Legislators proposed eight constitutional amendments for the 2024 ballot this Session. We get to vote on just one.
House members proposed four amendments via House Joint Resolution for the 2024 ballot:
- HJR 5001: prohibit repeat amendments on the ballot in consecutive general elections.
- HJR 5003: establish a right to refuse vaccines.
- HJR 5004: impose a work requirement on beneficiaries of Medicaid expansion.
- HJR 5006: allow online sports betting.
Only the Medicaid expansion sabotage escaped the House alive, and Senate Health and Human Services killed that bad plan last week.
Senators proposed four amendments as well via Senate Joint Resolution:
- SJR 502: boot the Lieutenant Governor from the Senate dais and authorize the Senate to elect a member to preside.
- SJR 503: destroy school and county budgets by capping property taxes.
- SJR 504: limit legislators to serving four terms in each chamber.
- SJR 505: sloppily gender-neutralize references in the Constitution.
Censured Senator Julie Frye-Mueller (R-30/Rapid City) chickened out and withdrew SJR 503 before it had a committee grilling. Senate State Affairs killed SJR 504. SJR 502 got all the way to the House floor but died in a floor vote yesterday.
The only amendment headed for the voters is thus the least politically impactful, SJR 505. 2024 general election voters will get to wanly signal their wokish virtue by striking hes and hims and hises and himselfs from the South Dakota Constitution but not changing the practical application of the law to men and women and anyone who posits membership in some other category.
Yes, yes, language matters, but if South Dakotans want a real test of commitment to gender equity, they’ll put next to SJR 505 the Dakotans for Health amendment to codify Roe v. Wade. Reversing South Dakota’s designation of women as second-class citizens who cannot exercise bodily autonomy would restore practical liberty and equality to hundreds of thousands of South Dakotans in ways that no pronoun parade can.