Compiled by the Office of Secretary of State Joyce Hazeltine
SDCL 12-13-23 requires the Office of the
Secretary of State to prepare and distribute public information
concerning constitutional amendments, initiatives and referred
measures. This pamphlet is prepared by soliciting statements from
the proponents and opponents of amendments and measures.
The title, explanation and effect of a vote for each ballot question
were provided by the Attorney General. No other statements on this
pamphlet reflect the opinion of the State or the Attorney General.
The information was compiled by the Secretary of State as supplied
by the writers, was not verified by the Secretary of State and does
not reflect the position of the State regarding the legality or
effect of the amendments or measures. The Secretary of State does
not guarantee the accuracy of any claims made by the proponent or
opponent writers in this brochure.
Attorney General Explanation
Amendment C removes some "conflict of interest"
restrictions upon legislators. Legislators are currently prohibited
from having a direct or indirect interest in state contracts and in
some county contracts, during their term or one year thereafter.
Amendment C would allow legislators to have a personal, indirect
financial interest in state contracts, and a direct financial
interest in any county contract.
Under current law, no legislator may be elected or
appointed to a state or local office, if the Legislature created the
office or increased its compensation during the legislator's term.
Amendment C would allow such an election or appointment.
Under current law, legislators may not hold
certain state executive and administrative offices during their
term. Amendment C would allow legislators to hold these offices
during their term, if they are not compensated.
A vote "Yes" will remove some "conflict of
interest" restrictions upon legislators.
A vote "No" will leave the Constitution as it is.
Pro - Constitutional Amendment C
Constitutional Amendment C proposes to realign the South Dakota
Constitution with today’s governmental reality. It will do so in two
important ways: first, it makes possible the appointment of
legislators to a variety of unpaid civil commissions and task
forces, and, second, removes the disqualification of legislators who
participate indirectly in any contract with the state.
The first issue of civil appointments calls for change because
legislators are often called to service on many commissions to
provide expertise, depth of experience, and leadership. These
appointments are made today and have been for years - examples
include recent prison and family law studies - and the state has
received the benefit of legislative participation.
If the Constitution was enforced to the letter of the law, these
commissions would lose the value of legislative expertise. The
amendment does not allow for payment for services to legislators and
it should not offer payment. Any legislator asked to accept a civil
appointment will not receive a salary as a result of that
The second issue of indirect contractual partnerships between
legislators and the state is also a matter of realigning the state
constitution with today’s reality. Because the legislature is a
part-time citizen legislature, and because today’s government
engages in many public-private partnerships to accomplish efficient
and successful public policy, more and more legislators find
themselves associated indirectly with state contracts. Consider the
many industries participating in government contracts: agriculture,
education, transportation, insurance, real estate, financial
services, health care - the list goes on and on.
As previously discussed, if the Constitution was enforced to the
letter of the law, much of the legislature would be in violation.
Amendment C does not allow for legislators to enter into contracts
directly with the state, and it should not make such contracts
Amendment C is necessary to preserve the practice of a citizen
legislature and to align the Constitution with the evolution of
state government and today’s legislature. Vote "Yes" on
Constitutional Amendment C.
Submitted by: Rep. Pat Haley, 766 Utah Ave SE, Huron, SD 57350.
Representative Haley represents legislative district 21.
Con - Constitutional Amendment C
As the constitution stands now, there is little incentive on the
part of any elected person to make decisions based on loyalty to any
other elected person regardless of which branch or branches of
government are involved. This system helps to keep South Dakota's
check-and-balance system intact.
Relaxing the intent of the constitution with Amendment C would move
South Dakota closer to having a system where an elected official
from one of the three branches of government could use his or her
office to enhance the financial or personal well-being of a member
the same or another branch of government, even if the original
intent is to serve the best interests of South Dakota.
Interpersonal ties of the sort potentially allowed by Amendment C
are powerful and would have the potential to allow undue influence
in the decision-making of otherwise independent elected officials.
Submitted by: Rep. Jeff Monroe, PO Box 574, Pierre, SD 57501.
Representative Monroe represents legislative district 24.