The South Dakota Agriculture Department is starting to merge with South Dakota’s Environment and Natural Resources Department. The current secretary for both departments, Hunter Roberts, says the goals of the merger are to save money and provide better service. “We’re hoping we can be more efficient in the way we regulate in the state.” The merger is expected to get attention as the South Dakota State Legislature meets in the next few weeks. Governor Kristi Noem will issue an executive order on the merger within the first five days of the session. If the Legislature doesn’t act, Roberts says the merger becomes final within 90 days. “If the Legislature disapproves of the merger, the merger won’t happen.” Lawmakers are asking questions on the merger, but so far, Roberts hasn’t met any with a resolution to disallow. If the merger continues to move forward, Roberts would likely continue to serve as secretary.
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