SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — Amendment C violates the South Dakota constitution by pairing two distinct issues into one vote, two state voters said in a news release today.
David Owen of Sioux Falls and Jim Holbeck of Renner filed a lawsuit that challenges the legality of Amendment C.
The lawsuit says the Minnehaha Court should declare Amendment C unconstitutional because it “consists of more than a single subject…” And that “it does not allow voters to vote on each subject separately…”
The South Dakota Legislature approved Amendment C for a citizen vote in the June 2022 primary.
Amendment C asks voters to address 60% voter approval require for appropriations increases of $10 million or more during the first five fiscal years of the initiative as well as a three-fifths voter approval requirement for initiatives for increasing taxes.
The Attorney General explained Amendment C as this: “This constitutional amendment requires that any initiated measure, proposed constitutional amendment, or referred measure imposing or increasing taxes must obtain three-fifths of the votes to be passed. This constitutional amendment also adds the requirement that any initiated measure, proposed constitutional amendment, or referred measure obligating the state to appropriate $10 million or more during the first five years must be obtained three-fifths of the votes cast to be approved.”
The lawsuit claims those are two distinct issues.
“The taxation supermajority requirement is entirely separate and distinct from the spending supermajority requirement,” the lawsuit said.
Owen and Holbeck point out that Amendment C follows a South Dakota Supreme Court ruling on Amendment A, or the hemp and recreational marijuana amendment.
“In that ruling, the Supreme Court held that Amendment A contained multiple subjects because a voter who wanted to vote to legalize hemp had no choice but to also vote to legalize recreational marijuana, and vice versa,” the news release said.