Greetings from Pierre. IM-22 was officially repealed last week. Although the measure is repealed, the fight for ethics reform continues. Appropriations held hearings with the Board of Regents. With revenues lower than expected, we are working to decide the best way to invest in our universities and keep student tuition low.
On Thursday, Governor Daugaard signed HB 1069 and officially repealed IM-22. The governor said during his press conference that the process is not important, only the end result. I disagree. In order to have government work for the people, we must respect the rules and process. When we think we are above the process and rules don’t apply, that is when we have corruption. It has become a political culture in Pierre. We have EB-5 and Gear UP scandals that cost taxpayers millions. We have a group of legislators who think they can make and bend rules to suit their agenda. Whether we are talking about video lottery, the cigarette tax, minimum wage or IM-22, we have a legislature that continues to ignore the people’s vote.
There is still an opportunity to get the reform voters wanted with IM-22. HB 1076 will create a government accountability board. This board will monitor all of state government. HB 1073 will limit gifts from lobbyists. Secretary of State Shantel Krebs has introduced SB 53 & 54 to reform campaign finance. If we can pass all four bills, we could end up with reform that’s better than what IM-22 offered. As voters, it is important that you read these bills, contact legislators and ask for their support. You may read these bills on sdlegislature.gov.
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