Legislative Update #6 (Week 5) Day 21
Lively conversation at the legislature this week was centered on Circuit Court Judge Klinger’s conclusion regarding Amendment A. On February 8th, the twelve-page document was released with her analysis. It concluded that Amendment A was unconstitutional as it includes multiple subjects in violation of Article XXIII, and therefore the amendment is void and has no effect. I would urge anyone interested to get a copy of it or read it online. It is comprehensive and well written. I appreciate Judge Klinger’s effort and thank her for her due diligence.
Continuing with this topic, House Bill 1100 would assemble a committee over the summer to recommend ideas for implementation of the medical marijuana initiative (IM-26) that the voters overwhelmingly approved last November. If passed, the group would suggest legislation to develop the structure needed to implement a safe and successful program that our residents are asking for and deserve. Unfortunately for those waiting patiently for legal medical marijuana, that legislation has an effective date of July 2022.
“Under God, the People Rule” is not only our State’s motto but a foundation for every legislator that I have met. Because of that, no action (as of yet) on both recreational and medical marijuana is disappointing and uncomfortable. The voters have spoken. As I attend meetings about the marijuana issue, I am not giving up on legislation that could be forwarded in regard to adult use / sale of retail marijuana. While Amendment A was worded in a way that made the amendment unconstitutional, it gave insight to what the voters would accept and favor. Time will tell, but this issue isn’t going away. There are legislators still trying to implement the will of the people.
Governor Noem addressed a joint session of the legislature on Tuesday with even better financial numbers to report than when she shared in January. This will be a banner year for ongoing and one-time money revenue for our State, and there are many worthy places to invest these funds. The appropriations committee of the House and Senate never rest, and we are all eager to hear their final numbers.
As always, I appreciate the opportunity to represent you in the South Dakota House of Representatives and happy to hear from you. Please forward your thoughts to me by email or cell phone. Thank you.