All right, you’ve had a week to recover; who’s ready to discuss (and debate, and petition?) initiatives for the 2020 ballot?
Secretary of State has posted five ballot measures—two initiated laws and three constitutional amendments—to her potential 2020 ballot question page. I’ve reported on three of them here previously: Levi Breyfogle’s state- and budget-wrecking anarchy amendments and my statutory proposal (now highly revised, and which Pat Powers, in his policy-obscuring zeal for personal destruction is already misrepresenting) to reverse the worst anti-democracy extremes of the 2018 Legislature.
John Dale is coming back with an initiative to legalize cannabis. SOS Krebs lists it as a constitutional amendment, but the language in the document refers to specific statutes, making me think he intends and initiative. Friends of the demon weed can only hope Dale will expand his petitioning efforts from his house to more trafficked venues.
The gambling interests appear to have enlisted their lobbyist Roger Tellinghuisen to help draft a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting in Deadwood and devote all the proceeds to the historic preservation thereof.
The executive director of Deadwood gaming, Mike Rodman, says the measure would be more about marketing than money:
Gaming in Deadwood has been flat for years, Rodman said, and sports betting would be a modest boost.
“It’s not a big money-maker,” he said. “But it gives us some great marketing opportunities for the Super Bowl and March Madness” [Christopher Vondracek, “Sports Betting Could Be on 2020 Ballot, Gaming Official Says,” Rapid City Journal, updated 2018.11.09].
Hold up: You want us to change the constitution for one industry in one town, and you’re telling me it’s not even going to make that much money? My enthusiasm is already dimmed. Let’s see how eager Deadwood and the voters are to receive that petition.
The Attorney General has issued explanations for two of the five measures (both Breyfogle’s). Once explained by the AG and approved by the SOS, sponsors may start petitioning. Initiative petitions for the 2020 election are due in the Secretary of State’s office (by then, the hands of Steve Barnett, alas, who won’t be nearly as fun to see on deadline day as Shantel Krebs!) by November 3, 2019.