Lawmakers push for funding for missing Indigenous role
February 9, 2022
PIERRE, S.D. — A bipartisan group of South Dakota House lawmakers recommended a pair of proposals to fund a position in the attorney general's office to coordinate law enforcement investigations into the disappearance and murder of Indigenous people.
The House Judiciary committee's recommendation came after the Legislature last year created the position and pushed Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg to work with the tribes to pursue funding to staff it, but he has not obtained the funds. The Republican has called the position an “unfunded mandate,” but said he is pushing for the funds to fill it this year.
But Democratic Rep. Peri Pourier, who proposed the position last year and the money to staff it this year, called the delay “bewildering” and another example of miscommunication between law enforcement at the tribal, state and federal levels.