South Dakota Legislator Travel Reimbursements, Constitutional Amendment G (2008)

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South Dakota Legislator Travel Reimbursements, Constitutional Amendment G appeared on the November 2008 ballot in South Dakota. The measure was referred to the ballot by the South Dakota Legislature acting on House Joint Resolution 1003 (HJR 1003) on February 6, 2008. It was a proposed amendment to the South Dakota Constitution. The measure was referred to the ballot based on a recommendation from the 2004 Constitutional Revision Commission[1].

The measure, if it had passed, would have repealed restrictions on reimbursements for travel by state legislators to and from legislative sessions. Currently, the Constitution fixes the mileage reimbursement rate for legislators at $0.05 per mile for their legislative session travels on the first and last day of travel. Legislators currently receive standard mileage reimbursements for all other travel during session.[2] Amendment G would have repealed this limitation, enabling legislators to seek travel reimbursement at a higher rate.[3]

Election results

See also 2008 ballot measure election results

These results are based on the Elections Division of South Dakota.[4]

South Dakota Amendment G (2008)
Defeatedd No211,36058.86%
Yes 147,726 41.14%

Arguments in Favor

Arguments made in support of the measure included:

  • The current rate of reimbursement dates back to 1891. Removing this language from the Constitution would allow rates to be set according to current rates.
  • If the purpose of a state Constitution is to "establish the framework for a government and to subject everyone fairly to the law," then having rates of reimbursement for certain classes is inappropriate.[5]

Arguments Against

Arguments made against the measure included:

  • When this provision was inserted into the Constitution, five cents per mile was expensive. It is valuable for legislators to be reminded of their humble roots, and a reminder to be fiscally responsible.
  • This provision has been in the Constitution for 116 years - why change it now?
  • There are more serious matters that can be addressed by constitutional amendment. It is a waste of time to add meaningless amendments to the ballot when there is more important work to be done.[6]


  • The Press Dakotan endorsed the passage of Amendment G.[7]


See also Polls, 2008 ballot measures.
Month of Poll Polling company In Favor Opposed Undecided
October 2008 Sioux Falls Argus Leader 31 percent 44 percent 15 percent[8]

See also

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