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Measure Details

An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution changing campaign finance and lobbying laws, creating a government accountability board, and changing certain initiative and referendum provisions.

South Dakota Ballot Measure - Constitutional Amendment W

Election: Nov. 6, 2018 (General)
Outcome: Failed

Campaign Finance and Elections
Legislative Branch


Argument For


Argument Against


This constitutional amendment lowers campaign contribution amounts to candidates and political parties. It prohibits contributions to candidates or political parties by labor unions and corporations. Candidates and elected officials are prohibited from using campaign contributions for personal use.

The amendment expands the scope of activities requiring people to register as lobbyists, and places additional restrictions on lobbyists.

The amendment replaces the government accountability board recently created by the Legislature. The new board is granted broad power, including the power to investigate, adopt rules, issue advisory opinions, and conduct audits. It may impose sanctions, including fines, on any elected or appointed official, judge, or State or local government employee. The amendment annually appropriates State funds to be solely administered by the board.

The amendment limits the number of votes necessary for approval of any initiative or referendum to a simple majority. It requires the Legislature to make specific factual findings when enacting laws that are not subject to referral. If the Legislature wants to change the initiative or referendum process, or a law passed by initiative, it must submit the change to the voters.

This multiple-section amendment makes other additions to the Constitution. It will likely be challenged on constitutional grounds

Measure Text

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