ballot initiatives

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... June 20, 2019 Show 600 Hour 2

A political blogger and former candidate for the state legislature is seeking to refer South Dakota House Bill 1094 to voters. Cory Heidelberger of Aberdeen chairs SD Voice, an organization committed to protecting the ballot question process in South Dakota.


The Secretary of State is rejecting an initiated constitutional amendment establishing an independent state legislative redistricting commission.

She’s siting lack of signatures for the rejection.

The sponsors hoping to create an independent redistricting commission came up about 2,500 signatures short to place the idea on the general election ballot.

A similar proposal, Constitutional Amendment T, was rejected by voters last year by 49-thousand votes.

The Senate State Affairs Committee advances bills around voter registration; resolving language of voter approved initiated measures or constitutional amendments;  and reinforcing campaign funding limits.

South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture says he's paying attention to the budget and the ag economy. A new study reveals the economy remains slow in rural parts of the state. 

SDSU President plans to move forward with a precision agriculture facility. The governor says the budget is tight to make that happen.

Jason Hancock, Director of South Dakota Legislative Research Council discusses changes and the role of the LRC.

The South Dakota House of Representatives is passing a bill that gives the LRC more time to draft and provide written comments for ballot measure petitions.

House STate Affairs Committee debates a bill creating a Citizens Initiative Review Commission.


A measure that requires South Dakota high schools teach students CPR is on its way to the Senate floor. The Health and Human Service Committee passed Senate Bill 140 unanimously.

Members of a Statehouse panel are not requiring a private school scholarship fund to make donors’ names public. The House Education committee voted to kill House Bill 1125.

The House State Affairs Committee voted unanimously for a bill that creates a technical education board. The bill follows approval on Amendment R.  

Some Nebraska lawmakers are campaigning for a South Dakota ballot initiative. Nebraska elects state legislators without separating them into political parties. They say many of the legislative races in South Dakota are decided even before the general election - and that erodes the integrity of the political system. Nebraska has used non-partisan elections for more than 80 years. SDPB's Kealey Bultena has this conversation with Nebraska State Senators Galen Hadley, Colby Coash and Adam Morfeld.

South Dakota Legislative Research Council

Two out of ten ballot measures up for vote in South Dakota deal with interest rates. Constitutional Amendment U establishes an 18 percent cap on interest rates in the state.

But there’s a catch.


According to the Attorney General’s explanation, if constitutional amendment U is passed any agreement with a lender may not charge more than 18 percent interest per year. That is if it’s a verbal agreement.

According to Consumer Credit Counseling of the Black Hills, if a loan isn’t agreed to in writing, it didn’t happen.

Amendment R Opponent Disagrees With Proponents On Cost

Aug 25, 2016
Kent Osborne / SDPB

Amendment R recognizes technical institutes as constitutionally legitimized postsecondary education entities.
One critic of the constitutional amendment says Amendment R could cost the state money down the road.  But proponents disagree.

Kent Osborne / SDPB

Referred Law 19 would uphold a state law passed during the 2015 legislative session, which sought to clarify the election petitioning process.

Proponents say it levels the playing field, while opponents claim it will result in fewer candidates for office.

Amendment T Changes How Legislative Maps Are Drawn

Aug 12, 2016

Amendment T is a ballot measure that strips the authority of the legislature to establish voting districts every ten years. It establishes a redistricting commission in place of the legislature.

Proponents say it improves the way legislative maps are drawn. Opponents say the system already works well.

According to the state constitution, the South Dakota legislature must redraw legislative districts every ten years. Amendment T moves that authority from state lawmakers to a 9-member independent commission.

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A South Dakota Circuit Court judge doubled down on the Secretary of State’s denial of a medical marijuana ballot initiative.  

The Secretary of State denied a petition to place the issue of medical marijuana on the November ballot due to lack of signatures.

Aaron Eiesland is attorney for the group that collected signatures for the measure.  

He says they failed to receive proper notification that the petition failed.