Thursday, August 10, 2006

Removing State Revenue

Now that the South Dakota Supreme Court has determined that the referendum to repeal video lottery in the state should appear on the ballot, the same question now needs to be asked as has been asked every year in the past in which this issue has been on the ballot.

I am sure the proponents of this issue are proposing this on behalf of the people from our state that suffer from gambling addictions and whom gamble away the majority of their income in one of the 100’s of casinos around the state, but what do they propose to replace that $100 million is state revenue that will be lost if this passes?

Being someone that works in the private sector with a company that encourages policy change suggestions by employees, part of that suggestion power comes with the responsibility of having to suggest alternatives. Saying something is wrong is fine but if you cannot recommend an alternative way of doing what you are proposing to change, what good is the suggestion?

That is the problem I have with the referendum to repeal video lottery. The proposed law change does a great job at removing $100 million from the state budget but makes no mention on how to replace it. They say they have suggestions on replacing that revenue and plan on getting that message out during the next couple of months leading up to the election. Unfortunately none of these suggestions would go into effect at the same time that the proposed law does and would have to go through the legislative process next February, at the earliest, putting the state at an immediate $100 million deficit.

So along those lines I would like to make as suggestion for next years legislative session. Amend our state Constitution so that any future proposed referendums that seek to take away state tax revenue must also include a plan to replace it. That way the voters of our state can vote on both the repealing of the revenue source and the replacement plan at the same time.

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