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South Dakota Attorney General Says Budget Has Safeguards

The Constitution
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

It is considered to be a sacred document.  The Constitution is the foundation of governmental operations and if not followed it is violated.  Our Federal government has one and each of the fifty states has one and all people in power are entrusted to uphold and defend this document.

What happens, though when this parchment is cast aside and the whims of the legislature or the governor become edicts to be placed upon the citizens?  Luckily there are safeguards in place to protect South Dakota’s founding document.  The basis of this discussion originates from a question to KSOO’s Viewpoint University during an on-air debate regarding Amendment P.  The legislation if adopted requires the governing bodies to not incur debt when formulating a budget in the state of South Dakota.

According to a quick chat with Attorney General Marty Jackley, there are safeguards, which would prevent an abuse of power in regards to the Constitution.  Budgets must first be assembled by the Legislature.  If the elected officials representing districts all across the state run afoul of the Constitution, which requires them to be frugal, then the Governor can reject it.  The Legislature could override the veto and the budget would then pass.  However, the Governor could accept the unconstitutional budget without a veto, which would allow the next course of action.

Lawsuit time!  The Attorney General can file a suit against the Governor, the Legislature or both to stop the rouge budget from being imposed on the citizens and it takes a right turn toward the State Supreme Court.  Suppose though, that the A.G. is derelict in the appointed duty of protecting South Dakotans.  One resident could use their legal standing as a taxpaying citizen and bring a suit, which would also toss the thing to the courts.

Failing the response of all parties involved, voters would have one more recourse.  Either a recall and boot them out immediately or just wait until the next regularly scheduled primary or general election and stuff the box with the opposition’s name.


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