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Thursday, January 26, 2017

South Dakota Republicans are about to get rid of the state’s first independent ethics commission

By Amber Phillips
The Washington Post
Originally posted January 24, 2017

South Dakota Republicans are on the verge of doing something that backfired spectacularly for congressional Republicans earlier this year: Getting rid of an independent ethics commission.

What is a politically tricky endeavor for any lawmaking body could be even more precarious for the state's lawmakers, given that the commission they want to cut was approved by 51 percent of voters in a ballot initiative this November. The independent commission was part of a larger voter-approved ethics reform package that put limits on campaign finance and lobbying access.

State lawmakers met Monday to debate repeal of the entire law, and Republican leaders say the bill could be on the governor's desk by the end of the week. Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) has indicated he would sign a repeal. In his December budget address, he lambasted the ethics package, declaring that voters were “hoodwinked by scam artists who grossly misrepresented these proposed measures.”

The article is here.