Senate Repeals IM 22, Plans To Introduce Different Ethics-Related Bills

PIERRE, S.D. – A measure passed by South Dakota voters has been repealed by lawmakers.

That means an ethics commission, new campaign funding rules and restrictions on lobbyists gifts to lawmakers will not go into effect.

State Senators discussed for over an hour deciding whether Initiated Measure 22 is unconstitutional or not.

In the end the measure was repealed 27 to 8.

Following the approval of House Bill 1069, which is the bill that repeals IM 22, a group against this broke out into a chant saying “respect our vote.”

“Unfortunately others thought they needed to rush this through and I fear how South Dakotans are going to view this,” says District 19 Senator Stace Nelson.

Sen. Nelson was one of 8 legislators to vote against the bill.

He says he went against his colleagues on this one because of how passionately some of these voters feel.

“It’s a little patronizing to tell South Dakota voters that you’re wrong and we’re right,” he says.

While Sen. Nelson says there were some problems with Initiated Measure 22, he thinks legislators should have let a court decide what to do with it.

“At that point, we then deal with legislative matters.”

But Senator Al Novstrup says that would have taken too much time and money.

He says the main problem with IM 22 is that it covered too many topics.

“If it takes us 6 bills to replace it, that’s not one bill.”

He says instead, legislators are going to introduce bills that deal with different ethical issues separately.

“There’s about 10 or 15 in within a day or so, we’re going to have lots of opportunities to debate these bills and we might pass 5,6,7,8 bills,” says Sen. Novstrup.

“We’re going to make sure that they hold their word to this, and we’re going to come out of here with something,” adds Senator Troy Heinert.

Heinert was also one of the eight that voted against H.B. 1069.

H.B. 1069 will now head to the Governor’s desk.

Governor Dennis Daugaard has already said that he will sign a repeal of IM 22.

Demonstrators against the repeal were at the capitol protesting this decision.

Wednesday morning, a plane flying over the capitol with a banner that read “Shame on you! Respect our vote!”

There were more than 50 people inside the Senate Chamber wearing yellow ‘Represent Us’ t-shirts.

One couple from Aberdeen says they traveled to Pierre to see what legislators had to say in person, instead of complaining about it at home.

They say they’re disappointed in lawmakers for not trying to compromise with voters.

“I see this as a reactionary plan and a bit self-serving,” says Shelly Sinar. “I think this really deserves people coming out and saying hey, wait a minute, we wanting this, we need to continue to work on this.”

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