South Dakota Length of Legislative Session, Amendment I (2008)
The South Dakota Length of Legislative Session Amendment, also known as Amendment I, was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in South Dakota as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure was referred to the ballot by the South Dakota Legislature acting on House Joint Resolution 1004 (HJR 1004). It was a proposed amendment to Article III, Section 6 of the South Dakota Constitution.
See also 2008 ballot measure election results
|South Dakota Amendment I (2008)|
Text of measure
The text of the measure can be read here.
Bill Peterson, a Republican from Sioux Falls and the Majority Leader for the House of Representatives, wrote the "pro" arguments for the state Ballot Question Pamphlet:
- The Executive Branch of South Dakotan government is full-time, whereas the Legislative Branch is only part-time. This creates an imbalance of power.
- Adding days to the legislative session would help to correct the current imbalance of power between the Executive and Legislative branches.
- The Legislature already meets in 40 day sessions every odd numbered year, why not have the option of doing so every year?
- The Legislative Article (the section of the Constitution setting out guidelines for the legislature) has been changed very little since statehood. The world however, has changed quite a bit and it is not as easy to write laws as it once was. The Legislature needs more time to do it's job.
Senator Jerry Apa, a Republican from Lead and Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, wrote the "con" arguments for the state Ballot Question Pamphlet:
- There is an added cost to the taxpayers if the session is lengthened of $550 per legislator per day, plus additional travel costs. The total additional costs would be at least $115,000 per year.
- On a number of occasions the Legislature has finished it's business and gone home before the end of the session. Why give more time if it is not needed?
- Making the session longer will only result in important work being put off to the last minute.
- A vote for Amendment I is a vote for expanded government.
- Amendment I is basically the legislature trying to give itself a raise.
- The Press Dakotan endorsed the passage of Amendment I.
- South Dakota 2008 ballot measures
- 2008 ballot measures
- List of South Dakota ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in South Dakota
- South Dakota Political Almanac, South Dakota Constitutional Amendments, Initiatives and Referendums 1970-2010
- South Dakota Secretary of State: 2008 Ballot Question Text
- Constitutional Amendment I will add strength to state's motto, 'Under God the People Rule', Dakota Voice, September 29, 2008
- Voters Will Decide Seven Issues, Marshall County Journal, October 1, 2008
- South Dakota Political Almanac, "South Dakota Constitutional Amendments, Initiatives and Referendums 1970-2010," accessed August 27, 2014
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "Historical Election Data," accessed August 27, 2014
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "2008 South Dakota Ballot Question pamphlet," accessed August 27, 2014
- Money at heart of debate over length of legislative session, Rapid City Journal, October 28, 2008
- Our Opinion: These S.D. Amendments Deserve Voter Approval, Press Dakotan, October 14, 2008
State of South Dakota
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