South Dakota Enact House Bill 1139, Constitutional Amendment H (2008)

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The South Dakota Enact House Bill 1139, Constitutional Amendment H, 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 1001 (HJR 1001). It was a proposed amendment to Article XVII of the South Dakota Constitution.

The measure, if it had passed, would have repealed provisions of the South Dakota Constitution relating to corporations.

"The Constitution limits “corporations” to business entities with powers or privileges not possessed by individuals or partnerships. The Constitution also requires the payment of money, property or labor for issuance of corporate stock and bonds; prohibits the increase of corporate stock and debt without consent of stockholders holding a larger value of stock first obtained; and protects cumulative voting rights of stockholders.

Constitutional Amendment H would have repealed the above provisions and permitted a 2008 Legislative Session bill (HB 1139) to become law. The new law would have allowed a corporation to restrict cumulative voting and to issue corporate stock for any consideration determined to be adequate by its board of directors."[1]

Election results

See also 2008 ballot measure election results

These results are based on the Elections Division of South Dakota.[2]

South Dakota Amendment H (2008)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No229,84669.03%
Yes 103,148 30.97%

Arguments For

Representative Mark Feinstein, a Democrat from Sioux Falls, and Patrick Goetinger of Rapid City, co-chairs of the Business Law Committee of the State Bar of South Dakota wrote the "pro" arguments for the measure for the state Ballot Question Pamphlet:

  • The current language of the Constitution deters economic development. This update would help South Dakota remain competitive.
  • Amendment H eliminates a constitutional provision preventing corporations from issuing stock as a form of payment, giving corporations greater leeway.[3]

Arguments Against

No writer for the opposing viewpoint could be found by the Secretary of State.[4]

See also

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