Panel Votes Down Tighter Rules For Amendments

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota representatives have rejected a measure that would have given the Legislature more control over amendments to the state constitution.

The House State Affairs Committee voted Wednesday against the plan. Under the measure, constitutional changes would have needed approval from the voters and the Legislature to pass.

Right now, people who collect enough signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot can ask voters to pass it without lawmakers’ blessing.

Republican Rep. David Lust, who opposed the measure, says the Legislature doesn’t need to inject itself into that process.

House Speaker Mark Mickelson, a supporter, says there should be a “rigorous process” when amending the state constitution.

The committee also voted to table a plan that would have ended citizens’ ability to gather signatures to propose constitutional amendments.

Both changes would have required voter approval.