and apply the law to get the case decided correctly. He often worked seven days a week; he was not going to quit until he was satisfied that he got it 100% correct. As such, every case he ever handled was his greatest

opinion. Given the lengthy time he spent on the bench there are literally hundreds of these fine opinions.

    My Father said that for most of us, it is a humbling thought that if we had not been born, the world could have gotten along quite nicely without us. He said it was the few, the very few, who accomplished so much during their lifetime that if they had not been born, the world would have been a poorer place without them. Justice Steven Zinter was one of those precious few.

    Justice Glen Severson retired from the Supreme Court last June. This severs a career path between Justice Severson, Justice Zinter, and me that started on our first day in law school in 1972.

    Several years ago, I was given a judicial gavel that had a claw head instead of a cylindrical head. The person who made it said he thought it was important for judges to "build things." Justice Glen Severson certainly was a judicial builder. As Presiding Judge of the Second Circuit he oversaw the construction of the upper two floors on the Minnehaha County Courthouse. On the Supreme Court, he led in our technology endeavors. He was instrumental in converting the UJS from a paper system to an electronic one.

    Justice Severson is modest and would be quick to point to the many dedicated people who were involved in these projects. That is undoubtedly true, but without Justice Severson's initiative and leadership the projects would have never come to pass.

    Because of the quality of the opinions he authored for the Supreme Court, Justice Severson leaves a strong legacy of legal scholarship.

    When Justice Severson retired, Governor Daugaard appointed Circuit Judge Mark Salter to fill the vacancy. Justice Salter's experience and temperament render him superbly qualified to be the 51st South Dakotan to be a Justice of the Supreme Court.

    Justice Salter served in the JAG Corps of the United States Navy. This experience prepared him to run the highly successful Veterans Court in Minnehaha County.

    Justice Salter practiced law in Sioux Falls and served in the U.S. Attorney's Office for South Dakota. His appellate talents were recognized there when he was appointed chief of the appellate division. This provided him with a rich depth of appellate experience that is a great asset in his current position as a Justice. He also taught advanced criminal procedure and appellate advocacy at the University of South Dakota School of Law. From 2012 to 2018 he served as a Circuit Judge in the Second Judicial Circuit.

    These career paths provide Justice Salter with an extensive background in criminal and civil law, the courts, and appellate procedure. He is an exceptional addition to the Supreme Court.

    Most historians and most Americans rate Abraham Lincoln as our greatest President. Why? Against overwhelming odds he held the United States together when it was tearing itself apart through a Civil War. When historians are called upon to rate the least successful President, that unfortunate label usually falls upon Lincoln's predecessor, James Buchanan. He is strongly criticized for letting the Union dissolve and doing little to stop it. It is an interesting paradox since both men faced the same problems at basically the same time. The difference? Lincoln took the problems head on and solved them while Buchanan did little. This historical lesson is compelling. As a wise man once said, those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

    I was privileged to become Chief Justice in 2001. At that time the Rural Attorney Program, Drug and Alcohol Courts, Veterans Courts, Mental Health Courts, HOPE Programs and elder abuse laws did not exist. These programs were created to combat problems the citizens of South Dakota experienced. A lot of South Dakotans put in a lot of hard work to make them happen. While these programs are successful and certainly an improvement, I believe the best is yet to come.

    To sum it all up, my fellow citizens of South Dakota, one can do no better than that "philosopher" Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz: "Toto, there is no place like home."

    Sen. Langer moved that the Joint Session do now dissolve.

    Which motion prevailed.