Lackluster Finances, Ethics Initiative Await State Lawmakers

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A lackluster fiscal outlook will make for subdued state spending during the 2017 legislative session, but Republican plans to repeal an anti-corruption initiative just approved by voters are likely to prompt a racket at the statehouse.

Legislators return to Pierre Tuesday for the opening of session and Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s State of the State address.

Daugaard has offered a budget plan constrained by lower-than-expected tax collections, forcing officials to address a shortfall this year and temper new spending for the next budget year.

A new set of Republicans are set to assume top legislative posts this session. Lee Qualm will lead House Republicans, while Blake Curd will head the Senate GOP caucus.

Republicans are set to repeal the ballot initiative that created an ethics commission and lobbyist gift limitations.

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