Referendum petitions are due Monday after next, June 29. We’ll be busy counting and organizing our petitions next weekend, so this weekend is the last big weekend for circulating petitions statewide. Hit the streets, the arts festivals (Aberdeen! Mitchell!), the bike rides (Rapid City!), and fill those petitions!
We can use every signature you can find. As you head out to circulate, here are the best reasons you can give for referring Senate Bill 69 (the Incumbent Protection Plan) and Senate Bill 177 (the youth minimum wage):
Senate Bill 69, the Incumbent Protection Plan:
- SB 69 makes it practically impossible for Independents to get on the ballot by unconstitutionally taking away party members’ right to nominate Independents for office.
- SB 69 makes it harder to recruit candidates at a time when we already see too many candidates go uncontested.
- SB 69 chips away at our voting rights with harder requirements for individuals and new parties to qualify for the ballot.
- SB 69 means candidates will be bugging you for signatures during your Christmas parties.
- SB 69 doesn’t even solve the problem it was intended to solve: it doesn’t give the Secretary of State legal authority to investigate petition fraud, and it doesn’t give citizens any more time to investigate petitions for fraud and submit challenges to the Secretary of State.
- SB 69 is so bad, it’s getting South Dakota sued even before it takes effect.
Senate Bill 177, the Youth Minimum Wage:
- SB 177 ignores the voters, who said they wanted the minimum wage to be $8.50—period.
- SB 177 is the Legislature’s effort to tell voters to sit down and shut up.
- SB 177 tells kids South Dakota doesn’t respect them.
- SB 177 is new, strange, and unnecessary: South Dakota had the same minimum wage for kids and adults for decades, and kids didn’t have trouble getting jobs.
- SB 177 rejects the basic premise of the minimum wage: every worker deserves the same basic wage for showing up and sacrificing his or her liberty to the authority of the boss.
- SB 177 undermines labor protections: if we can discriminate against 17-year-old workers, why not discriminate against 66-year-old workers, or women, or any other class of workers we perceive as less able than others?
The biggest reason to sign and circulate these two petitions is that both SB 69 and SB 177 are about democracy. Both bills are designed to give us voters fewer choices, fewer opportunities to exercise our liberty to choose our laws and our lawmakers.
Make the case, get those signatures, and mail your notarized petitions to me, Cory Allen Heidelberger, at my new digs, 912 N. 1st St., Aberdeen, SD 57401.