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Mickelson’s Special Marsy’s Law Vote May Cost $200K

Rep. G. Mark Mickelson (R-13/Sioux Falls) wants special treatment for his new out-of-state friends’ revised version of Marsy’s Law, the crime victims bill of rights. That special treatment will cost South Dakota up to $200,000.

Rep. Tim Reed (R-7/Brookings) went to Senate Appropriations Thursday and surrendered his House Bill 1162 to Speaker Mickelson, who brought what Reed called a “friendly” hoghouse amendment. Speaker Mickelson and his anti-democracy pal Senator Jim Bolin (R-16/Canton) tag-teamed at the mic to explain their desire to put House Joint Resolution 1004, their “fix” to the crime victim bill or rights on a special ballot in June instead of on the general election ballot with all the other ballot measures in November.

The HB 1162 hoghouse has eight parts, many of which show how many laws and divisions of power Speaker Mickelson has to break to get this special treatment for his out-of-state friends:

  1. Section 1 redundantly places HJR 1004, the Marsy’s Law fix, on the June primary ballot. (HJR 1004, as amended in the Senate and awaiting House concurrence, already does that.)
  2. Section 2 excepts HJR 1004 from the ballot timeframe in SDCL 12-13-1 and orders Secretary of State Shantel Krebs to certify the proposed amendment for the primary ballot by April 11.
  3. Section 3 excepts HJR 1004 from SDCL 12-13-9 and orders Attorney General Marty Jackley to produce a statement, title, explanation, and Yes/NO recitation for the amendment by March 27.
  4. Section 4 excepts HJR 1004 from SDCL 12-13-2 and orders all county auditors to send copies of the amendment to their official papers by May 1.
  5. Section 5 appropriates up to $200,000 to the Secretary of State’s office to pay for printing ballots and other costs of this special initiative vote.
  6. Section 6 authorizes this emergency spending.
  7. Section 7 reverts any funds not spent to the general fund.
  8. Section 8 is the emergency clause.

Both the emergency clause and the appropriation require the Senate and House to muster two-thirds votes to pass the HB 1162 hoghouse.

Now the cost of this special election may be recouped by the changes HJR 1004 would make if passed by the voters. Speaker Mickelson claims Pennington County is spending $400K more due to Marsy’s Law; Senator Bolin claimed Lincoln County has over $300K in additional expenses in less than a year. Back in 2016, right after passage of Marsy’s Law, Governor Dennis Daugaard’s proposed budget projected perhaps $600,000 more in state spending caused by Marsy’s Law. Neither Mickelson nor Bolin quantified how much HJR 1004 will save.

Mickelson did note that California billionaire Henry T. Nicholas had sent his Las Vegas organizer Erinn Mahathey to testify for the bill, yet, strangely, Mahathey continues to list her place of origin on committee sign-in sheets as “Pierre.” Mahathey claimed polls show 80% of South Dakotans want to keep her boss’s vanity bill and urged the committee to pass the HB 1162 hoghouse and let this vote happen as soon as possible to save the counties lots of money.

Note: in 2016, the Republicans backing the crime victim bill of rights poo-pooed opponents’ arguments that the measure would cost a lot of money. Now in 2018, the Marsy’s Law are claiming that making the changes Mickelson proposes will save counties a lot of money.

Appropriator and Senator Reynold Nesiba (D-15/Sioux Falls) criticized the Speaker and his out-of-state friends for wanting to move HJR 1004 to an early election in which far fewer South Dakotans will come vote than in the general election. He complained that HB 1162 included no fiscal note to quantify the “suppositions from various members.” He urged his colleagues to oppose the HB 1162 hoghouse “about as fiercely as I possibly can.”

Chairman Larry Tidemann (R-7/Brookings) said the dollar amount written in the bill “is the fiscal note.”

Speaker Mickelson responded with clear snark:

Mickelson: Well, you know, I’ve never expected common sense to…. Sometimes we can live in theory or we can live in practice, and the practice is, if you talk to your county commissioners, Senator Nesiba—

Nesiba: I will.

Mickelson: You should have already [Senate Appropriations, 2018.03.01, time 20:10].

When he got done violating committee protocol, Mickelson added that Minnehaha estimates its Marsy’s Law costs at $200K and mentioned that Marsy’s Law is keeping a woman from Watertown getting the accident report she needs to resolve her dead husband’s estate.

Mickelson also said that it’s very hard to make adjustments to the constitution, which further flies in the face of the argument Mickelson, Bolin, and other anti-initiative figures have been making to justify making it harder to amend our constitution.

Senate Appropriations approved the hoghouse 7–2, along party lines. It goes now to the Senate.


  1. Donald Pay 2018-03-03 10:21

    G. Marky reminds me of the cheating boyfriend in the movie, “Sliding Doors.” He just has no shame at all about his corruption and hypocrisy, does he?

  2. grudznick 2018-03-03 14:24

    Well worth it. It’ll save the counties plenty and help victims of crime. It’s just the libbie whine you hear because they know their people won’t go to the polls and carry out their civic duty. This is a really swell idea. Mr. Nesiba is just sore he got out witted by Mr. Mick.

  3. Donald Pay 2018-03-03 15:03

    G. Marky’s corruption and hypocrisy is well worth it? I’ll explain what’s well worth it in the second paragraph. G. Marky sputtered on incessantly about out-of-state billionaires taking over the initiative process, as if the whole process is corrupt because this guy got his pet idea on the ballot and passed over the objections of the state’s power elite. Then G. Marky demonstrates just how easily these same billionaires take over the legislative process by corrupting the Speaker of the House. But, hey, anyone who has spent more than a day in the Capitol Building already knew they ilk of people in charge there.

    It is well worth it to have this little demonstration of corruption laid bare for all to see. This out-of-state billionaire Mickelson will negotiate with and come to some sort of compromise, but the in-state people who put anti-corruption IM 22 on the ballot, G. Marky had not time for, because it threatened his little patch of corruption.

  4. mike from iowa 2018-03-03 15:34

    Grudz demonstrates the acute vision of a naked mole rat when it comes to the pall of corruption that envelops South Dakota’s wingnut party.

    Its Libbiys fault.

  5. leslie 2018-03-03 16:46

    Although blind, this rat doesn’t age. cweepy

  6. grudznick 2018-03-04 19:28

    The police should smite protesters who waste taxpayer dollars, damage taxpayer property, pollute the environment 1,488 times worse than a barrel of oil leaking into the river, as much as the legally can smite them. Especially, paid out-of-state professional protesters making the American Indians from South Dakota look bad.

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