Thursday, January 28, 2016

South Dakota: Rejected Hartford recall leads to Senate bills changing recall laws

The failure to get a recall on the ballot against Mayor Doyle Johnson, who had two votes to reject the recall, has led to proposed changes in the recall law. Senate Bill 65 would change the law so that councilors can only challenge the signatures, not the reason for the recall. The bill passed 5-0, and is going to the Senate floor.

Senate Bill 65 deals with procedure for a municipal recall petition. It gives a more clear understanding of what a council can do with the petitions. Under the bill, councilors would only be able to challenge the signatures, not the reason behind the petition.
These bills were in front of a committee Wednesday in Pierre.
"This has been our experience and this is what happened and so wanted to share that with them and help make it clear," Menning said.
One of the men testifying at the Capitol was Hartford Resident Jeremy Menning. He's one the men who helped collect the signatures for the petition. He's seen the problems firsthand, and he's happy to see the lawmakers take an interest in preventing future controversy.
"At least now it can be clear not just for us but hopefully for every community going forward, because it was unfortunate how this one worked out and how things happen here but going forward we hope that everything is clear so that nobody has to interpret what they think should happen," Menning said.
Committees looked at both bills. Senate Bill 65 passed with a 5-0 vote. It will be on the Senate Floor soon.

Senate Bill 64 is still working out a few amendments. The committee heard the testimony, but won't vote on it until next week.

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