- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A resolution to finalize the name change of Shannon County to Oglala Lakota County, which voters overwhelmingly approved in November, is sailing through the Legislature.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted unanimously on Wednesday to send the resolution to the chamber floor.

Rep. Kevin Killer, a Democrat from Pine Ridge, said his measure is part of the process to make official the name change, which roughly 80 percent of the county’s voters approved. Killer also helped organize the effort to get the name change on the ballot.

The measure has already passed through the House and it faces its final test on the Senate floor.

Democratic Sen. Jim Bradford of Pine Ridge told the committee that the new name is more representative of the county.

“This is a fitting name change,” Bradford said. “Ninety percent of the population is Native American. … It’s a thing that probably should have been done a long time ago.”

Killer has said previously that he enjoys educating lawmakers about why the county was being renamed.

A measure to make it less cumbersome to enact a county name change once voters have approved it is moving through the Legislature. The new process wouldn’t require lawmakers to pass a resolution to make the change official, which Killer said he appreciates.

“It’s good to see people supportive and just respecting the process, respecting the will of the voters and just learning about why it was done,” Killer said after the vote.

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