Lawmakers could put amendments before voters at June primary

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota's House speaker says lawmakers may put their own constitutional amendments before voters in next year's June primary - separate from citizens' initiatives on the fall general election ballot.

Republican Rep. Mark Mickelson said Tuesday that officials have discussed the idea because the November 2018 ballot could be "cluttered" with a slew of other initiatives.

Mickelson says lawmakers could advance amendments asking voters to increase legislator pay, repeal a crime victims' measure and end citizens' ability to gather signatures to propose constitutional changes.

House Minority Leader Spencer Hawley panned the proposal to put lawmakers' amendments on the June ballot, saying constitutional changes shouldn't be decided in a lower-turnout primary election.

Mitch Richter, co-sponsor of a government ethics initiative, says it's unfortunate legislators don't "want to let everybody play by the same set of rules."