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February 02, 2017 05:00 PM

What's Next After IM 22 Repeal

Governor Dennis Daugaard announced he has signed House Bill 1069, which overturns the voter-passed Initiated Measure 22.  

The bill has an emergency clause. That means voters will not be able to repeal it, but that doesn't necessarily mean voters voices are not being heard. 

During the Senate debate, supporters of House Bill 1069 say the goal is to overturn IM 22 and replace it with multiple bills. 

In fact, Republican Senator Al Novstrup says he guarantees that by the end of the session, there will be better laws in place than IM 22.  We are now getting a better idea of lawmakers' plan of attack. 

IM 22 is no more. Now voters are asking what's going to be done with ethics in South Dakota. The measure covered campaign finance, gifts from lobbyists, ethics and more.  Republican Blake Curd says there is already a plan in place to get some of those ideas into law. 

"The ban on lobbying, extending from a year to two years. I think you know I've introduced that bill. I think we're going to hear that in state affairs on Friday morning. Representative [Mark] Mickelson has introduced a lobbyist gift prohibition provision. That's going to be considered in the House very soon," Curd said. 

However, the Senator admits lawmakers won't be talking about everything in IM 22. 

"There's no appetite in the Republican legislature that I can ascertain, nor is there any demonstrated appetite in the Democratic side of the legislature, for the democracy credit program. So clearly that's an issue that's going to remain unresolved at this time," Curd said. 

The democracy credit program required the State to fund a program that gives each South Dakota voter two $50 vouchers to support the campaigns of their choice. 

Democrat Billie Sutton says he's upset with the result of the vote. His goal is to make sure voters' voices are heard. He says looking at past bills, he has concerns moving forward.

"We've passed things in the past couple of years that dealt with conflicts of interests and things of that nature that just didn't have any teeth and they were too vague and didn't really stop anything," Sutton said.  

Even though IM 22 is gone, the debate over government ethics in South Dakota continues. 

Governor Dennis Daugaard's Full Statement: 

“The circuit court enjoined Initiated Measure 22, finding it unconstitutional ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ It has not been in effect, and it is extremely unlikely that it would ever come into effect,” said Gov. Daugaard. “For that reason, it makes sense to repeal this unconstitutional measure. Over the next few weeks, I will work with legislators to honor the will of the voters – by passing bills to regulate gifts from lobbyists and to strengthen ethics and campaign finance laws.”

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