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South Dakota Advocacy Network for Women

Legislative Policy


SDANW Statement of Values

The SDANW Statement of Values, which is based on the 1977 National Plan of Action as adopted by the National Women’s Conference, and SDANW’s Continuing Resolutions articulate the general public policy positions to which the SDANW adheres and to which individuals and sponsoring organizations consent when joining the SDANW. Additional issues and priorities that may have been unforeseen at the time the National Plan of Action was adopted may be added to the SDANW’s Statement of Values with the consent of members in good standing who participate in the Annual Membership Meeting.


Legislative Priorities

The SDANW establishes a legislative agenda based on recommendations made by members and sponsoring organizations at its Annual Membership Meeting. The SDANW uses a four-tiered approach to setting legislative priorities, designating issues as either

  1. Propose – those on which the SDANW will be proactive

  2. Support

  3. Oppose

  4. Study or Monitor

Legislative Council

The Legislative Council is comprised of one representative appointed by each sponsoring organization and a proportional number of individual SDANW members. Members serve a one-year term that begins with the SDANW Annual Membership Meeting. There is no limit on the number of terms a member may serve.  For the 2025 legislative session, there will be four individual at-large members and two alternates elected at the Annual Meeting.

  • The Chair of the Council is appointed by and is a member of the SDANW Board.

  • Members of the Board may attend Council meetings as observers.

  • Because the Council’s decisions must be consistent with SDANW’s values and legislative agenda, a member who is absent from a Council meeting is presumed to have consented to the body’s decisions.

  • Sponsoring organizations may annually appoint substitutes who may attend and fully participate in Council meetings in the absence of the respective Council member.

  • A person designated as alternate at-large member may attend and fully participate in Council meetings in the absence of an at-large Council member.

Legislative Council Responsibilities

The Council

  1. Meets as needed throughout the year, but especially from September through the end of the legislative session.

  2. Recommends legislative positions to the Annual Membership Meeting.

  3. Interviews and recommends to the Board the person/s who will serve as lobbyist/s during the legislative session.

  4. Meets as a group with the SDANW’s lobbyist weekly during session, usually Friday afternoons:

    • reviews legislation

    • determines the SDANW’s position on specific legislation

    • assists the lobbyist in developing strategy

    • assists the lobbyist in identifying persons to testify to committees.

  5. Provides weekly updates on legislative activities to sponsoring organizations during session.

Controversial Issues

In the event controversial issues arise during session that were not addressed at the annual membership meeting, the Council and lobbyist will consult with the SDANW Chair to determine a position and response.

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