Bill to repeal voter approved ethics reform delayed

Published: Jan. 26, 2017 at 11:09 PM CST
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After flying through the House and Senate State Affairs Committee, a bill to repeal Initiated Measure 22 came to a screeching halt on the senate floor Thursday.

Republican senators used a procedural maneuver to delay an up-or-down vote on the matter until next week.

Is completely repealing IM 22 a good idea?

It seems like the answer depends on whether you are a Republican or Democrat.

Many Democrats argue a complete repeal silences the voice of voters.

“Over 185,000 South Dakotans supported IM 22,” Democratic Senator Troy Heinert of Mission said.

While Republicans say many parts of the initiated measure aren't in the people's best interest.

“I don't think that tax money should be used to fund elections in South Dakota,” Republican Senator Jim Bolin of Canton stated.

The bill's emergency clause has sparked national attention.

“The only thing the emergency clause did was make it so voters couldn't refer that back to the ballot,” Senator Heinert argued.

But Governor Daugaard says since IM 22 is tied up in court, it's best that a repeal go into effect as soon as he signs it.

“If the bill is not made effective prior to July 1st, then the court hearing at the Supreme Court would presumably go forward. And in my mind that creates unnecessary delay and expense,” Governor Daugaard explained.

The fact that IM 22 is in court is also causing a stir.

“I thought it was a big conflict of interest for members of the Senate who are on the lawsuit against IM 22 to now be voting and making motions to repeal IM 22,” Senator Heinert pointed out.

“People who suggest they should recuse themselves are stretching for ways to stop the repeal,” Governor Daugaard said.

But there is one thing lawmakers can agree on, delaying the hearing.

“If they wouldn't have proposed an amendment we would have proposed an amendment and invoked 5-17,” Democratic Senator Billie Sutton of Burke stated.

The earliest HB 1069 could be heard is Wednesday.

Senator Sutton says he thinks more amendments to the bill will be presented next week.

Governor Daugaard says he will sign the repeal if it makes it to his desk.