SD AG Explanation on Finance Charge Ballot Measure

Phil Jensen


loan_interest_ratePIERRE, S.D.-  South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the Attorney General ballot explanation for Initiated Measure 21, which sets a limit of 36%  as the maximum that certain money lenders are permitted to charge on loans.  Erin Ageton, a member of the payday loan industry, brought a lawsuit challenging the ballot explanation written by the Attorney General.  She claimed the explanation and should have stated that the purpose and effect of Initiated Measure 21 was to put payday lenders out of business. Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Trandahl rejected Ageton’s claims and the Supreme Court agreed with that ruling.

“Pursuant to South Dakota law, I have worked to provide a fair, clear, and simple summary of the proposed measure in order to assist our voters. I am pleased the Court has reaffirmed the fairness of my Attorney General Explanation,” said Jackley.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that Jackley’s ballot explanation complied with his statutory duties.  The Court stated the language Ageton wanted in the ballot explanation was more appropriate for political dispute and advocacy. The Court upheld Jackley’s ballot explanation as written.

Rick Kriebel 2016


In April 2015, sponsors submitted the measure to the Attorney General’s Office so a ballot explanation could be prepared for inclusion on the initiative petition prior to its circulation.  Under South Dakota law, the Attorney General is responsible for preparing explanations for proposed initiated measures, referred laws, and South Dakota constitutional amendments.  The explanation is to be an objective, clear and simple summary of the purpose and effect of the proposed measure and a description of the legal consequences.



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Woodrow Wilcox


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