Speaker of the House is Brian Gosch, R-Rapid City. Senate president is Lt. Gov. Matt Michels. Senate president pro tem — aka No. 2 — is Corey Brown, R-Gettysburg.
Gosch and Michels generally run the House and Senate action. Gosch and Brown make the committee assignments and decide which committee will handle each bill. Those duties give Gosch and Brown a significant level of power.
The speaker pro tem in the House is Dean Wink, R-Howes. Wink sometimes presides, like Brown. Wink is in line, under longtime House tradition, to be selected as House speaker for the 2015-16 term if he’s re-elected.
The speaker, speaker pro tem and Senate president pro tem are selected in secret caucus elections. They later are ratified in perfunctory open elections in their respective chambers. The lieutenant governor is Senate president by directive of the state constitution and doesn’t get to vote except in case of a tie on final action.
Republicans have majorities in the House and the Senate.
The House Republican leader is David Lust of Rapid City, and the assistant Republican leader is Justin Cronin of Gettysburg.
The Senate Republican leader is Russ Olson of Wentworth, and the assistant Republican leader there is Tim Rave of Baltic.
They are selected in secret caucus elections after the November general elections. They preside over their respective members, participate in setting strategy, work with the governor, advise the House speaker and Senate president pro tem in decisions on assignments, and on occasion meet with Democratic leaders.
Democrats are in the minority in the House and the Senate.
The House Democratic leader is Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton, and the assistant Democratic leader is Julie Bartling of Gregory.
The Senate Democratic leader is Jason Frerichs of Wilmot, and the assistant Democratic leader is Billie Sutton of Burke.
They are selected in caucus elections and preside over their members. They, too, participate in setting strategy from a Democratic perspective, occasionally receive briefings from the governor, and sometimes meet with Republican leaders.
These are the lieutenants who oversee subgroups of their caucuses. They serve as a link between the leaders and the individual legislators in their groups. They participate in strategy setting with their leaders.
The House Republican whips are Kristin Conzet of Rapid City, Jon Hansen of Dell Rapids, Scott Munsterman of Brookings and Jacqueline Sly of Rapid City.
The House Democratic whips are Peggy Gibson of Huron, Scott Parsley of Madison and Jim Peterson of Revillo.
The Senate Republican whips are Dan Lederman of Dakota Dunes, Ryan Maher of Isabel and Larry Rhoden of Union Center.