Get your hand out of that cookie jar right now!
A commission examining laws and constitutional provisions that deal with the Legislature is struggling with whether to recommend easing conflict-of-interest restraints on state lawmakers.
Some commission members believe that constitutional provisions unfairly prevent some people from serving in the Legislature. Others believe that relaxing the restraints would lead to trouble.
“People will not support a loosening of these things,” Pierre lawyer Ron Olinger, who has been involved in previous constitutional revisions, told other members of the Constitutional Revision Commission. He said he also would be hesitant.
Any recommended change must be easy to understand, another commission member, University of South Dakota political science professor Don Dahlin, said. “I think whatever we do, we have to be very clear,” he said.
Uncertainty about the language that the state’s founders put in the constitution has raised questions during the years. People have been prevented from running for the Legislature, and lawmakers have been prevented from doing business with the state government.
Voters have rejected four previous attempts to amend constitutional language on conflict-of-interest restraints on lawmakers. The most recent attempt was a 1998 ballot measure that 79 percent of the voters opposed.
Only a few ballot measures have been defeated by bigger margins in state history.
Now, I wouldn't mind a bit more laxness myself. I think county and University employees would probably be ok to run. Could that ever get past the elctorate on the ballot? Probably not.