Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that Lt. Gov. Matt Michels has moved from a full-time role to a half-time role. The change, being made for personal and family reasons, was effective April 15.
"This has been an eventful first year in office, as we balanced the state budget and responded to the flooding threat last spring," Gov. Daugaard said. "Through it all, Matt has been a strong partner to me. As he transitions to a half-time role, Matt will remain an important advisor and a valuable servant to South Dakota."
Under the state constitution, the lieutenant governor serves as President of the Senate, and is first in the line of succession to the governorship. The constitution also allows the Governor to assign additional duties to the lieutenant governor.
Over the past year, Lt. Gov. Michels has overseen the Department of the Military, the Bureau of Personnel, and the Department of Tribal Affairs, and he led the state's efforts relating to federal health care reform. Michels helped to lead the flood response in Union County last spring, and is currently the interim Secretary of Veterans' Affairs, a role in which he will continue until early next year.
Michels was the second full-time lieutenant governor in South Dakota history, following Lt. Gov. Walter Dale Miller. As Michels transitions to half-time, some of his current duties will be reassigned to other staff. The move will result in a savings of 0.5 full-time-equivalent employee (FTE) in the Governor's Office, and Michels' salary as lieutenant governor will be cut to correspond with the change.
"I want to thank Gov. Daugaard for the continuing opportunity to serve with him as lieutenant governor," said Lt. Governor Michels. "Even as I step into a half-time role, I will continue to work hard for the people of our state."