A repeal of a voter-approved ethics law is heading to Governor Dennis Daugaard’s desk.
Wednesday afternoon, the South Dakota Senate approved House Bill 1069, which repeals Initiated Measure 22. Senators debated the measure for nearly two hours with those for and against the repeal addressing their colleagues.
Bill opponents say lawmakers are rejecting the will of the voters. Republican Sen. Lance Russell says it may be the most “repugnant display of raw partisan political power” that he’s seen.
Republican Sen. Brock Greenfield, the bill’s Senate sponsor, says the campaign for the ballot measure was based on innuendo and falsehood.
The gallery was full for the afternoon session and following the vote, shouts of “Respect our vote” echoed in the chamber.
Republicans want to repeal the measure and replace it with a handful of new bills that deal with lobbyist gifting, campaign finance and legislative accountability. There is an emergency clause attached to HB 1069, which means it will take effect immediately. It also means voters cannot repeal it.
Gov. Daugaard has said he would sign 1069 into law and Attorney General Marty Jackley has said he believes Initiated Measure 22 is indeed unconstitutional regardless of the claims made by its supporters.
The embattled law isn’t in effect while a legal challenge from Republican legislators and others moves forward.
KELOLAND’s Leland Steva is in Pierre and will be following this story all day. Look for live reports on KELOLAND News at 6.