LETTER: Mickelson making dangerous moves
To the Editor:
House Speaker Mark Mickelson is making some dangerous moves in the legislature this session.
He advocates eliminating college professors' right to collective bargaining. He wants to ban unions. He is pressuring school districts to spend money they do not have. As a retired SDSU professor, I ask him to stop restricting faculty rights. If enacted his proposed legislation will result in state universities not being able to attract top applicants.
Not a fan of ballot measures, Mickelson is using the petition process to raise taxes on cigarettes, a regressive tax, to fund tech-school education. He is also using a ballot measure to stop our ability to fund ballot measures.
He has even proposed a constitutional amendment to end constitutional amendments filed by the people. He first proposed to place this measure on the June primary election ballot, a time, historically, when only 20 percent of voters show up at the polls. That idea didn't fly with his more sensible colleagues, so he filed last week to change it to the November general election. Should that fail, he filed a second resolution to allow Legislative veto over initiated amendments.
Our state motto is "Under God the People Rule." We the people want to know how far he will go to stop us from exercising our right to put measures on the ballot.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "...if you want to test man's character, give him power."
Seems we're learning more about Speaker Mickelson's character than we want to know.
Mary J. Perpich
Assoc. Professor Emerita
South Dakota State University