2006 Voting Guide

Well, tomorrow is voting day, and while this isn’t a Presidential election year, it has proven to be a banner year for the South Dakota ballot. There are four Constitutional Amendments, 6 Initiated Measures, and 1 Referred Law. Well, to help explain away some of the possible confusions is our very own Representative Rausch. For the sake of being truthful, I’m using the South Dakota Secretary of State page devoted to ballot questions for my Attorney General explanations. Get more info on the election from South Dakota Secretary of State’s website.

Constitutional Amendments

Constitutional Amendment C

Attorney General says:

South Dakota statutes currently limit marriage to unions between a man and a woman. However, the State Constitution does not address marriage.

Amendment C would amend the State Constitution to allow and recognize marriage only between a man and a woman. It would also prohibit the Legislature from allowing or recognizing civil unions, domestic partnerships or other quasi-marital relationships between two or more persons regardless of sex.

A vote “Yes” will change the Constitution.
A vote “No” will leave the Constitution as it is.

Rep. Rausch says:

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“What I voted on was to make it constitutional that marriage can only be between a man and woman.”

Constitutional Amendment D

Attorney General says:

The State Constitution currently requires that all taxable property be valued for tax purposes at no more than its actual value, and that all property be classified and taxed uniformly.

The proposed amendment to the State Constitution would base the taxable value of property upon “acquisition value” for property sold after January 1, 2007. The Legislature may authorize the assessed value of such property to be annually adjusted by up to three percent, using the 2003 assessed property valuation as the base year.

The taxable value of the property may be further adjusted if the property has changed use or classification or has been subject to addition, improvement or destruction.

The limitations of this amendment will not apply to centrally assessed property or to any property sold prior to January 1, 2007.

A vote “Yes” will change the Constitution.
A vote “No” will leave the Constitution as it is.

Rep. Rausch says:

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“It is my opinion, and it is shared by many, that this will cause an unconstitional balance. […] Causing a recession and a slow-down.”

Constitutional Amendment E

Attorney General says:

Citizens serving on juries, school boards, city councils, county commissions, or in similar capacities, and prosecutors and judges, are all required to make judicial decisions. Their decisions may be reversed on appeal, or they may be removed from office for misconduct or by election. However, they cannot be made to pay money damages for making such decisions. This allows them to do their job without fear of threat or reprisal from either side.

The proposed amendment to the State Constitution would allow thirteen special grand jurors to expose these decision makers to fines and jail, and strip them of public insurance coverage and up to one-half of their retirement benefits, for making decisions which break rules defined by the special grand jurors. Special grand jurors are drawn from those who submit their names and registered voters.

The proposed amendment is retroactive. The special grand jurors may penalize any decision-maker still alive for decisions made many years ago.

If approved, the proposed amendment will likely be challenged in court and may be declared to be in violation of the US Constitution. If so, the State may be required to pay attorneys fees and costs.

A vote “Yes” will change the Constitution.
A vote “No” will leave the Constitution as it is.

Rep. Rausch says:

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“What makes this very scary is that our Attorney General has interpreted it as saying anyone who sits on a judiciary position, so it could- it’s anyone who is making decisions for people […] will be personally held liable for their decisions.”

Constitutional Amendment F

Attorney General says:

This proposed amendment to the State Constitution includes recommendations by the Constitution Revision Commission.

The amendment would remove the current limitation on expense reimbursements received by legislators, and would allow legislators to receive salary, per diem, expenses and mileage reimbursement as provided by law.

The amendment would remove the current specific prohibitions against enacting private or special laws. The Legislature would be restricted by a general prohibition against enacting a special law when a general or local law can be made applicable.

The amendment would remove the Congressional term limit, which the federal courts have found unconstitutional. The procedure for introduction of a bill would be shortened. The amendment would require a two-thirds vote to close a legislative session to the public and prohibit any vote to be taken in a closed session. The amendment would allow the Legislature to exercise emergency powers in the event of man-made and natural disasters.

A vote “Yes” will change the Constitution.
A vote “No” will leave the Constitution as it is.

Rep. Rausch says:

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“This one is some changes that need to be made to our Constitution, mostly in clean-up language and just some tweaking.”

Initiated Measures

Initiated Measure 2

Attorney General says:

South Dakota currently taxes tobacco products. The proposed law would increase taxation on tobacco products sold in the state. The tax on a 20 stick cigarette package would be raised by $1.00; the tax on a 25 stick cigarette package would be raised by $1.25. The tax on all other tobacco products such as cigars, roll-your-own, and chewing tobacco, would increase from 10 percent to 35 percent of the wholesale price.

The proposed law would deposit up to $30 million of tobacco tax revenue into the state general fund. The next $5 million, if any, will be deposited in the tobacco prevention and reduction trust fund. Tobacco tax revenue in excess of $35 million, if any, will be divided among the property tax reduction fund, the education enhancement trust fund, and the health care trust fund. The proposed law also establishes continuous appropriations out of the tobacco prevention and reduction trust fund for specified purposes.

A vote “Yes” will adopt the proposed law.
A vote “No” will reject the proposed law.

Rep. Rausch says:

Unsure

“I don’t really know. I don’t like new taxes, and I don’t like the fact that they’re dumping the $30 million into the state’s general fund. […] I probably won’t actually decide until I get into the poll booth. […] It’s not cut and dry. If you really hate smoking, and you think this will help, put it in, but it’s $30 million more that the state gets to spend in general funds. So, it’s a little dangerous.”

Intiatived Measure 3

Attorney General says:

State law currently allows local school boards to establish the start of a regular school term on any date. The proposed law would prohibit local school boards from establishing the start of a regular school term prior to the last day of August.

A vote “Yes” will adopt the proposed law.
A vote “No” will reject the proposed law.

Rep. Rausch says:

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“I’d just as soon have the month of August to do things with my family. […] However, I will be voting against this because I think the starting of our school term and our school calendar should remain a local issue not a state issue.”

Initiative Measure 4

Attorney General says:

This initiative would allow persons, including minors with parental consent, with a debilitating medical condition, to be certified to grow (not more than six plants), possess (not more than one ounce) and use small amounts of marijuana for medical purposes.

“Debilitating medical condition” is defined to include cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, or a chronic, debilitating condition that produces cachexia, wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, including epileptic seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, including spasms caused by spinal injury, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease or fibromyalgia or any other medical condition approved by the Department of Health.

Certification may be accomplished by submitting medical records to the Department of Health or by submitting a doctor’s recommendation.

A person may not drive while impaired by marijuana and may not smoke marijuana in any place where tobacco smoking is prohibited.

Growth, possession and use of marijuana will still be illegal under federal law but certification is a defense to criminal prosecution under state law.

A vote “Yes” will adopt the proposed law.
A vote “No” will reject the proposed law.

Rep. Rausch says:

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“As a compassionate individual I really do feel for those that suffer and the fact that this does help some people in their medical condition and alleviate some of their discomfort, I will be voting against this. Part of this, it would still be an illegal drug for everyone else. […] We have other drugs that will work and will offer comfort.”

Initiated Measure 5

Attorney General says:

State law currently allows state employees to use vehicles owned or leased by the State only for state business. There is a limited exception for state employees with a supervisor’s approval. The Governor and certain law enforcement personnel are exempt.

The proposed law requires aircraft owned or leased by the State to be used only for state business, with no exceptions. A person violating this provision would now be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

A vote “Yes” will adopt the proposed law.
A vote “No” will reject the proposed law.

Rep. Rausch says:

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“It doesn’t really matter to me. It’s not really a shrug; I think I’m going to vote against this. I think it’s something the Governer of our state deserves. Call it a perk if you will. […] Maybe we need to come up with liability waivers and things like that that passengers going with him have to sign […], but I don’t have a problem with the Governor having a perk like that.”

Intiated Measure 7

Attorney General says:

The State operates video lottery as authorized by State law. During the last year, the State received approximately one hundred twelve million dollars ($112,000,000.00) from video lottery which is 11% of the state general fund budget.

The proposed law would repeal video lottery and eliminate this source of revenue.

A vote “Yes” will adopt the proposed law.
A vote “No” will reject the proposed law.

Rep. Rausch says:

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“If you’re against gambling, and you think that’s a moral problem, this in itself will not take care of that problem. […] I’ll probably leave video lottery alone. I don’t play it; I’m not addicted to it. I am a little bit addicted to the 112 million [dollars it generates]. […] But I certainly will honor the challenge, if it is voted out, to try to replace those dollars without one grimace.”

Initated Measure 8

Attorney General says:

State laws impose a four percent tax on the gross receipts of companies providing wireless telecommunications (cell phone) services instead of a property tax.

Last year the State received approximately eight and one-half million dollars ($8,500,000.00) from the cell phone tax. Forty percent (40%) of these revenues are distributed to counties based on population; the balance goes to the State.

The proposed law would repeal this tax, and eliminate this source of revenue.

A vote “Yes” will adopt the proposed law.
A vote “No” will reject the proposed law.

Rep. Rausch says:

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“The second part of this that I see is that the counties, our local counties, take- they get their share of tax money off of this. And so, without a way to replace those revenues, even a Grant County is going lose about $32,000.”

Referred Laws

Referred Law 6

Attorney General says:

Current South Dakota law generally allows a pregnant woman to obtain an abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Beyond 24 weeks, abortions may be performed only if necessary to preserve the life or health of the pregnant woman.

House Bill 1215 would prohibit any person, at any time, from providing any medicine or other substance to a pregnant woman for the specific purpose of terminating her pregnancy. However, a person may provide a contraception substance to a woman without penalty prior to the time her pregnancy could be determined by conventional medical testing.

HB 1215 would also prohibit any person, at any time, from using any instrument or procedure on a pregnant woman for the specific purpose of terminating her pregnancy, unless the person is a licensed physician performing a medical procedure to prevent the death of the pregnant woman.

Any person other than the pregnant woman who violates the provisions of HB 1215 would commit a felony.

If approved, HB 1215 will likely be challenged in court and may be declared to be in violation of the US Constitution. If so, the State may be required to pay attorneys fees and costs.

A vote “Yes” will allow the Act to become effective.
A vote “No” will reject the Act.

Rep. Rausch says:

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“I was very proud and privileged to vote in favor of that, and I will definately vote in favor of Referred Law 6. I wanted it to be law when I voted for it in the House, and I want it to be law now.”

Author: Miles Rausch

I've made a smart playlist of all the songs with 0 plays. I listen to them because I feel bad for them not because I like the music. I'm THAT guy.

7 thoughts on “2006 Voting Guide”

  1. Very clever post Miles. This was a great idea, I already voted and if I wasn’t sure I just left it blank, better than agreeing with something that I would later find out I was against.

    Also, I smiled at the pictures. Made me feel like I was back home. Weird, I know, but that’s me.

  2. Great idea for a post. Very informative for those who are confused and humorous for those of us who know The Honorable. Clever idea for those pictures, too! ;)

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