WEILAND: 'Hoodwinked'? No, this is undoing the will of the voters
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Although many don't know it, South Dakota was the first state in the nation to allow its citizens to petition their government and engage directly in public policy through the initiated measure process.
Here's a good example. Two years ago, the people of South Dakota, frustrated with inaction by theSouth Dakota State Legislature, passed a ballot measure increasing the minimum wage.
The net effect was that 62,000 South Dakotans received an hourly raise of $1.25, with an annual inflationary adjustment. While a single parent working full time at minimum wage still qualifies for food stamps, it was a welcome boost to people who were working for $7.25 an hour.
However, within a few weeks after its passage, Republican leaders in the South Dakota Legislature started saying that the voters had been hoodwinked — that South Dakotans really didn't know they voted to include young adults — so the Legislature, on a straight party line vote, passed legislation to exclude anyone under 18 years of age from receiving the increase in pay.