Home > 2015 SD Legislative Session > A look at the 8 joint resolutions taken up in the 2015 SD legislature

A look at the 8 joint resolutions taken up in the 2015 SD legislature

March 18, 2015
Art within the SD State Capital building. Photo by Ken Santema 02/25/15.

Art within the SD State Capital building. Photo by Ken Santema 02/25/15.

So far I’ve looked at the  36 Commemorations passed by the SD House, the 29 Commemorations passed by the SD Senate, and the 17 Concurrent Resolutions that were taken up by the SD legislature during the 2015 session. It is time to look at the 6 Joint Resolutions submitted to the SD House and the 2 Joint Resolutions submitted to the SD Senate during the 2015 SD legislative session.

A joint resolution is much closer to an actual piece of legislation than a commemoration or a Concurrent Resolution. Here is the definition of a joint resolution from the Joint Rules manual:

A joint resolution contains matters of legislation only. A joint resolution may be used to refer a matter for referendum to the people, to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot at the next general election, to ratify proposed amendments to the United States Constitution, or to grant a water right pursuant to § 46-5-20.1;

Basically a joint resolution is something that should be paid attention to with the same scrutiny as a bill because it actually has an action.

Here are the eight joint resolutions submitted this year and what their final disposition was. I’ve added a thought or two for each resolution. But I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at these, for those that actually passed there will likely be future posts dealing with them.

HJR 1001 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Making formal application to Congress to call an Article V convention of the states for the sole purpose of proposing a federal balanced budget amendment.

Rep Jim Stalzer (R, Dist 11) and Sen Ernie Otten (R, Dist 6) are the prime sponsors. This JR passed House State Affairs 9-3, the House floor 39-30, and Senate State Affairs 5-3. It then failed on the Senate floor by a vote of 17-15 (19 aye votes were needed). It then passed a vote to reconsider 19-14 and passed the Senate floor 19-13. So now South Dakota has officially called for an Article V convention.

My House State Affairs committee post for Jan 26 explains why I opposed this joint resolution. But basically an Article V convention has far more risks than potential gains. Well, if an Article V convention does become a reality it should make for some interesting blogging (I had to find some sort of bright side!).

HJR 1002 – SoDakLiberty PostsMaking a formal application to the President of the United States, that the President grant a presidential pardon to Peter L. Larson.

Rep Mike Verchio (R, Dist 30) and Sen Bruce Rampelberg (R, Dist 30) are the prime sponsors. The only resistance to this joint resolution was two nay votes on the House floor.

I do agree that Mr Larson was treated unfairly by the federal government. But I do wonder if this should have been done as a concurrent resolution. I also feel there are numerous cases of SD citizens being treated unfairly by the federal government. I wish something could be done to help all of the SD citizens instead of singling one out.

HJR 1003 – SoDakLiberty Posts – Proposing and submitting to the electors at the next general election an amendment to Article XIV of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, relating to the authority of the Board of Regents.

Rep Mark Mickelson (R, Dist 13)  and Sen Tim Rave (R, Dist 25) are the prime sponsors. The only opposition to this joint resolution was one nay vote on the House floor.

This resolution would put the four votechs directly under the control of the legislature, if it passes on the ballot. I think this idea has some merits, mostly because of the odd way tech schools are attached to K-12 education but also interact (poorly) with the Board of Regents. But I also fear this may cause a large expansion of state government to implement if the Constitutional Amendment passes. It should be an interesting amendment to blog about during the next election.

But I don’t really think this was as much about tech schools, as I think it was about building political capital for Rep Mickelson. It was quite obvious that Mickelson made tech schools a top issue in the 2015 legislative session. I believe he may be using this as a means to propel a possible Governor run in 2018. All he needs to do is keep promoting issues such as this over the next few years to build his political capital.

HJR 1004 – SoDakLiberty PostsProposing and submitting to the electors at the next general election an amendment to Article III, section 5 of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, relating to legislative redistricting.

Rep Peggy Gibson (D, Dist 22) and Sen Bernie Hunhoff (D, Dist 18) are the prime sponsors. It made no traction and was killed in House State Affairs by deferring it to the 41st legislative day. The vote to defer it was 10-2.

This was an interesting idea to change the redistricting process in SD. The bipartisan redistricting committee formed by this amendment would not have included any current state legislators. I think this might have been a good change. Senate State Affairs shooting this idea down without letting it be heard on the House floor makes it look like the party in charge wants to keep redistricting things in a way that keeps them in charge.

I do think there were possible problems with the joint resolution. But at the same time I wish the idea had been allowed to be debated on the House floor and some possible problems with the amendment could be worked out. It really makes the Republicans in power look petty that they do not want a bipartisan redistricting commission.

HJR 1005 – SoDakLiberty PostsDesignating Oglala Lakota County as the new name of Shannon County.

Rep Kevin Killer (D, Dist 27) and Sen Jim Bradford (D, Dist 27) are the prime sponsors. This bill passed House State Affairs 12-0, the House floor 64-5, Senate State Affairs 8-0, and finally the Senate floor 32-3. The voters of Shannon County already decided they wanted to change the name to Oglala Lakota County. This resolution was just a formality.

In the future this type of resolution will no longer be needed if there is a county name change. SB 66 (SoDakLiberty Posts) was signed into law by Governor Daugaard earlier this month. With SB 66 signed into law, now the county rename process is streamlined and no longer needs to go through the legislature. More importantly, now if the voters of a county choose to rename their county the costs of that renaming process must be paid for by that county. I believe the little opposition to Shannon County being renamed was because it will cost the state money to implement the change.

HJR 1006 – SoDakLiberty PostsTo apply for a Convention of the States under Article V of the Constitution of the United States.

Rep Isaac Latterell (R, Dist 6) and Sen Dan Lederman (R, Dist 16) are the prime sponsors. This was killed by the House State Affairs, which it sent it to the 41st legislative day by a vote of 10-2. Since HJR 1001 had already passed the House State Affairs committee this bill really wasn’t necessary. Either joint resolution could have passed and it would do the same thing. I have a feeling some people will be sorely surprised when they find out the single topic application submitted in HJR 1001 won’t keep a convention to a single topic.

SJR 1SoDakLiberty Posts – Making formal application to Congress to call an Article V convention of the states for the sole purpose of proposing a federal balanced budget amendment.

Sen Ernie Otten (R, Dist 6) and Rep Jim Stalzer (R, Dist 11) are the prime sponsors. This was tabled by Senate State Affairs. It was not needed because the House version of the joint resolution had been passed.

SJR 2 SoDakLiberty Posts – Proposing and submitting to the electors at the next general election a new section to Article XI of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, relating to the imposition of an education franchise tax on profits of corporations and dedication of the revenue therefrom.

Sen Bernie Hunhoff (D, Dist 18) and Rep Thomas Brunner (R, Dist 29). This is a joint resolution that was thankfully tabled 7-2 by Senate State Affairs. This would have referred to the voters an “education franchise tax by imposing a tax on the profits of corporations doing business in South Dakota”. One thing SD does not need is a corporate income tax.

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