Amendments On South Dakota Ballot
by Ashley Kringen, Reporter
November 05, 2012 9:28 PM
There are four amendments on the South Dakota ballot this year, which are proposed changes to South Dakota’s constitution, Amendment M, N, O and P.
Constitutional Amendment M contains certain provisions relating to business corporations, providing more flexibility for corporations, while issuing legislative oversight and protection for shareholders.
Right now, there are restrictions to the Legislature's authority to enact laws in regards to limitations for hiring corporate directors, the use of corporate stock or bonds and notice restrictions when borrowing money for business ventures.
Amendment M would allow the Legislature to authorize different methods of voting in elections for corporate directors, allows business corporations to buy new ideas with corporate shares and lets the Legislature decide notices for shareholders when borrowing money for business opportunities.
Onto Amendment N, which is focused on removing reimbursement restrictions for travel by legislators during legislative session.
Right now, legislators receive five cents per mile for their travel in personal cars during official state business in Pierre.
This amendment would grant the Legislature authority to approve a more reasonable standard of reimbursement.
Amendment O is focused on changing the method for distributions from the cement plant trust fund.
In 2001, the sale of the state cement plant, totaling $238 Million, was placed in a trust fund.
The constitution requires $12 Million to be transferred each year from the trust fund to the state general fund, with certain circumstances to support education.
During tough economic times, the high dollar amount withdrawal would kill the fund.
This amendment would remove the $12 Million mandate and change it to a yearly transfer of 4% of the market value of the cement plant trust fund, to the state general fund for the support of education.
Lastly Amendment P is all about adding balanced budget requirements.
The constitution now, restricts the State from incurring debt, but a balanced budget is not set in stone.
This amendment would require Governor Dennis Daugaard to propose a balanced budget, in which legislative appropriations cant exceed.