SD Atnny Gen Explanation on Interest Rate Measure

PIERRE –South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today an Attorney General Explanation for a proposed Constitutional Amendment has been filed with the Secretary of State. This statement will appear on petitions that will be circulated by the sponsor of the proposed amendment. If the sponsor obtains a sufficient number of signatures on the petitions by November 9, 2015, as certified by the Secretary of State, the measure will be placed on the ballot for the November 2016 general election. This is a measure to change the Constitution, as opposed to changing state statutes (which requires 13,871) and the sponsor will need 27,741 signatures.

1. An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution limiting the ability to set statutory interest rates for loans

Under South Dakota law, the Attorney General is responsible for preparing explanations for proposed initiated measures, referred laws, and South Dakota Constitutional Amendments. Specifically, the explanation includes a title, 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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To view the Attorney General Explanation for the measure, as well as the final form of the measure submitted to this office, please click on the link:
To date the Attorney General has released Attorney General Explanations for the following:

1. An initiated measure to set a maximum finance charge for certain licensed money lenders
2. An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to allow referral of state and municipal laws affecting public peace, health, safety and the support of government and also to limit the ability to amend or repeal initiated laws
3. An initiated measure to legalize marijuana for medical use
4. An initiated measure to decriminalize the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia
5. An initiated measure to criminalize the transfer of alcoholic beverages
6. An initiated measure to criminalize the transfer of tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia
7. An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to provide for state legislative redistricting by a commission
8. An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to expand rights for crime victims
9. An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution limiting the ability to set statutory interest rates for loans

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  • franklinb23

    “An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution limiting the ability to set statutory interest rates for loans”

    Why not cap the interest rates for credit cards? Even with the best credit, many APRs are in the mid-20% range. It’s great if you pay it off every month (or have enough accounts to shuttle them back and forth with 0% transfers), but if you’re unfortunate to have to need to use them for a major medical expense or because of a layoff, you’re screwed.

    Isn’t there something in the Bible about usury?

    • Bob Ellis

      Something that usually gets forgotten in this issue (and it’s been discussed for a few years here in South Dakota now, thanks to a liberal “Republican” with do-gooder syndrome) is that a key driver in many interest rates is RISK.

      If a lender takes additional RISK in lending to a person with limited means of repaying the loan, or one with a history of borrowing and not repaying according to the terms of the loan, then they are properly entitled to a higher interest rate to help them recoup lost repayment.

      There was a time about 25 years ago when I did some really stupid things (including lending someone a substantial amount of money that I couldn’t really afford to lend them, and then they didn’t repay me one red cent) where I ended up going to payday lenders to keep my bills paid on time. Yes, the interest was high (because lending to people in that environment is high risk), but it enabled me to keep my bills paid on time (and protect my flawless credit rating), and eventually dig my way out of the hole I’d made for myself.

      No one forces a person to take out a high-interest loan. Indeed, no one forces a person to take out a loan, period. In a free society, we all have the liberty to make wise choices, and unwise choices. As long as a lender isn’t sending a thug to break your legs when you don’t repay, then high interest isn’t necessarily a wrong thing.

      Finally, there IS something in the Bible about usury. Most people usually get it wrong, because it IS somewhat complicated compared to most things in the Bible. The “Got Questions?” website, as usual, does a good job, so I’ll include for consideration a link to what they have on the subject.