Pierre Advocacy Update

Advocates, A bad bill is up tomorrow (Wed) Feb.14, 3:30pm.

 HB 1275 would all but abolish the initiated measure process. Its burdensome signature gathering requirements are designed to quash our ability to participate in direct democracy by creating arbitrary requirements by senate district. There’s a good letter in today’s Argus about this. 

Please urge these Rep’s to OPPOSE HB1275. Before 3:30 tomorrow(Wed), contact House State Affairs committee: Julie.Bartling@sdlegislature.gov, Arch.Beal@sdlegislature.gov, Lynne.DiSanto@sdlegislature.gov, Steven.Haugaard@sdlegislature.gov, Spencer.Hawley@sdlegislature.gov, Leslie.Heinemann@sdlegislature.gov, Isaac.Latterell@sdlegislature.gov, David.Lust@sdlegislature.gov, Mark.Mickelson@sdlegislature.gov, Kent.Peterson@sdlegislature.gov, Lee.Qualm@sdlegislature.gov, Larry.Rhoden@sdlegislature.gov, Tona.Rozum@sdlegislature.gov 

This measure could make the initiative process impossible to use altogether. Currently, initiated measures require signatures from voters numbering at least 5% of the total votes cast in the last gubernatorial contest. HB 1275 would require signatures numbering that 5% in each of 2/3 of all senate districts in South Dakota. This geographic signature requirement would make it nearly impossible to place initiated measures on the ballot in the future. 

• How many people even know their senate district? Currently, you write your county on every petition you sign, not your legislative district. HB1275 would replace that by requiring you to write your senate district instead. Every 10 years there is redistricting, which moves senate district lines. County lines don’t move.

• Requiring every signer to place their senate district of registration on the ballot is a wishful expectation that would invalidate hundreds of otherwise valid signatures. 

• Grassroots efforts would be woefully overwhelmed by this burdensome requirement. 

• Making matters worse, HB 1275 states that signatures from a particular senate district can ONLY be collected by circulators from that same senate district.  

• You would have to have 35 people, one from each district, standing together, petition in hand, in order to gather signatures at the State Fair or on college campuses.  

• HB 1275’s new requirements apply to initiated measures only, not to a referendum or an initiated constitutional amendment. They do not apply to the signatures people must gather to run for state-wide offices. This clearly indicates the anti-initiative purpose of this bill.

• Elections already serve the purpose of letting all South Dakotans weigh in – one voter, one vote.

• This is clearly an attack on the initiative process. 

HB 1275 is a bad bill. It doesn’t need amendments. It needs to go away. It would make it all but impossible for citizens to utilize their direct democracy process. It did not come from the Initiative and Referendum Task Force. It would only serve to undermine the initiative process.



#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 02.14.18 at 3:47 am

Why doesn’t the South Dakota Republican Party just admit that they have a Jim Crowe attitude when it comes to the initiative and referendum processes?

Their painful attempts to rid us of these electoral processes, or rights, smell like the shame of a poll tax or a literacy test of a time gone by, which, I am afraid, their friend Trump would also love to resurrect with them and in addition to……

#2 The D@ily Spin on 02.14.18 at 1:30 pm

Definitely an assault on democracy! Who brought this into the legislature?

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