With heightened sensitivity to sexual assault and harassment the South Dakota Legislature will be addressing the issue this coming session.

Both parties and chambers agree that focusing on training that involves ethics in all matters will be of great benefit to elected officials. Senate Majority Leader Blake Curd of Sioux Falls also stresses the importance of an outside party to provide instruction.

“The concept kind of bubbled up that it would be good to bring in subject matter experts external to the Legislature. We could make sure we all have a state of the art understanding of professionalism, ethical behavior in an elected official and sexual harassment training.”

Several years ago the Legislators had a training, but Curd believes plenty of changes have occurred and lots of new knowledge is available.

“The knowledge on that subject has expanded over the last several years. The science behind it has evolved. So I think it was a good time to reset. It was widely supported by the leaders in our Legislature and I think it’s going to be a good kickoff to the session.”

Curd also notes the short but intense nature of the session can be a factor in people’s behavior in Pierre. All 105 Legislators will attend the gathering along with the staff of the Legislative Research Council.

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