Home Rule 101

Home Rule charters began to appear in the 1890s; however, it was not until 1962 that the South Dakota voters passed a constitutional amendment allowing for the adoption of Home Rule charters. The Rapid City Mayor and Common Council have decided to study Home Rule as an option for city governance.

The South Dakota Constitution, Article IX, Section 2, provides:

Under a Home Rule charter, a municipality may exercise any legislative power or perform any function not denied by its charter, the constitution, or the general laws of the state. The charter may provide for any form of executive, legislative, and administrative structure that is superior to statute provided that the legislative body so established is chosen by popular election and that the administrative proceedings are subject to judicial review.

More information about Home Rule can be found at:




Home Rule Committee

In December 2019, a request for individuals to study Home Rule was initiated by the Mayor and City Council. In total, 40 individuals applied and the city council members each made committee selection recommendations to the mayor. In May 2020, 18 individuals were officially appointed to serve on the Home Rule Charter Committee. All of the city’s five wards are represented on the committee. Members meet bi-monthly to discuss components of the current governance structure and study Home Rule charters. The committee will be in place no longer than one year. The group will make a recommendation to the city council as to whether or not the home rule form of government should be pursued for Rapid City.

The purpose of the committee is to:

  • Review current forms of the municipal government
  • Consider the adoption of a Home Rule charter
  • Present recommendations to the city council and mayor

More Information

Home Rule Presentation