Panel Sends Government Ethics Overhaul Repeal To Full Senate

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A Republican-backed bill that would repeal a voter-approved government ethics overhaul is likely headed to its last stop before the governor’s desk.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-2 Wednesday to send the bill to the full chamber. It has passed through the House.

The bill would dismantle the ballot initiative that created an ethics commission, public campaign funding and limitations on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers.

Initiative supporters urged lawmakers to respect the will of the voters who passed the initiative in November. Republican Rep. Larry Rhoden, the bill’s main sponsor, says the ballot measure is “simply unconstitutional.”

Before session, GOP legislators and others challenged the ballot measure’s constitutionality in court. A judge put the initiative on hold while the lawsuit moves forward.

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