|Image From The Aberdeen American News|
Good luck going through all 10 of the ballot measures in South Dakota next month. They can be complicated and confusing. Here's a recap with my voting intentions:
Amendment R: NO. This empowers the state legislature to determine who will govern our public technical institutes. According to the Attorney General they’re currently governed by the state Board of Regents. This Amendment dismantles the status quo and authorizes the legislature to come up with a new scheme. I can’t support a measure that will blindly entrust the legislature to come up with a plan. Uh-uh. I want to see the plan first.
Amendment S: NO. It extends victims’ rights beyond those already guaranteed by current statute. I go with the overwhelming rejection by the SD State Bar Association at its meeting last June, which found the measure to be unnecessary, redundant and costly.
Amendment T: YES. This measure will turn legislative redistricting over to a multi-partisan independent commission and do away with gerrymandering (and even the possibility of it) by the legislature once and for all.
Amendment U: No. This thing pretends it puts an 18% limit on interest rates, but the “limit” can be ignored if both the lender and borrower agree to higher, unlimited rates. This “limit” is more like a suggestion and this amendment is more like a joke.
Amendment V: YES. This amendment will eliminate party labeling in primary and general voting on state and local elections. Party affiliation won’t be disclosed on ballots, meaning that elected officials won’t be beholden to their respective parties when it comes to functioning as our representatives. That I like.
Initiated Measure 21: NO. Unlike the phony-baloney Amendment U, this measure does put a real cap on interest rates, limiting them to 36%. It’s intended to put payday lenders out of business in South Dakota because they can’t survive with that lending cap. I don’t like payday lending, but there are a lot of things I don’t like in a free society. I just think IM 21 is too much government intrusion into the private marketplace.
Initiated Measure 22: NO. A toughie. I like the elements of government reform in it, including restrictions on lobbying. I don’t like that it creates a public-financing-of-campaigns component. Never mind that we have better things to do with the $12 million taxpayer-funded campaign chest. This measure forces me to let others allocate public money toward candidates that I may abhor. No way.
Initiated Measure 23: YES. It’s about non-union workers benefitting from wage and working conditions negotiated by unions. I think it’s reasonable to expect those workers to pay their share of the cost of getting their wages and bennies via union negotiators. They don’t have to pay full dues, but can reasonably be expected to cough up their share of what it took to make their wages happen.
Referred Law 19: NO. This will reject a law that passed the legislature making it tougher for independent candidates to clear the primary hurdle and make the general election. Besides shortening up the time frame for petitions to get enough signatures, it won’t let you stray outside your party on a nominating petition, which essentially restricts your voting rights. No fair, no way, no-no to this stinker.
Referred Law 20: NO. This will eliminate the minimum wage for workers under 18. We raised the minimum wage to $8.50/hour by a solid majority during the last election. There was no age distinction. Legislators are trying to tweak the will of the voters by removing that minimum for young workers. This is flat out age discrimination and should be rejected.