Legislative Week 3

Legislative Week 3 January 26, 2017

It was my honor this week to carry SCR 5 in the House endorsing the induction of Howard Hunter Sr. into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. I encourage everyone to read the full Resolution. The last paragraph of the resolution sums up Howard’s life.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, due to his talent, superb skill, and integrity, the induction of Howard Hunter Sr. into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame would honor a South Dakota Plains ranch lifestyle, a set of solid values, and a life well lived that are as relevant today as at any time in the history of our nation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that through the nomination of Howard Hunter, Sr., the Selection Committee of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame has the opportunity to honor one of the most talented and deserving bronc riders that ever measured a bronc rein or nodded for a gate.

http://sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?File=SCR5P.htm&Session=2017

SCR2 (Senate Concurrent Resolution) supporting the Electoral College system was brought to the floor for consideration the Electoral College is a process not a place. The Electoral College was established as an essential part of the United States Constitution in 1787 Most of us have a basic understanding of how and why the Electoral College was set up, but I found it interesting to actually see the numbers. Electoral votes are allocated among the states based on the US Census. Because South Dakota is small in population are votes are twice as influential as those in larger states such as California, Texas, New York and Florida. Following is a list from greatest to least impact of single voter influence toward electoral vote. VPEV stands for, VOTERS PER ELECTORAL VOTE

SOUTH DAKOTA: 370,047 TOTAL VOTERS/3 ELECTORAL VOTES=123,349.0 VPEV
TEXAS: 8,969,226 TOTAL VOTERS/38 ELECTORAL VOTES= 236,032.3 VPEV
CALIFORNIA: 14,181,595 TOTAL VOTERS/55 ELECTORAL VOTES=257,847.2 VPEV
NEW YORK: 7,707,363 TOTAL VOTERS/29 ELECTORAL VOTES=265,771.1VPEV
FLORIDA: 9,420,039 TOTAL VOTERS/29 ELECTORAL VOTES= 324,828.9 VPEV

As you can see, South Dakota had a greater impact per single vote than did the other four largest states. So when you’re told, “Every vote counts” this is something to keep in mind. There have been efforts made to eliminate the Electoral College in recent years by seeking to persuade states to mandate that electors may only vote for the winner of the popular vote nationally. South Dakota and other states with small populations would be at disadvantage to have our voices heard.

I have more information available to report on IM22. It was brought to our attention that an on July 29, 2015 the South Dakota Research Council informed the drafters of IM22 there were two unconstitutional provisions. Following are the Sections of IM 22 that are in question regarding the constitutionality of the initiated measure passed by the voters.

Sections 39 and 40 on page 35 provide an appropriation to the “Democracy Credit Fund.” SD Constitution. Art. XII, 2 states that appropriations shall be made by separate bills, each embracing one object, and requires a two-thirds vote of all the members of each branch of the Legislature. The proposed annual appropriation may be unconstitutional.

Section 68 of Initiated Measure 22: There is hereby appropriated from the general fund on July 1, 2017, and every July first of each year thereafter, the sum of nine dollars, to be adjusted every year for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index for the Midwest Region. All items, as determined by the United States Department of Labor, per South Dakota registered voter as most recently determined by the Secretary of State, to the democracy credit fund for the identified purposes of that fund.

Despite the constitutional defect(s), the drafters chose to include the unconstitutional provision in the final version of IM22 that was filed with the Secretary Of State. The supporters of IM22 claim voters knew what they were voting for. How many voters took the time to read 14,000-word ballot measure?

Following is the link to read the Pros and Cons given to you at the ballot box.
https://sdsos.gov/elections-voting/assets/2016%20BQ%20PamphletCover.pdf

The next link will take you to the IM22 complete 34-page ballot measure.

https://sdsos.gov/elections-voting/assets/2016_IM_CampFinLobbyingLaws.pdf

The Senate invoked Rule 517 on Thursday to allow more time to discuss HB1069 to repeal IM22. Rule 517 can be used twice on the same bill and I suspect they will inevitability use it again next week to allow for even more time. This piece of legislation will be delayed at least through next week, which will allow both sides to find the language necessary that will satisfy both sides.

As always you can contact me at the House Chamber number 773-3851. Leave a phone number and I’ll call you back. The fax number is 773-6806. If you send a fax, address it to Rep. Elizabeth May. You can also email me at Elizabeth.May@sdlegislature.gov during session. You can keep track of bills and committee meetings at this link: http://legis.state.sd.us/ You can also use this link to find the legislators, see what committees they are on, read all the bills and track the status of each bill, listen to committee hearings, and contact legislators.

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