What will the session bring?

by Robin Bagley

This may be my first year writing about the South Dakota Legislature, but certainly not my first year watching the legislature. I wonder, what will be this session’s hot topics? Will the legislature pass some needed bills and avoid the ludicrous ones? Let’s hope so.

The issues that I’m watching for this session, though I have no idea if there will be bills addressing them, are eminent domain, water protection (or a lack thereof), and our rights to initiative and referendum. At this point, we have at least eight ballot issues to vote on this this fall, with the possibility of a couple more. Last session there were grumblings among legislators that there were too many ballot issues for voters and that all this petition-carrying needed to be reined in. Rumors are floating about a bill this year, but nothing has been dropped in the hopper yet.

Initiative and referendum are the most democratic ways we have of addressing issues, and we should fiercely guard them. Grassroots people are often willing to tackle issues the legislature would rather avoid, so I feel that it’s important to keep these rights. If South Dakotans don’t like the measures, they won’t vote for them. Seems reasonable to me.

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Comments

  1. Charlie Johnson says:

    I can not pull up this attachment from Robin. Can it be sent out as a word attachment instead.

    Charlie

    _____

  2. Karen Englehart says:

    One of the issues I will be watching is any attempt to put more burden in the way of property taxes on agricultural land for local government and school support. In our school district ag land is carrying about 96% of the burden. Some legislators feel ag land is not carrying enough of the tax load, I beg to differ. As to referendums and referred measures, I support the people’s right to bring issues to a vote of the people. It is a true measure of government by the people.

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