Trump Says People Take Power Back; SB 59 Taking Power Away

What?! I’ve got to argue against Venhuizen? O.K. fine….

As President Trump declared his Presidency is about giving power back to the people, South Dakota’s Republican Legislature moved to take power away from the people. The Senate State Affairs Committee approved Senate Bill 59, which weakens South Dakotans’ constitutional right to enact legislation by initiative.

Tony Venhuizen, chief of staff to Governor Dennis Daugaard, showed up to testify in favor of the bill; citizen activists Charlene Lund and John Fiksdal testified against this Legislative power grab. The opponents actually made progress: they convinced Senate State Affairs to strike Section 2, the constitutionally unworkable portion of SB 59 that would have subjected our initiatives to Legislative vote, gubernatorial veto, and other complications that run afoul of the people’s will as expressed in 1988’s Amendment A that removed the Legislature from the initiative process.

But SB 59 still has Section 1, which delays enactment of voter-approved ballot measures (initiative, referendum, or constitutional amendment) from the week after the election to July 1 of the following year. Prime sponsor Senator Jim White and Venhuizen testified this provision simply allows the state time to figure out what needs to be done to implement the new laws.

Opponent Charlene Lund said she opposes any effort to undermine initiatives but has no problem with the later implementation date. However, this delay does undermine our ability to enact ballot measures by making it easier for the Legislature to overturn the voters’ will.

Opponent Jon Fiksdal agrees with my analysis of how this delay could have affected the 2014 minimum-wage vote. He told Senate State Affairs that it would have been easier for them to tinker with a minimum-wage hike that had not yet been implemented because they could have sold the change as a smaller increase than an actual cut in wages. If voters haven’t gotten to see the benefits of a ballot measure in action—in the case of the minimum wage increase, if they don’t see the real dollars in their pocket—it’s easier for the Legislature to take those benefits away by repealing that ballot measure. That means more power for the Legislature and less power for the people.

Senate State Affairs approved the reduced SB 59 6–1 (Yea: Bolin, Langer, Maher, Novstrup, Netherton, and Ewing; Nay: Sutton; Excused: Curd and Heinert).

SB 59 now heads to the Senate floor. We won half the battle today; now, fellow believers in direct democracy, finish the job. Call your Senators and tell them to respect President Trump’s wishes (!!!), leave power in the hands of the people, and vote NO on SB 59.


13 Responses to Trump Says People Take Power Back; SB 59 Taking Power Away

  1. Darin Larson

    So let me get this straight: The legislature and governor often pass legislation that the citizenry have a matter of days or weeks to study before it is acted upon by the legislature. Then that legislation often goes into effect in a matter of days or weeks after it is acted upon.

    Whereas an initiative that the people approve has to have been in existence for a minimum of what, 12 months prior to the election? Thus, the legislature expects the citizenry to prepare to live under laws it passes in a matter of days or weeks, but the government needs a minimum of 19 months to study and prepare for legislation approved by SD citizens. Sounds like something an out of control government would say that is trying to limit the power of the people.

  2. Trump is probably sincere about his desire for people to take power back. The only problem is the people he is referring to is not the common citizen but rather the powerful elite.

    One of the Trump Administration’s first acts was to scrub the White House website of any and all mentions of the terms “climate change”. They aren’t set on just debating the issue… they are just pretending it doesn’t exist.

    This will be a hellofa’ ride.

  3. Curt Jopling

    Maybe this is the best we can hope for with the Gods in Pierre? Reminds me of the Monty Python sketch.

    Moses is coming down from Mt Sinai with the two tablets.
    He addresses the people assembled, pointing to the tablets.
    “I have good news and I have bad news”
    “The good news is I got Him down to ten, the bad news is adultery is still in it”

  4. Mr. Larson, these out-of-state whackadoodles do cook up some pretty crazy things. 19 months may not be enough. I would say it should be 37 months, which is 3 years in a leap year.

  5. Darin Larson

    Grudz, the out of state whackadoodles are cooking up legislation that the legislature acts on in a matter of days and goes into effect in a matter of weeks or a few months if it passes. Then they pass supplementary spending bills to cover the inevitable sky high legal bills in trying to defend the whackadoodle bill.

  6. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Craig,

    It definitely “will be a hellofa’ ride.”

    In addition to his climate change stunt today, Trump has already figured out a way to negatively impact the middle class:

    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/20/on-his-first-day-in-office-trump-raises-taxes-on-middle-class-homebuyers/

    And, to negatively impact voting rights:

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/20/politics/trump-doj-voter-id-delay/

  7. Porter Lansing

    If the majority says SB59 is needed so the state can have time to figure out what needs to be done to implement the new laws, then a few lines in SB59 to legally guarantee no challenges or changes can be issued before July wouldn’t impact the majority, if they’re sincere in only needing time to implement new changes.

  8. Porter Lansing

    If the majority says SB59 is needed so the state can have time to figure out what needs to be done to implement the new laws, then a few lines in SB59 to legally guarantee no challenges or changes can be issued before July wouldn’t impact the majority, if they’re sincere in only needing time to implement new changes. Trust but verify, ‘ya know?

  9. W R Old Guy

    I think the legislature is trying to make sure the poor confused voters don’t interfere with the legislature and governor in the making of laws.

    This was introduced today by Sen. Jeffrey Partridge (R-District 34). The bill would almost double the number of signatures required on a petition.

    Note the co-sponsors.

    http://sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?File=SB67P.htm&Session=2017

  10. Darin Larson

    Well, I guess the theme of this year’s legislative session is “Take Back the Power from the People.” Apparently, most of the session is going to be spent on restricting the people’s right to have their own voice in SD law making.

  11. “these out-of-state whackadoodles” that Grudz is referencing must be American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans for Prosperity both Out-of-State groups that spend enormous amounts of money in our state plus write the templates for extremist laws that our Republican Legislators then try to put into our State Laws against the good people of South Dakota. Shameful Republicans! Take your out of state money out of South Dakota!

  12. james kopecky

    Bills Bills and more acting under the emergency war power enabling act. Wait and learn state of State the gig is up. Time will be soon to deport the foreign aliens back to england. The true republic is back, the incorporated impersonating a public servant working for the Queen in violation of their 1946 treaty is repealed along with the religion codes. Nine Million Martials training for three years will see to this.

  13. James Kopecky, do you know Steve Sibson from Mitchell? “Sibby Online.” Look him up: I think he’d understand what you’re talking about.