Chapter 65

(Senate Bill 123)

An Act to require a comment period for the attorney general's statement regarding initiated measures and initiated amendments.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of South Dakota:

Section 1. That § 12-13-25.1 be AMENDED.

12-13-25.1. Attorney general's statement--Initiated measure--Initiated amendment.

Following receipt of the written comments of the director of the Legislative Research Council, the sponsors shall submit a copy of the proposed initiated measure or initiated amendment to the Constitution in final form to the attorney general, the secretary of state, and the director of the Legislative Research Council. The attorney general shall prepare an a draft attorney general's statement that consists of a title and explanation. The title shall be a concise statement of the subject of the proposed initiated measure or initiated amendment to the Constitution. The explanation shall be an objective, clear, and simple summary to educate the voters of the purpose and effect of the proposed initiated measure or initiated amendment to the Constitution. The attorney general shall include a description of the legal consequences of the proposed initiated measure or initiated amendment to the Constitution, including the likely exposure of the state to liability if the proposed initiated measure or initiated amendment to the Constitution is adopted. The explanation may not exceed two hundred words in length.

The attorney general shall file the draft statement with the secretary of state, post the draft statement on the attorney general's website, and release a press release announcing a draft statement has been posted for comment within sixty days of receipt of the proposed initiated measure or initiated amendment to the Constitution. The attorney general shall accept comments for ten days from the date the draft statement was filed. The attorney general shall review all comments submitted and revise the statement in response to the comments as deemed necessary.

The Once the comment period has expired and any revisions have been completed, the attorney general shall file the title and explanation final statement with the secretary of state, which shall serve as the attorney general's statement, and shall provide a copy to the sponsors within sixty days of receipt of the proposed initiated measure or initiated amendment to the Constitution twenty days of the filing of the draft statement.

If the petition is filed as set forth in §§ 2-1-1.1 or 2-1-1.2, the attorney general shall deliver to the secretary of state before the third Tuesday in May a recitation as provided in this section. The recitation for an initiated amendment to the Constitution shall state "Vote 'Yes' to adopt the amendment" and "Vote 'No' to leave the Constitution as it is". The recitation for an initiated measure shall state "Vote 'Yes' to adopt the initiated measure" and "Vote 'No' to leave South Dakota law as it is". On the printed ballots, the title shall be followed by the explanation and the explanation shall be followed, if applicable, by any fiscal note prepared pursuant to § 2-9-30, and then followed by the recitation.

Section 2. This bill shall become effective on November 1, 2021.

Signed March 18, 2021

Catchlines are not law. (§ 2-16-13.1) Underscores indicate new language.

Overstrikes indicate deleted language.