Jackley gears up for first legislative session back in AG’s office

Jackley, 52, has returned to the Attorney General job after having served in the same spot from 2009 to 2019.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley waits to testify before the Senate Judiciary...
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley waits to testify before the Senate Judiciary committee on a number of different bills his office is proposing.(Jason Harward)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 6:51 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley is back on his “old job,” after a four year gap in between.

And while the experience from 10 years of prior service has helped guide the way, it has still been a bit of an adjustment for South Dakota’s top law enforcement officer, as he prepares to push a full docket of bills through the state legislature.

“It feels wonderful, obviously getting to see old friends, meet new friends,” Jackley said, just over a week after taking office. “We have some challenges ahead here in South Dakota.”

Jackley left the Attorney General’s office in 2019 after an unsuccessful run for Governor. Since then, he had been in private practice.

“I am still in that honeymoon phase where everyone is nice to me, super helpful,” Jackley explained. “I’m in that learning curve phase, some of this stuff is still very familiar to me from before, and some it is extremely new.”

Jackley is carrying five different bills on behalf of the Attorney General’s office that he hopes to advance through the state legislature before session comes to a close.

Two of them have to do with election security. SB 46 would “establish the crime of perjury when circulating a petition and make misrepresentations under oath.” SB 47 would “allow for election laws to be prosecuted.”

Jackley says that election laws are currently exempted out of the “prosecution side.”

“Really what it does (SB 47), is strengthen the integrity of elections by addressing the petition process, and also addresses existing law so that existing law can be enforced.”

In addition to the two election related bills, The Attorney General’s office has three other bills, dealing with data privacy, protecting police, and witness tampering.

Jackley says that he is also looking to help tackle the rise of violent crime that has been seen across the state.

“I had an opportunity to talk to both the mayors of Sioux Falls and Rapid City, and we are all on the same page. I talked to the Sheriffs, and part of all that is just continuing to build relationships. Part of what is going on is the Attorney General wants to use those relationships to be active in task forces. Task forces addressing violent crime and drug problems.”

As for the five different bills brought by the Attorney General’s office, the two related to election security were passed out of the Senate Judiciary committee Thursday morning. The other three will be heard in the same committee at a later date.