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Referendum 2016

Success! Thanks to the efforts of dozens of circulators and thousands of signers, South Dakotans have put two bad laws to a public vote. The 2015 Legislature passed two bills, Senate Bill 69 and Senate Bill 177, that both pose threats to the people’s right to vote. On June 29, 2015, we submitted 16,715 signatures on a petition to refer SB 69 and 20,077 signatures on a petition to refer SB 177. Secretary of State Shantel Krebs certified both petitions. SB 69 will appear as Referred Law 19 on the 2016 ballot; SB 177 will appear as Referred Law 20.

Thanks to all this work, South Dakotans stopped these two laws from taking effect. Now we face the second challenge: convincing South Dakotans to defeat both laws at the polls in November 2016.

Important Resources:

  1. Cory’s explanation of SB 69, the “Incumbent Protection Plan”
  2. John Tsitrian’s explanation of what’s wrong with SB 177, the youth minimum wage
  3. Official bill text and record of Senate Bill 69
  4. Official bill text and record of Senate Bill 177

What You Can Do:

  1. Vote! Referred Laws 19 and 20 will appear on South Dakota’s 2016 general election ballot. Voting yes means you want these laws to take effect. Voting NO means you want to stop these bad laws for good. (NO is the correct answer! Vote NO on 19 and 20!)
  2. Donate! We’ll need to buy ads and send speakers out to help people understand why they should vote NO on 19 and 20.
    1. To support the campaign to beat Referred Law 19 (the Incumbent Protection Plan), send a check to “South Dakotans for Fair Elections”.
    2. To support the campaign to beat Referred Law 20 (the youth minimum wage), send a check to “SD Voice”.
    3. Send your support for both ballot question committees to 912 N 1st St., Aberdeen, SD 57401.


  1. Radio interview with C.A. Heidelberger: Karl Gehrke, “Referred Laws 19 and 20,” SDPB: Dakota Midday, 2015.07.01.
  2. Jonathan Ellis, “Youth Mininum Wage, Election Reform Measures Headed to 2016 Ballot,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2015.06.30.
  3. C.A. Heidelberger, “Kids Keep the Dollar! Petition Stops Pay Cut, Puts Youth Minimum Wage to Vote!” Dakota Free Press, 2015.06.30.
  4. C.A. Heidelberger, “SB 69 Referendum Petitions Pass Muster! Referred Law 19 Heads to 2016 Ballot,” Dakota Free Press, 2015.06.29.
  5. Cole Stangler, “South Dakota Minimum Wage Battle Heats Up: Ballot Proposal Would Raise Pay For Youth Workers,” International Business Times, 2015.04.26. [Note that IBT gets the headling wrong: the referral of SB 177 would not raise pay for young workers; the referral would prevent a pay cut.]
  6. Richard Winger, “South Dakota Referendum Petition, to Overturn Bad New Ballot Access Law, Begins to Circulate,” Ballot Access News, 2015.04.21.
  7. James Nord, “SD Democrats, Labor Will Work to Block Youth Minimum Wage Law,” AP via Sioux City Journal, 2015.04.06.
  8. Kamie Roesler, “Youth Minimum Wage Being Petitioned,” KSFY, 2015.04.06.
  9. John Tsitrian, “I’ll Be Signing a Couple of Petitions Soon…,” The Constant Commoner, 2015.03.30. (See also Tsitrian’s updated version of this column in the Rapid City Journal, 2015.04.08.)
  10. Charles Michael Ray, “Effort Started to Put Two SD Senate Bills on Ballot,” SDPB Radio, 2015.03.30.

Contact: If you have questions, comments, or offers of help (money, volunteers, places to put signs, etc.), contact Cory Allen Heidelberger via this contact form. Thanks!