SDSU criticism


In 1898, South Dakota became the first state to allow referendum and initiative, following the state motto “Under God, the People Rule.” This process, now law in 24 states, gives citizens the final say if legislative decisions do not satisfy legitimate expectations of the majority of voters.

Initiative and Referendum in South Dakota are deeply rooted in populist ideals and commitment to family farming. Now, after more than one hundred years, promoters of large, industrial-sized feedlots threaten these South Dakota traditions.

In the past, citizens at the county have been able to vote on controversial developments such as industrial-sized feedlots, otherwise known as CAFO’s, (Confined Animal Feeding Operations).

Across South Dakota, that right is being taken away. Counties now are giving appointed boards such as boards of adjustment the final say over permits for CAFOs.

Allowing appointed boards this power rather than county commissioners leaves local citizens without recourse if a CAFO permit ignores the will of the majority of county citizens. State law allows votes by county commissioners to be petitioned BUT not decisions by unelected administrative bodies like zoning boards or planning commissions.

Help Save Our Vote! Visit http://www.allianceforourfuture. com. Call 605-978-9196

Mary Jo StueveProgram CoordinatorSouth Dakota Clean Water Action