I have previously lamented the Legislature’s failure to include ballot measure organizers on the Initiative and Referendum Task Force that they created with House Bill 1141. Of fifteen members, only one appears to have any experience putting an initiative or referendum on the ballot, and that’s Reynold Nesiba, who is now also a Senator. He’s outnumbered by three legislators—Senator Jim Bolin, Senator Ernie Otten, and Rep. Don Haggar—who have tried to make it harder for citizens to enact ballot measures. None of the eight non-legislators on the panel have sponsored ballot measures; Will Mortenson was involved in last year’s ballot measure campaigns, but only as the SDGOP’s hired gun to defeat Amendment V.
Compare that stacked deck with the folks the Legislature may appoint to the workforce housing interim committee. Of thirteen people initially contacted to possibly join the panel, four are contractors or developers involved in building homes, and one more represents the apartment/rental industry.
I guess when it comes to building things that legislators don’t view as a threat to their power, legislators don’t mind sharing a work table with the builders. But when they turn their attention to ballot measures, a fundamental check on Legislative power, legislators don’t want the builders of ballot measures at the table.