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1998 Amendment B

1998 Ballot Question Pamphlet
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.

Constitutional Amendment B

Title: An Amendment to Article III of the South Dakota Constitution concerning the authority of a special interim legislative committee to approve the transfer of appropriated funds.

Attorney General Explanation

Each year, the entire Legislature appropriates money which may be spent only for specific, approved purposes.

Amendment B would allow the Legislature to create a joint legislative committee to act when the Legislature is not in session. This committee would have the power to approve funding transfers and change the purposes for which the transferred funds were initially appropriated.

A vote "Yes" will allow a joint legislative committee to approve funding changes when the Legislature is not in session.

A vote "No" will leave the Constitution as it is.

Pro - Constitutional Amendment B

The South Dakota State Legislature is in session for only part of each year, 35 days in even numbered years and 40 days in odd numbered years. When the Legislature is not in session, fiscal and budget matters are overseen by the Legislative Interim Appropriations Committee. In the past, there has been some uncertainty within State Government as to the extent of the authority of the Interim Appropriations Committee to act on behalf of the full Legislature.

The Executive Branch is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the State Government, but may only spend money on behalf of the State as set out in the annual budget approved by the Legislature when it is in session. In running State Government, the Executive Branch has occasionally found it is in the best interests of the State to transfer appropriated monies from one part of the annual budget to another part of the annual budget. Appropriated funds do not include funds provided to South Dakota by the federal government for particular programs and projects. When making such transfers when the Legislature is not in session, the Executive Branch has normally so informed the Legislative Interim Appropriations Committee.

The proposed amendment to the State Constitution would grant the Legislature constitutional authority to authorize the Interim Appropriations Committee, when the Legislature is not in session, to approve or disapprove transfers of appropriated funds prior to such transfers being made. The Executive Branch would thus be required to get approval from the Interim Appropriations Committee before making transfers of funds as appropriated in the budget.

Passage of this constitutional amendment will eliminate a grey area of responsibility between the Executive and Legislative branches of state government. It will clarify how the Legislature is to perform its constitutional and statutory duties as watch dog of our taxpayer dollars.

Submitted by: Rep. Roger Hunt, P.O. Box 827, Brandon, SD 57005. Rep. Hunt represents
District 10.

Con - Constitutional Amendment B

Opponents to Amendment B declined to provide a Con statement.