President's PerspectiveWith election day fast approaching and the national races capturing most of the headlines, it’s important to remember that South Dakotans will be asked to vote on 10 ballot measures on Nov. 8, and the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) has taken a position on two of the initiatives: Constitutional Amendment R and Initiated Measure 23.

  • SDAHO supports Constitutional Amendment R, which would put oversight and governance of the state’s four technical institutes under the South Dakota Legislature rather than the state Board of Regents. The technical institutes include:
    • Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown
    • Mitchell Technical Institute
    • Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls
    • Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City

    We believe that the technical schools play an important role in educating and training the future health care workforce. The proposed changes will strengthen the schools’ focus and ability to continue to fulfill their unique mission.

  • SDAHO opposes Initiated Measure 23, which would give certain organizations the right to charge fees. The proposed measure would add a single sentence to South Dakota Law:
    • “Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, an organization, corporate or nonprofit, has the right to charge a fee for any service provided by the organization.”

    The measure is being brought by out-of-state unions in an attempt to change South Dakota’s longstanding status as a right-to-work state by allowing unions to charge non-members “fair-share” dues. In short, changing South Dakota from a right-to-work state to a pay-to-work state.

    The proposed measure is poorly written, vague, and would reverse the long standing freedom from being forced to pay union dues that was written into the state constitution’s Bill of Rights in 1946. SDAHO believes the proposed measure will hinder health care workforce development.

To download a booklet of all 10 ballot issues, click here.