The Rural Lobbyist: Senate Bill 67 tabled, but threat still remains.

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A lot can happen to a bill during the 35-40 days of legislative session. It can be amended, passed, deferred, defeated, hoghoused, smoked out, and as we saw with Senate Bill 67, tabled. Senate Bill 67 is a bill ripe with problems as it increases the number of signatures necessary to get initiated measures on the ballot. Specifically, the requirement would be based of all registered voters rather than the number of voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election. The goal of the bill, I think, is to limit the influence of outside interests on the South Dakota ballot. The problem, and our main point of contention, is that it will affect those outside interests very little and affect the average voter so much more. SDFU was fortunate to be a driving force for Amendment T, a grassroots effort to change how we redistrict in South Dakota. The process, from start to finish, was a grassroots process. We passed a resolution at our annual meeting, SDFU members volunteered their time to gather petition signatures, and members helped spread the word throughout the campaign process. Yet with SB 67, getting Amendment T on the ballot would have been twice as difficult and could have prevented it from getting that far. You might be wondering why I am writing about this legislation since it has been tabled. However, it is important to know what being tabled really means. SB 67 is by no means defeated with the tabling motion. In fact, SB 67 becomes more dangerous because it can be brought back at a moment's notice. It is for that reason that I am educating SDFU members about this particular bill. We will continue to stand at the ready to oppose this legislation and other legislation that will be detrimental to grassroots efforts and the initiated process. For more information on Senate Bill 67 click the link below: http://sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?File=SB67P.htm&Session=2017

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