State Senate Panel Backs Making Constitution Harder To Change

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A South Dakota Senate panel has approved a measure that would ask voters to make it harder to change the state constitution.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 6-2 Monday to advance the proposal.

It would put a constitutional amendment before voters this year that would increase the majority vote threshold required for a constitutional change to at least 55 percent of the votes cast on an amendment.

Republican Sen. Jim Bolin, the resolution’s sponsor, says the measure would protect the state constitution.

Rob Timm, president and CEO of the Chiesman Center for Democracy, says the proposal is a potential erosion of freedoms and a potential assault on direct democracy.

Republicans have discussed changes to the ballot question system after the 2016 election season brought 10 questions and millions of dollars from out-of-state groups.

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