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July 16, 2017 10:00 PM

Citizens Gather Petition Signatures For Newly Proposed Anti-Corruption Amendment

Sioux Falls, SD

Another measure dealing with anti-corruption in South Dakota's could make it on the 2018 ballot.

You may remember Initiated Measure 22. Voters passed it in November, but many lawmakers claimed it to be unconstitutional.

After repealing the measure, legislators and Gov. Dennis Daugaard replaced it with a series of similar laws.

But a group of citizens don't think the lawmakers went far enough, and they’re gathering signatures for new legislation.

Represent South Dakota hosted its first petition drive in Sioux Falls' downtown library this weekend. Doug Kronaizl is one of the organizers leading the effort.

“What we heard across the board is that people were very much not pleased with the replacements. They felt they didn't go far enough relatively to what we passed last November,” Kronaizl said.

In his opinion, the bipartisan group has drafted a better version of the recently enacted anti-corruption laws the governor signed in March.

“It creates an independent ethics commission that has the ability to oversee our state government with a more balance appointment process. It closes up a lot of those loop holes in a lot of the gift limits we saw,” Kronaizl said.

Kronaizl says it also protects the rights of voters if legislators try to repeal it. However, one lawmaker doesn't think there's a need for new legislation.

" There are going to find any little aspect of the law that they don't want and that they don't like and they're going to try to make a mountain out of a mole hill as far as that's concerned." Sen. Jim Bolin (R-Lincoln and Union County) said.

Bolin was one of the legislators who supported repealing and replacing the highly controversial IM 22.

"IM 22 was passed by a very narrow margin after almost two million dollars were spent to promote it and to actually give the public a very distorted perspective of really what goes on in Pierre,” Bolin said.

He believes the current laws should be left as is.

Represent South Dakota has spent the weekend traveling to Madison, Huron and Rapid City to spread the message. Their next stop is Vermillion July 17. 

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