Opposition grows for SD ballot Measure 15 - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Opposition grows for SD ballot Measure 15

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For months, Initiated Measure 15 has had passionate people speaking out on both sides. But tonight, it all comes down to the voters.

Already, the measure has had significantly more no votes which isn't good for supporters.

The measure looked to increase funding for K-12 public education and Medicaid by raising sales and use tax by 25% or one penny on every dollar spent in South Dakota.

Every year, that would total $180 million.

People who supported the measure have encouraged voters to put children and Medicaid first. They even collected 40,000 signatures to get it on the ballot.

Those who oppose say the 25% increase in sales tax would drop consumer spending and there are other needs in the state that could use additional funding as well like public safety, infrastructure and higher education.

Now that the majority of voters have opposed the measure, co-chair for 'No On 15' say they're pleased.

"Obviously it shows that South Dakota voters expect their Legislature to manage the entire state budget and by doing so, the best way is to have a conversation about all the needs of our state and not just to particular projects," "No on 15" Shawn Lyons said.

The group initially sponsoring the bill, ''Yes on 15'' released this statement:

"The last year has provided us the opportunity to have a discussion directly with the voters on the future of education and health care. Raising awareness of the revenue shortfalls and educating voters about these two programs will benefit all South Dakotans moving forward.

It is also important to point out that many of the opponents agreed that our state needs to better fund these two programs. However, we disagreed on the funding mechanism. We look forward to working with them this legislative session to increase funding for our schools and providers. The state continues to face a long-term revenue shortfall and we must work together to fix the problem."

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