Native language bill passes Senate by unanimous vote

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PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) - The South Dakota State Senate today unanimously approved a bill identifying the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota dialects as the state’s native language.

If signed into law, South Dakota would be the first state in the lower 48 to identify a native language.

Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert of Mission brought the bill. He says the bill does not change anything it terms of what language is used or made available on state forms, information or elsewhere and will cost taxpayers nothing.

Despite that, Heinert calls the bill, “the most emotional piece of legislations I’ve seen in my ten years in the legislature.”

Senators overwhelmingly agreed with the passage of SB126 and gave it a unanimous vote to advance onto the House for consideration.