Governor Dennis Daugaard does not mince his words in his opposition to the voter approved Initiated Measure twenty two.
The governor spoke against IM 22 in his annual budget address
Daugaard is refusing to fund the Democracy Credits that are part of the new law. The law includes a publicly funded campaign finance system.
Democrats say that provision should remain priority funding.
Governor Dennis Daugaard says Initiated Measure 22 is the worst drafting of any law he’s seen during his time in public service.
The measure creates an ethics commission, publicly funded campaign finance system, enacts several lobbying reforms and requires additional disclosures.
In a press conference following the budget address, Democrat Senator Billie Sutton says voters supported the whole measure, not bits and pieces of it.
Sutton says the public would have voted down IM 22 if they were against the measure.
“Now that doesn’t mean we can’t come together and try to fix pieces of it because, I think, that is part of our job," Sutton says. "To maybe make definitions more clear, to make sure that it’s workable, and to fix problems of if it is deemed unconstitutional. That’s our job as well. But to throw it out just because you don’t like pieces of it—and not fund it just because you don’t like that piece—is a little bit dangerous.”
Sutton points to new rules like the spouse of a legislator surpassing the 100 dollar limit for working for an entity that has a lobbyist.
The governor echoed that sentiment. He says the legislature will have to address IM 22 regardless of the result of an upcoming court case.
“In the end, the important thing is to have a process that examines each proposed change and ensures that it’s workable, ensures that language is clearly defined, definitions are consistently used throughout," Daugaard says. "That we’re not replacing law—or that we’re not duplicating law that already exists.”
Daugaard says the court’s decision will help instruct the legislature’s response to tweaking the measure.
The lawsuit against Initiated Measure 22 has a court date set for December 8.