Constitutional Amendment

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

  

A South Dakota House panel is defeating two proposals dealing with constitutional amendment.

One would ask voters to let the legislature have final say over these amendments. The other would outright remove the ability of citizens to amend the state’s constitution.

Ultimately, if passed by both chambers, the concepts behind House Joint Resolutions 1007 and 1008 would have been subject to the vote of the public.

Voter May Decide On Constitutional Amendment Change

Jan 22, 2018
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

A Senate committee is advancing a bill that increases the percentage vote needed to change the state’s constitution.

Critics say the increase makes it harder for South Dakotans to change their constitution.

Proponents say it protects the constitution from out of state interests.

If passed through the house and senate and signed by the governor, Senate Joint Resolution will ask voters to increase the required voting threshold for a constitutional change to 55 percent.

The resolution came out of a summer study committee that met over the summer.

South Dakota’s Republican Party has a new chair. 

The Senate Local Government Committee approves a bill on the process of amending the South Dakota Constitution. Senate Joint Resolution Two requires that all amendments have the support of 60% of voters. Right now, only a majority is needed to ratify an amendment.

Governor Dennis Daugaard gets to decide whether certain medical professionals must collaborate with doctors for licensing. Right now certified nurse practitioners and nurse midwives must have an official connection to a physician to get their own licenses. 

A constitutional amendment to establish nonpartisan elections in South Dakota may be on the ballot in 2016. The amendment seeks to stop candidates from running under the title of democrat or republican.

The constitutional amendment is controversial for some Democrats and Republicans. Rick Weiland is the chair of South Dakotan’s for a Nonpartisan Democracy. He says the amendment will lead to better public policy.