Voters Not Happy with Legislative Performance [OPINION]
South Dakota voters rejected two actions by the legislature and forced them to deal with two issues they have avoided for several sessions.
Voters overwhelmingly rejected creating a sub minimum wage for teens. They also said "NO" to a not very well hidden attempt to keep Independents off the ballot. Those measures were Referred Laws 19 and 20.
The legislature had ignored concerns about Pay Day Lending for several years. The voters resoundingly passed Initiated Measure 21, limiting the interest rate to be charged.
The passage of Initiated Measure 22 by the voters also sends a strong "get your house in order" message to the legislature. An Ethics Commission, a topic of conversation in Pierre for many sessions will become a reality. Financial reporting by lobbyists also is now the law. Apparently the voters are waking up to the reality of money influencing political decisions.
Most surprisingly, the issue of partial public funding of elections, what most people thought would spell the doom of Initiated Measure 22, was accepted as part of the package.
On the other side of this equation is the reality of the Republicans maintaining control of both houses of the Legislature. And some of the new members appear to be even more conservative than those they defeated.
It will take a while to sort through the "logic" of the voter's choices.
Bottom line, the legislators should NOT gloat about their victories because the voters aren't happy with their performance.
Also, Governor Daugaard is going to have his hands full the next two legislative sessions. He may regret his decision to be against Amendments T (redistricting) and V (open primaries).