South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has been ready to work since day one. He faces an opioid and meth crisis, and Ravnsborg recently spoke with SDPB Radio about his priorities.
On the top issues: Our meth problem. SB 19 is our bill to repeal presumptive probation, and I do believe I have a lot of support among law enforcement, state, Fraternal Order of Police to make some changes to SB 70 and 73. We’ve also been in contact with a number of legislators who’s been talking to superintendents of schools because 73, the juvenile matter, just doesn’t work. We haven’t put a bill forward yet, we’re working in conjunction with some of those legislators to find the right language and see where we would like to go. I do believe the police force and law enforcement in our state was encouraged by the Governor’s address because they’ve been asking for resources for rehabilitation. We want to make sure we can get people off meth and make sure they can be production members of society.
On repealing presumptive probation: It gives discretion back to judges, and I think that’s a good thing. I think that most of our judges across our state are good, common-sense people who live and work in our communities. And right now, it’s presumed you’re going to get probation, and you have to have aggravating circumstances, and there’s a specific list of what needs to be done to go beyond presumption. This would give judges more discretion. It would also cause the defendant, we believe, to have to work with law enforcement more. They have to give something to get the same thing they’re getting in the statute now. It gives judges and prosecutors more flexibility on what they charge and what they can expect. I do believe it would benefit our state by getting information to get the drug dealers, which is who I’m after.
Listen to the full interview here.