Update 12:02 CST: Upon further review and advise an eager reader, I realize that HB 1069 repeals every provision of Initiated Measure 22: campaign finance reform, lobbying reform, Democracy Credits, and ethics commission—the whole thing, with no language offering replacement reforms. I edit my text below to reflect this fact.
Edited Post: Republican legislators apparently don’t think Secretary of State Shantel Krebs’s Senate Bill 54 is the right tool to scratch their itch to repeal Initiated Measure 22, the Anti-Corruption Act. 76 Republicans (and not one Democrat, thank you) are sponsoring House Bill 1069, which repeals IM 22 in its entirety
HB 1069 strikes all of the IM 22 provisions that SB 54 strikes, plus…
- HB 1069 strikes the $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists (because, you know, legislators and their relatives ought to be able to take unlimited “gifts” from lobbyists).
- HB 1069 reduces the revolving-door restriction on legislators working as lobbyists from two years back to one year (because hey, we don’t pay legislators much, so they need to be able to jump back in and cash in on their knowledge early).
- HB 1069 removes non-elected appointees, agency chiefs, and highest-paid staffers from the revolving door restriction (because, you know, friends).
- HB 1069 gets rid of new lobbyist reporting requirements (because who wants more paperwork and transparency?).
- In one fell swoop (Section 2), HB 1069 strikes the Democracy Credits intended to provide voluntary public campaign financing and the ethics commission created to manage those Credits.
- And in today’s amusing drafting error, HB 1069 strikes IM 22’s felony penalty for bribing or intimidating legislators and creates a new class of penalty, Class 5 Misdemeanor. (Hmm, South Dakota Codified Law only provides for Class 1 and lesser Class 2, so I’m guessing Class 5 is the new legal term for 40 lashes with a wet noodle.)
Beyond the total elimination of IM22, HB 1069 differs from SB 54 in three key ways:
- HB 1069 does not bother to create the campaign finance ethics commission that Secretary Krebs proposes in SB 54. Apparently Republicans don’t want to monkey around creating any new restrictions or accountability; they just want the new limits on campaign finance and lobbyists dead, dead, dead.
- HB 1069 has an emergency clause, meaning it would repeal all of IM 22 immediately (what? didn’t you guys just tell us yesterday we need time before we enact legislation?) and citizens could not suspend that repeal and refer it to a vote.
- HB 1069 was posted just yesterday, but it has already been scheduled for a joint hearing of the House and Senate State Affairs committees on Monday afternoon, 3 p.m. or 15 minutes after House and Senate get done horsing around. SB 54 was filed ten days ago and has yet to be scheduled for first committee hearing.
Boy, I tell you, the vigor with which Republicans are prosecuting IM 22 shows that we voters must really have gotten under Republicans’ skin by passing a law to fight corruption.
Must’ve Missed the Meeting: Prime sponsors Representative Larry Rhoden and Senator Brock Greenfield didn’t get everyone to caucus on HB 1069. Missing from the sponsor list are Representatives Lynne DiSanto, Julie Frye-Mueller, Tim Goodwin, Thomas Holmes, Taffy Howard, Jean Hunhoff, John Lake, David Lust, Tim Reed, and Mike Stevens and Senators Stace Nelson and Lance Russell.