Following Johnson Push, OMB Walks Back Plan to Change City Status of Rapid City

July 14, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Following a legislative push from U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will abandon efforts to reclassify Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) like Rapid City and 140 other cities. Following the January OMB notice to increase the MSA qualification from 50,000 to 100,000 people, Johnson introduced the bipartisan, bicameral, Metropolitan Statistical Area Preservation Act, a bill to preserve more than 140 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) from losing their classification as an MSA.

“I’m glad OMB realized they made a mistake on reclassification efforts,” said Johnson. “More than 140 cities, most importantly Rapid City, would be severely impacted by losing their city status. If you’ve ever been to Rapid, you know it’s a robust, growing city – and it deserves the federally-backed programs that come with that classification.”

“This is a great day for Rapid City and other small cities across the nation. Rapid City faces the same issues that large metro areas face—economic development, infrastructure, workforce training and recruitment, amenities, housing—so keeping the MSA designation is just good policy. Rapid City’s population may say 80,000 on the sign, but its trade is really 175,000 to 200,000 or greater, given that it’s the central shopping and health care area for a five-state region,” said President of Elevate Rapid City Tom Johnson. “Representative Dusty Johnson gets this and understands that Rapid City has the potential to grow by tens of thousands of people in the next decade. He was a tireless champion for Rapid City and South Dakota on this issue, and the same is true for Senator Thune and Senator Rounds. It’s great to see all three of them once again bring some South Dakota common sense to D.C. and the federal bureaucracy that is the Office of Management and Budget.”

The Metropolitan Statistical Area Preservation Act is cosponsored by Reps. Tom O'Halleran (AZ-01), Mike D. Rogers (AL-03), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Frank D. Lucas (OK-03), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Ashley Hinson (IA-01), David Trone (MD-06), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Larry Bucshon (IN-08), Julia Letlow (LA-05), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Diana Harshbarger (TN-01), Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Buddy Carter (GA-01), Peter Meijer (MI-03), Randy Feenstra (IA-04), Barry Moore (AL-02); Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL), Dan Meuser (PA-09), Susan Wild (PA-07), and Steven M. Palazzo (MS-4).

Senator Thune led the Senate-companion of the Metropolitan Statistical Area Preservation Act. Additionally, in March, the South Dakota delegation urged OMB to reject this recommendation.