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House Panel Begins IM 22 Repeal

The House State Affairs committee is kick-starting the repeal of Initiated Measure 22. After two hours of testimony Monday, the group voted in favor of sending a repeal to the state House floor.

IM 22 supporters say voters will remember the slight against them.
Lawmakers tore into the voter-approved act that establishes a publicly funded campaign finance system, ethics commission, and various lobbying and campaign finance restrictions.

The measure passed by the committee has an emergency clause, meaning, once passed and signed by the governor, IM 22 would be repealed immediately.

State Representative Larry Rhoden opposed IM 22 early on in the campaign. He says he was disappointed in the commercials supporting the measure.

"To watch as out of state groups spend hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars telling my neighbors that I’m corrupt," Rhodes says. "And when I get emails from people that have fallen into that trap, parroting the same information, I know it to be false. It doesn’t happen, not in the state of South Dakota it doesn’t.”

Opponents of IM 22 say the measure unconstitutionally appropriates money for a publicly-funded campaign system.

Rebecca Terk is with South Dakota Rural Action. She says voters will remember the repeal.

"HB 1069 communicates to voters that they did not understand or want what they voted for in the voting booth in November," Terks says. "Furthermore, this bill communicates to voters that the legislature believes it knows what the voters want more than the voters do, which is a message unlikely to be well received or forgotten.”

Several bills related to the provisions of IM 22 are in the hopper for consideration. Two of the bills are bi-partisan—one establishing a Government Accountability Board and another limiting gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers.

Another bill seeks to prevent out-of-state money from a single source to fund over 75 percent of a ballot question committee.