Voters Passed an Ethics Law. 3 Months Later, the State Repealed It.

February 3, 2017

Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Thursday signed House Bill 1069, effectively repealing a voter-approved campaign finance and ethics law set into statute as Initiated Measure 22.

Because the bill contains an emergency clause, it will take effect immediately. That means the law that calls for establishing an independent state ethics commission, setting strict new limits on gifts to lawmakers, and creating publicly financed campaign credits became history in South Dakota.

“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,” Daugaard said in a statement. “For that reason, it makes sense to repeal this unconstitutional measure."

Opponents of the repeal rallied at the Capitol Wednesday ahead of the Senate's vote on House Bill 1069. They, along with Democrats in the Statehouse and a handful of Republicans, argued that lawmakers should respect the will of the voters and set up replacements before erasing the law.

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