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Karr Craves Protection from Voters, Proposes Four-Year Legislative Terms

Rep. Chris Karr
Healthy young fella like Chris Karr shouldn’t be afraid of a little run every two years….

For all their confidence about South Dakota being a Republican state where they can easily win elections, some Republicans sure seem nervous about putting themselves and their ideas to a vote of the people.

Rookie Rep. Chris Karr (R-11/Sioux Falls) is prime-sponsoring House Joint Resolution 1010, which would place on the ballot yet another Republican effort to reduce our opportunities to vote. This time, Rep. Karr wants us to amend the constitution to allow him (and his 104 colleagues) to serve for four more years before having to ask the voters to reëlect him. HJR 1010 would limit legislators to two consecutive terms in one chamber, effectively keeping our current eight-year term limit in place.

Doubling terms for legislators reduces their accountability to voters. If we had four-year terms right now, Republican like Karr who crassly voted to trample the will of the voters last year by repealing IM 22 would get three and a half years for the sting of that insult to fade in voters’ memories. With two-year terms, Karr and his colleagues have to answer to us voters this year, when the memory of the IM 22 repeal is fresh and kept fresh by Amendment W (IM 22 2.0!) and by Kristi Noem’s pandering endorsement of IM 22’s campaign finance reforms.

Members of the United States House of Representatives have to answer to use every two years; our state legislators deserve no longer term than that. Rep. Karr, if you want to serve in Pierre for four years, you’ll need to earn it by winning two elections. Voters, demand that your legislators continue to face you on the ballot every two years. Vote NO on HJR 1010.


  1. grudznick 2018-01-27

    That young fellow has a very large, round head, but I like his haircut and the cut of his jib on this idea.

  2. Donald Pay 2018-01-27

    Instead, amend this to get rid of the entire House of Representatives. No need for four year terms with a unicameral. If there are four year terms, there should be a provision for recall, and putting initiative back to 1990s statutes.

  3. grudznick 2018-01-27

    I can appreciate the comments of my Wisconsin friend, Mr. Pay, as they somewhat mirror the thoughts that I and my New Mexico friend, Lar, have often voiced. Lar is more about cutting back on how many counties. I am all about keeping the bicameral but reducing the number of persons in the legislatures completely. Our group once had plans to sell knitted oven mitts with our slogan on them, but we couldn’t agree what that should be so it all came unraveled. I am implementing some changes in the WI and NM legislatures myself, without their support.

  4. Rorschach 2018-01-27

    Wouldn’t that be interesting if an initiative to give these jokers 4 year terms was on the ballot with ethics reforms that the voters passed and these jokers then repealed and watered down?

  5. John 2018-01-28

    Four year terms — after establishing a 35-member non-partisan unicameral legislature. Half the senators being up for election every 2 years. Then SD will also be able to pay the legislature with no increase in expenditures.

    The SD Judicial Branch “Unified” itself about 40 years ago. It’s long past the time for the legislative and executive branches to “Unify” themselves and kick themselves into the 21st Century.

    SD should have about 23 counties – as does similarly sized and populated WY. No one misses Washington, Armstrong, Washabaugh, etc., Counties. It’s long past the time to modernized delivery of government services in the legislature and executive as has the SD Judiciary.

  6. Donald Pay 2018-01-28

    John, Great proposal.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-29

    I’m still dubious about unicameral, simply because I want more chances for citizens to testify and stop bad bills. But uni- or bi-, doubling term length means fewer chances for us to hold legislators accountable at the polls.

    What are the advantages of four-year terms over two-year?

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