Group backs making constitutional amendments harder to pass

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A state task force is backing a measure that would ask voters to make it harder to change the South Dakota constitution.

The Initiative and Referendum Task Force voted 11-2 Wednesday to send the plan to the Legislature. If lawmakers approve the proposal, it would put a constitutional amendment before voters.

The amendment would increase the majority vote threshold required for a constitutional change to at least 55 percent of the votes cast on an amendment.

Republican Sen. Jim Bolin, a supporter, says the state constitution needs special protection. Sen. Reynold Nesiba, a Democrat who opposes the idea, says it's already very difficult to change it.

Republicans have discussed changes to the ballot question system after the 2016 election season brought 10 questions and millions of dollars from out-of-state groups.