Did clumping doom Amendment F? That's what the revision commission thinks.

The Associated Press writing at the Rapid City Journal is noting that at least some of the items included with the constitutional revision measure F might have passed if they weren't all lumped together:
South Dakotans shot down constitutional Amendment F earlier this month by a 68 percent to 32 percent margin. In doing so, they refused to enact several changes suggested by commission, which included requiring a two-thirds vote of legislators to close lawmaking sessions and lifting a 5-cents-per-mile travel limit.


Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Miller, chairman of the commission, said the Legislature decided to combine the commission’s changes into one amendment instead of listing them separately. He, too, heard complaints about the cluster but said that South Dakotans were already complaining that the ballot was too crowded with other amendments and initiated measures.


Barnett said voters communicated effectively that they are not going to agree to fix the constitution unless there are serious, grievous problems. Voters said “no” by a large margin, he said, and simply presenting essentially the same package will likely face an even greater rejection.

“They’re not going to agree to amend the constitution just to modernize language, just for cleanup,” Barnett said. “They want to know what wheel is broken.”
Read it all here.

I think the greatest reason why there was no passage of the measure was that there was no one really out there advocating for it. In a year when the ballot is long, most people are inclined to vote "no" on anything they don't understand.

That, and asking tight fisted conservatives to pay more for the reimbursement of our legislators.

But, it sounds like all the proposals will be coming back this next session to be proposed at the next election, regardless of them being rejected en masse. So we'll get another shot at it.


Anonymous said…
What's the point? Legislators are already getting the state mileage rate for virtually all of their trips, even though the Constitution says they should only get 5 cents per mile.
Anonymous said…
Just another reason to get that kind of stuff out of our Constitution...

One more reason for everyone to be thankful this year - Amendments D & E did not become part of an already overcrowded SD Constitution.
Anonymous said…
Or it's a reason for legislators to only get 5 cents per mile, like the Const says. Change the Cosnt, and then give them the state mileage rate. Not the other way around.
Douglas said…
Putting dumb idea 1,2,3,4 into a package does give more people reason to oppose the whole package.

Putting dumb ideas into referred measures 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 may allow one or two of the dumb ideas to get past voters.

Voters don't want secret meetings of any kind. Secret meetings allowed a valuable state resource to be owned by a Mexican corporation.

More secret meetings have us on the edge of dumping huge subsidies into a railroad apparently owned by Canadians and the Scotch.

It is all tinkering around the irrelevant edges until there is a package with single-member districts and a unicameral.
Anonymous said…
YEP! Plan an simple.
I had heard at one time they considered seperating them, but then with the long ballot they grouped them.
Anonymous said…
This failed because voters didn't understand it, there was no campaign for it, and it was on a crowded ballot.

This was a pure clean-up amendment. Nothing in there should be objectionable.

The nickel-a-mile thing is antiquated and should be removed.

Requiring that every bill be read out loud is obviously silly.

The Constitution currently allows the legislature to go into secret session, but does not say how - presumptively, a majority vote could do it. This amendment INCREASES that to 2/3.

Repealing Congressional term limits makes sense because they have been held unconstitutional.

These are all things that, once explained, are unobjectionable. But it is easy to see how, unexplained, a voter could assume the worst.
Anonymous said…
Most probably voted no because it was too long and too detailed. However, I'm sure if they bothered to read the part about closure of legislative meetings, they gripped the pencil extra hard to black in "no."

Douglas is exactly right. People are angry over the cement plant secrecy, the Governor's Club and Governor Hunt shenanigans, the secret mansion list and secret deals throughout government. Unless there is a real threat to public safety (i.e., terrorist investigations), call the feds. State government, especially with Rounds' family members in charge, is too Reno 911 to handle more than the Barney Fife level of sophistication.
Anonymous said…
This amendment failed because there is NO need.
Anonymous said…
4:58 NAILED IT. it was all a lot of nickel-dime changes so that someone in the legislative research council could claim that he was a "framer" of the constitution.

the voters know better. if the constitution is BROKE, and badly broke, fine lets fix it. You want us to tinker? fuhgeddaboudit.
Anonymous said…
douglas, I must amend the constitution of your post. It's SCOTS not scotch. aye!
Anonymous said…
Doug, do we really want a unicameral? Having two houses gives more chance for representation and helps stop bad bills.

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