Meet the 2020 Senate Education committee

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Meet the 2020 Senate Education committee

There’s a single change to the Senate Education committee for the 2020 legislative session.


Sen. Blake Curd will serve as Chair of the seven-member Senate Education committee, which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and Thursday at 7:45 a.m. Sen. Alan Solano resigned from the legislature last fall.


Let’s meet the committee members:


Sen. Blake Curd (District 12) starts the final year of his third term in the Senate as Chair of the committee. Sen. Curd, an orthopedic surgeon from Sioux Falls, previously served on the Senate Ed. committee in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019 and served has Senate Majority Leader in 2017 and 2018. He will also serve on the Commerce & Energy committee.


Sen. Jim Bolin (District 16) enters his twelfth year in the legislature with 2020 being his fourth in the Senate. A retired teacher from Canton, Sen. Bolin chaired Senate Ed. in 2017 and 2018, sat on the committee in 2019 and served two years on House Education during his tenure. He was a member of the 2018 legislative interim committee studying the Extraordinary Cost Fund and was Vice Chair of the 2019 interim study of Special Education. Sen Bolin is the Senate’s Assistant Majority Leader and will serve on the Legislative Procedure, Military & Veterans, Retirement Laws and State Affairs committees.


Sen. Troy Heinert (District 26) goes into his sixth year in the Senate in 2020 and eighth in the legislature overall, after two years in the House in 2013 and 2014. Sen. Heinert, the Minority Leader, served on the education committee in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and also sat on the Blue Ribbon Task Force. A rancher from Mission, Sen. Heinert will be a member of the Ag and Natural Resources and State Affairs committees, as well.


Sen. Phil Jensen (District 33) makes 2020 his twelfth year in the legislature and eighth in the Senate. The small business owner from Rapid City has sat on the Senate’s education committee in 2013, 2014, 2017 2018 and 2019. Sen. Jensen will serve as Chair of the Local Government committee and as a member of the Health and Human Services committee.


Sen. Kyle Schoenfish (District 19) begins his eighth year in the legislature and first in the Senate, after a recent appointment to the chamber. Sen. Schoenfish previously served seven years in the House where he served on the Ag. & Natural Resources, Local Government and Taxation committees. In 2020, Sen. Schoenfish will serve as Vice Chair on the Education committee and on the Local Government committee.


Sen. V.J. Smith (District 7) returns for his second year in the legislature and on the Senate Education committee. Sen. Smith is an author – The Richest Man in Town – and public speaker and spent 10 years as Executive Director of the South Dakota State University Alumni Association. He will also serve as Vice Chair of Senate Taxation and as a member of the Retirement Laws committee and Military & Veteran Affairs committee.


Sen. Wayne Steinhauer (District 9) marks his second in the Senate and fifth in the legislature overall. A business owner from Hartford, Sen. Steinhauer will be serving his second year on the education committee after three years in the House Representatives where he sat on multiple committees. In addition to Senate Education, he will also serve as Vice Chair of the Health and Human Services committee and as a member of the Local Government committee.

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