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Amendment S Pushes Brown County to Add $50K Victims’ Assistant Job

But hey, it’s a good thing Governor Daugaard thinks we can save tens of millions by reforming Medicaid. We can put some of the savings toward paying the costs of Amendment S, the redundant crime victims bill of rights pushed by California billionaire Henry T. Nicholas. Voters chose Nicholas’s emotional appeals over the cool, rational advice of South Dakota state’s attorneys. Now Amendment S, which should take effect today, is already forcing Brown County to spend more money on a new full-time victim service position:

During today’s Brown County Commission meeting, Chris White, state’s attorney-elect, discussed the added workload and possible liability issues that Marsy’s Law will create.

“It looks like it was written by somebody who’s not involved in the system at all, because none of it makes sense and it’s not practical,” White told commissioners.

…If the requirements of the law aren’t met by the county, the county could be sued, White said.

…Commissioners approved hiring a full-time victim’s assistant who will be paid between 21 and 25 dollars per hour to help take some of the workload off the attorneys and help mitigate the chance of litigation against the county [Shannon Marvel, “Brown County Hires Full-Time Victim’s Assistant to Comply with Marsy’s Law,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.11.16].

$25 an hour, full-time… that’s $50K a year. Brown County HR is taking applications now through November 28.

Update 08:05 CST: Pennington County state’s attorney Mark Vargo has gotten his county commission to approve four new employees to administer Amendment S at an added payroll cost of $161,000.


  1. Loren 2016-11-16 08:51

    Republicans, reducing the size of government and cutting costs! (chuckle)

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-16 08:56

    Remember, Loren, ultimate responsibility for this increase in government and spending lies on the voters, who accepted Jason Glodt’s well-funded emotional appeals and endorsed adding these costs to their local county budgets.

    Now, shall we get honest about talking about expanding county authority to levy taxes to pay for this unfunded mandate?

  3. W R Old Guy 2016-11-16 09:55

    Today’s RCJ reports Pennington County Commissioners approved a $161,000.00 request from the states attorney for 4 new positions to handle the requirements of Marcy’s Law. There will be three victims advocates/administrative and one IT person to try to automate notifications as much as possible. States Attorney Mark Vargo also stated that they may need two more positions depending on the case load.

    Mike Jackley stated that he was going to make money available to the counties for complying with Marcy’s Law. Has anyone seen any figures?

  4. jerry 2016-11-16 10:45

    With taxpayers having to foot more of the local bills for nursing home patients and now this for poor counties, there is only one solution, higher taxes from someplace. The only thing is that large holders of land will have a much bigger burden so that may be the fairest way to do it. The more you have, the more your taxed, a silver lining, city folks, you just know that you are so screwed. County assessors will be visiting your places you rural rascals, better knock the door off the shed so it looks like it is ready to fall down. Then go to the county commissioners and threaten them for doing their jobs. Should be more than fun to watch. Kind of like the Johnson County War in Wyoming between the cattle barons and everyone else. Only this will be the old and infirm as the protagonists for Medicaid.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-16 19:14

    Jerry, WR, if I were the suspicious type, I’d suggest that the GOP put Glodt up to this plan: put some big emotional issue on the ballot, write it into the Constitution, guarantee more cost for the counties, and thus take up all the oxygen for increased taxes and spending on this topic and create a firewall against any other demands for funding for things like more teacher pay or tuition relief or what-have-you.

    If I were the suspicious type. ;-)

  6. jerry 2016-11-16 19:25

    Cory, you would not be off in your suspicious thoughts. If your suspicions are wrong, then I would need to be shown where it is that republicans are all up in arms about Paul Ryan’s plan to kill Medicare? No where in the news is anyone talking about the plan. Some are, like this article, where are the republicans to go on record to deny the plan to put gramps and grams on a voucher system that will destroy them.

  7. John 2016-11-16 22:11

    The jackel hired glodt for his gubernatorial campaign. What could go wrong?!

  8. leslie 2016-11-16 23:42


    Criminal justice. republican prosecutors, judges, county commissioners, city councils, sheriffs, and police chiefs have destroyed more lives since ending institutionalizing mentally ill in the 70s.

    Today chief justice Gilbertson said “nobody knew about this problem a year ago.” $90 dolar a night jails in Sx Falls woke him up. Jackley thinks 24/7 works. Rand Corporation swallowed that hook, line and sinker and took it nationally. Addiction and alcoholism have been illegitimately prosecuted vigorously, destroying sick people and their families. any mental health/substance abuse professional in the last 45 years can tell you the obvious.

    Get tough on crime. Not Gulliani expanded stop and frisk to profiling to the point that black tennis stars are beat senseless outside expensive NYC hotels. Law enforcement and the justice system have all the money, militarization, training, and incompetency, regarding medical issues, but no accountability.

    this law is more of the same. pass laws . blind to the consequences.

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