Thursday, September 29, 2022


Flooding and power outages are concerns as Ian ravages Florida, advocates urge remembering those with disabilities amid the hurricane, and there may be a link between flood risk and abandoned mine land.


Floridians are urged to stay put as Hurricane Ian ravages the Gulf Coast, the U.S. suspects the Nord Stream pipelines were sabotaged, and the White House pledges to end hunger by 2030.


Baseball is America's pastime, and more international players are taking the stage, rural communities can get help applying for federal funds through the CHIPS and Science Act, and a Texas university is helping more Black and Latina women pursue careers in agriculture.

SD Legislators vs. Voters: Putting Nation's Oldest Initiative and Referendum Process Under Threat?


Friday, July 5, 2019   

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – In 1898, South Dakotans voted to become the first U.S. state to let citizens vote directly on laws through the initiative and referendum process, but a political blogger says state lawmakers are slowly eroding the process.

Cory Heidelberger maintains the ways used by voters to pass proposals at the ballot box have been under attack since 2017.

That's when Republican Party lawmakers used emergency powers to repeal a voter-approved anti-corruption referendum establishing ethics and campaign finance reforms, saying constituents didn't understand what they were voting for.

"There's no data saying that any specific number of people went to the polls and didn't get what they were voting on,” Heidelberger stresses. “It's an ideological position. When you say to me that voters don't understand what they're doing, you're saying to me you don't trust the voters, you don't respect the voters."

Heidelberger, a Democrat and Aberdeen native, fell short in a recent signature-collection effort to repeal legislation passed this year that creates a state registry of petition circulators and requires them to wear badges.

Supporters of HB 1094 say the law brings transparency to the initiated measure process.

A citizen-led initiative was used successfully three years ago when state residents voted overwhelmingly to cap interest on payday loans, after lawmakers refused to consider such legislation.

Heidelberger worries the new laws passed this year that add more regulations to the initiative and referendum process will be followed by more.

"It's only in the last several years when the South Dakota voters have maybe broken a different way from what their legislators want,” he states. “The Legislature just kind of had enough of us raining on their parade."

In the U.S., 26 states have an initiative and/or referendum process, most of them west of the Mississippi.

get more stories like this via email

The State of Florida encourages the public, especially citizens with disabilities and other special needs, to plan ahead for an emergency situation and know what to do in the event of an emergency. (Pixabay)

Health and Wellness

In an appeal to the public as Hurricane Ian barreled toward Florida, an advocate for persons with disabilities urged everyone to consider checking in …

Social Issues

The average cost of keeping a roof over your head in Utah's metro areas is a lot more than it used to be - if you're renting. A recent University …


Washington state is considering a cleaner future for its buildings. The Washington State Building Code Council is holding public hearings, including …

Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River is located near the Oregon town of Cascade Locks. (RG/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A popular fishing site on the Columbia River for members of the Yakama Nation has been listed as Superfund site by the federal government. Now comes …

Social Issues

Some 35 million people in Wyoming and across the U.S. struggle to put food on the table, and older adults experiencing food insecurity face numerous …

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Texas voters say the border, at 38%, ranks first as the most urgent issue facing Texas, followed by abortion and inflation. (Wikilmages/Pixabay)

Social Issues

A Texas human-rights advocacy and immigration-reform group opened two new community centers this week to help residents better understand their freedo…

Health and Wellness

A pilot program launched by the Todd County School District and the county's local health department offers free mental-health case-management service…

Social Issues

Whether it's Hurricane Ian, Fiona or other weather disasters, people are being warned about donating to fraudulent charities. Scams have become …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021