South Dakota State Cement Enterprise Sales Trust Fund, Amendment L (2010)

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The South Dakota State Cement Enterprise Sales Trust Fund Amendment also known as Amendment L, was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in South Dakota as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.

The measure, also known as HJR 1004, would have repealed the automatic annual transfer of $12 million from the trust fund to the state general fund. Additionally, the measure would have transferred $11 million from the trust fund to the state general fund in FY 2012, $10 million in FY 2013, $9 million in FY 2014 and $8 million in FY 2015. In years thereafter, the legislature would have been allowed to transfer up to 4 percent of the trust funds value to the general fund.[1][2]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
South Dakota Amendment L (2010)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No167,59459.45%
Yes 114,321 40.55%

Election results via: South Dakota Political Almanac, South Dakota Constitutional Amendments, Initiatives and Referendums 1970-2010

Text of measure

Title

An Amendment to Article XIII of the South Dakota Constitution relating to the trust fund created from the proceeds of the state cement enterprise sales.[3]

[4]

Summary

Constitutional Amendment L changes annual distribution amounts made from the cement plant trust fund to the State’s general fund. The cement plant trust fund holds the proceeds from the sale of the state cement plant to benefit South Dakota citizens. The proposed amendment reduces the current $12 million mandatory annual transfer to $8 million over a four year period. Thereafter, the mandatory transfer is eliminated and the Legislature may transfer up to four percent of the trust fund to the State’s general fund as long as the transfers do not cause the trust fund to fall below its original principal amount.

The amendment also eliminates a distribution from the trust fund to support education.

A vote “Yes” is for changing the annual distributions from the cement plant trust fund.

A vote “No” is against the constitutional amendment.[3] [4]

Constitutional changes

See also: South Dakota Amendment L (2010), constitutional text changes

The measure amended Sections 20 and 21 of Article XIII of the South Dakota Constitution. It read as follows:[3]

Text of Section 20 and 21:

§ 20. The net proceeds derived from the sale of state cement enterprises shall be deposited by the South Dakota Cement Commission in a trust fund hereby created to benefit the citizens of South Dakota. The South Dakota Investment Council or its successor shall invest the trust fund in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other financial instruments as provided by law. Each fiscal year beginning in fiscal year 2001, a transfer of twelve million dollars shall be made from the trust fund to the state general fund as provided by law.

§ 21. Except as provided in Article XIII, section 20 of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, the The original principal of the trust fund created in Article XIII, section 20 shall forever remain inviolate. However Provided however, a transfer shall be made from the trust fund to the state general fund as provided by law, in FY2012 for eleven million dollars, in FY2013 for ten million dollars, in FY2014 for nine million dollars, and in FY2015 for eight million dollars without regard to any contrary provisions of law. Each fiscal year beginning in FY2016, the Legislature shall, by appropriation, make distributions from the difference between the twelve million dollar annual general fund transfer and five percent of the market value of the trust fund for the support of education, but not for the replacement of state aid to general education or special education, if the increase in the market value of the trust fund in that transfer from the trust fund to the state general fund an amount up to four percent of the average market value of the trust fund determined by adding the market value of the trust fund at the end of the sixteen most recent calendar quarters and dividing that sum by sixteen, if the market value of the trust fund at the end of that fiscal year was sufficient to maintain the original principal of the trust fund after such distributions. Beginning with fiscal year 2006, the market value of the trust fund shall be determined by adding the market value of the trust fund at the end of the sixteen most recent calendar quarters, and dividing that sum by sixteen.

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of South Dakota ballot measures, 2010

Support

  • The Argus Leader (Sioux Falls) supported Amendment L. The newspaper's editorial cited their support over the reduced allocation of $4 million dollars that would be made to the trust fund. The newspaper further argued that trust funds under the state's management must be protected in tough economic times.[5].
  • The Daily Republic (Mitchell) said, "We back Amendment L. We believe all caution should be made to keep state savings accounts strong and viable, and feel that limiting the annual payout from the cement plant trust fund is a step in that direction."[6]
  • The Rapid City Journal supported Amendment L. The editorial board of one of South Dakota's largest newspapers argued that voter approval of Amendment L would prevent unnecessary withdrawals of the trust fund[7].

Opposition

There was no opposition from editorial boards towards Measure L.

Polls

See also: Polls, 2010 ballot measures
  • An October 20-21, 2010 poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research for KELOLAND-TV and the Argus Leader revealed that of the 800 polled registered voters, 27% supported Amendment L, while 38% were opposed and 35% remained undecided.[8].
Legend

     Position is ahead and at or over 50%     Position is ahead or tied, but under 50%

Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
Oct. 20-21, 2010 Mason-Dixon Polling & Research 27% 38% 35% 800

Path to the ballot

See also: South Dakota legislatively-referred constitutional amendments

Section 1 of Article XXIII of the South Dakota Constitution stated that the South Dakota State Legislature could refer a proposed amendment to the state's voters through a majority vote.

The House approved the measure for the ballot with a vote of 56 to 14 on February 22, 2010. The Senate approved the measure 28 to 6 on March 8. The bill was signed by the House Speaker and Senate President on March 10, after which the measure was referred to the secretary of state for placement on the statewide ballot.[9]

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