Jackley Hints at Ballot Measure to Protect Ballot Measures

In the Tea Leaves Department, Attorney General Marty Jackley may have given a hint of a ballot initiative coming to the petition trail at a Deadwood forum last Thursday:

He finished by asking for input on several ballot issues coming up, including marijuana, petitions to outlaw alcohol and tobacco, minimum wage limit, the legislature’s ability to change ballot initiatives, and others [Jaci Conrad Pearson, “Jackley Talks Gaming, State Stats at Deadwood Meet ‘n Greet,” Black Hills Pioneer, 2015.05.09].

The press hasn’t mentioned any ballot initiative dealing with the Legislature’s ability to tinker with measures voters approve at the polls. South Dakota law prohibits local governments from amending, repealing, or revisiting issues decided in municipal initiatives (SDCL 9-20-5.1) and referenda (SDCL 9-20-17) for one year, but no such prohibition exists against Legislative action on statewide ballot measures, as evidenced by the Legislature’s quick passage of the youth minimum wage just two months after the voter initiative setting the minimum wage at $8.50 for everyone took effect on January 1.

Perhaps activists are looking to copy the ballot measure protection clause from Nebraska’s constitution, which requires any legislative effort to tinker with a voter-approved law to obtain a two-thirds vote.

Is a ballot measure on this topic brewing? South Dakotans, what do you think? Would you prefer a time limit, a higher vote requirement, or some combination of those protections for ballot measures?

10 Responses to Jackley Hints at Ballot Measure to Protect Ballot Measures

  1. Richard Schriever (PhD - Organizational Psychology)

    Five years – plus 2/3s thereafter.

  2. W R Old Guy

    I would prefer a two year and a 2/3 thereafter. It gives us time to see the effects before changing an initiated law. I have yet to see any law that was perfect as passed.

  3. Frank James

    I would prefer Legislators without the hubris to act upon a ballot measure so recently passed by the voters of South Dakota. The problem isn’t a time limit on action, the problem the representatives we send to Pierre.

  4. Deb Geelsdottir

    I like 2 and 2/3.

  5. Donald Pay

    It would have to be a Constitutional amendment. I’m not necessarily in favor of this idea. You really do need to have a method to allow the legislature to amend passed initiatives, just in case there are unforeseen complications in putting the initiative into effect. Probably, it could be done only with the support of the initiative sponsors. Unfortunately, the Legislature has shown itself to be incapable of respecting the people’s vote. In some cases they have gutted initiatives in a very sneaky way. They will have no one to blame but themselves if this initiative is brought forward.

  6. Referred Laws are ok but Initiated Measures pander to the ignorant and insane.

  7. explain grud

  8. Owen, we should be able to protect ourselves against the laws the legislature passes that are insaner than most and we should not allow those who are insaner than most to pass laws to attack us.

    The lowest bar of passing a law should be to get it through the legislatures, not have the ignorant masses or if you prefer to soothe your libby mind by thinking of it as the ignorant majority jam some idiot “I’m 10 measure” down our maws and then have our legislatures unable to undo the damage for 5 years.

  9. what if it’s the ignorant legislature not the ignorant people grudz?
    Like in our state.
    the only ones jamming anything down our throats is your tea party legislature

  10. Correct Owen, a proven fact. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2015/05/11/amid-gridlock-in-d-c-influence-industry-expands-rapidly-in-the-states/

    Now you know why we are doing such stupid crap in the first place, follow the money.