OUR VIEW: Jackley's support of voters' will commendable
Of the four ballot questions approved by South Dakotans on Election Day, two puzzled state agencies and legislators who were uncertain of the ramifications under the new laws.
Amid confusion about Constitutional Amendment S — a victims' rights bill — and Republican opposition to the Anti-Corruption Act approved on Nov. 8, a majority of South Dakota voters found a powerful ally in Attorney General Marty Jackley.
In the wake of Initiated Measure 22's approval — a campaign finance and ethics law — GOP lawmakers have called for the repeal of the law and a Hughes County circuit court judge temporarily blocked its implementation.
While South Dakota is a democratic state where registered voters are allowed to have their say, lawmakers continue to undermine a law approved by their own constituents. The law establishes an ethics commission and a taxpayer-funded democracy credit program, a program Gov. Dennis Daugaard opposes funding.
We're not claiming IM 22 is good or bad for South Dakota, but we commend Jackley for standing up for the will of his fellow voters and attempting to make the most of a measure approved by a narrow margin.
This week, Jackley broke from the Republican Party line and said he supports the proposed ethics commission. It's refreshing to see a politician — particularly one who is running for governor in 2018 — buck party lines in an effort to salvage a voter-approved measure.
And we hope Daugaard and Republican legislators change their tune to support the people's mandate. The governor and Legislature may not approve of the law, but rather than trying to cut the legs out from under the measure, why not do what they can to make the law flourish in the way 180,580 South Dakotans hoped it could?
And IM 22 isn't the only freshly approved measure in which Jackley and the Attorney General's Office have stepped in to put confusion to rest.
Following the approval of Marsy's Law — which establishes 19 separate rights of victims of crimes — various law enforcement agencies were befuddled when determining what information they could release to the public in relation to possible crimes. Similarly to IM 22, it was Jackley who attempted to resolve the issues instigated by Marsy's Law.
As law enforcement agencies temporarily slammed the door on transparency, Jackley issued an opinion saying state and local agencies could release the names of vehicle crash victims and street address where crimes occur.
Whether these ballot questions will improve life in South Dakota is debatable, but it's admirable and encouraging to see an elected official working toward solutions instead of complaining about the outcome.