South Dakota voters have passed Initiated Measure 22.
The new law includes a broad package of election reforms. It revises state campaign and lobbying laws. It creates publicly funded campaign finance program. And it creates an ethics commission, among other changes. Those backing the measure say it reduces corruption, improves access, and creates more equal elections. But opponents say it costs tax payers money.
Now that voters have approved Initiated Measure 22, state lawmakers may have the next say. Ben Lee is with the group Defeat IM 22. He’s disappointed at the measure’s passage and says because the new law is not a constitutional amendment--legislators in Pierre can make changes. Lee says his group will now lobby to see this happen.
“We definitely think there are some problems in the measure and so we would love to look for some ways to continue the conversation and see how we can make this better for our state--weather that involves us working with our legislators, or legislators taking initiative themselves, or starting another conversation. We absolutely will be working to make some tweaks to the measure and see if we can help protect taxpayers from this costly new law,” says Lee.
Proponents of IM 22 like Don Frankenfeld counter that any efforts to change the measure go against the will of voters.
“My organization will fight fiercely to see that the legislature enforces or adheres to the will of the people as expressed on the same night as legislators themselves were elected. So, I hope there is no tinkering. We’ve already seen just with the current election that when the legislature tries to change the will of the people, as the legislature did on the minimum wage, the people don’t like that, says Frankenfeld.
Frankenfeld says if over the next several years needed improvement to IM 22 surface, he and others would work with lawmakers to change the measure. But he says any improvements should be in accord with the will of the people and not in favor of special interests.