The prescription drug price cap goes to the November ballot as Initiated Measure 26. Yesterday Secretary of State Shantel Krebs reported that she estimates the initiative petition filed last November by Clara Hart has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Secretary Krebs counted 22,091 eligible signature lines on the petition, 1.73% shy of the 22,481 the petition sponsor reported. 22,091 signatures require the Secretary to check a random sample of 710 signatures for validity. 510 out of those 710 were valid, which extrapolates to a calculated 15,868 valid signatures on the entire petition, 1,997 more than necessary to qualify.
The prescription drug price cap petition was one of three backed by Rick Weiland’s TakeItBack.org. The other two petitions, for independent redistricting and voting by mail, both failed to qualify for the ballot. The error rate on the drug price cap petition was 28.17%, between the 25.63% on redistricting and 30.30% on voting by mail. The drug price cap petition brings the average error rate for all seven reviewed initiative petitions this cycle to 25.73%. Only two petitions, G. Mark Mickelson’s out-of-state money ban (IM 24) and his tobacco tax for vo-techs (IM 25), have posted error rates below 20%.
The prescription drug cap brings to seven the number of measures we have the pleasure of voting on this year. We get Amendment Y, Marsy’s Fix, early, on our primary ballot. In November we get IM 24, IM 25, and now IM 26, plus Amendments W (IM 22 2.0), X (Bolin’s 55% vote for amendments), and Z (Mickelson’s silly single-subject amendment rule).
IM 26 is already promoting economic growth: Big Pharma has already issued its first prepared press release blasting the price cap. They’ve even cleverly named their ballot question committee “South Dakotans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue,” so that even their disclaimer serves as part of their marketing. Take note, ballot question committees: choose your names strategically! Now that we have Senate Bill 128, I think I’ll form an ongoing, multi-issue ballot question committee called “Red-Blooded, God-Fearing South Dakotans Who Know the Other Guys Are Lying Pinko Heathens!” As Big Pharma shows, the name doesn’t have to be true; it just has to be good marketing.