Secretary of State Shantel Krebs says she supports creating a state government ethics commission.
Voters approved an ethics commission in November at the ballot box, along with other reforms that make up Initiated Measure 22. Lawmakers are currently challenging the measure in court.
Krebs says she’s already drafted legislation establishing a state ethics commission for lawmakers to consider.
A group of lawmakers is challenging the constitutionality of the voter-approved ethics commission.
Krebs says regardless of the outcome of the IM 22 lawsuit, something needs to be created in state statute…
“I’ve said for a long time that I do think South Dakota needs an Ethics commission, specifically when it comes to campaign finance laws or lobbying laws, so that there is some kind of oversight and checks and balances," Krebs says. "When you look at state government as a whole, there would be room for that in the campaign finance area. And I would be in favor and support and be willing to work with language that the legislators are going to be proposing.”
Lawmakers say the voter-approved commission violates the constitution because it’s not overseen by an existing department or constitutional officer.
Krebs agrees that an ethics commission needs an administrator from state government…
“Just like our office, the Secretary of State’s office, oversees the Board of Elections and is a member of that Board of Elections commission," Krebs says. "That’s essentially what you could look at is that there’s going to have to be someone who administers and oversees that process if you have a commission put forth.”
In addition to an ethics commission, Secretary Krebs says she’d like to propose some campaign finance reforms. She says the new ideas have better language than Initiated Measure 22.