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The Latest: Senate sends ethics law repeal to governor

February 1, 2017 GMT

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on the South Dakota Senate’s debate over repealing voter-approved ethics rules (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

A bill that would sweep away new ethics regulations that voters imposed in November is on its way to the governor’s desk.

The state Senate voted 27-8 Wednesday to approve the bill. It would repeal the ballot initiative that created an ethics commission, public campaign funding and limitations on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers. Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard supports the repeal bill.

Bill opponents say lawmakers are rejecting the will of the voters. Republican Sen. Lance Russell says it may be the most “repugnant display of raw partisan political power” that he’s seen.

Republican Sen. Brock Greenfield, the bill’s Senate sponsor, says the campaign for the ballot measure was based on innuendo and falsehood.

The embattled law isn’t in effect while a legal challenge from Republican legislators and others moves forward.

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1:20 p.m.

An airplane is circling the South Dakota Capitol with a banner that reads “Shame on you! Respect our vote!” before the Senate debates whether to repeal a voter-imposed ethics law.

The bill has already passed the House. It would dismantle the ballot initiative intended to create an ethics commission, public campaign funding and limitations on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers.

Chris Tallent is national campaign director for MAYDAY America, an anti-corruption organization that got the banner into the sky. Tallent says members have come together to make their message “loud and clear” that the repeal is bad for South Dakota.

Supporters of the ballot measure plan to gather at the Capitol to rally ahead of the vote.

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8 a.m.

The state Senate is set to consider a Republican-backed bill that would dismantle new ethics regulations that November voters imposed on lawmakers.

The chamber is scheduled Wednesday to consider the bill, which would repeal the ballot initiative that created an ethics commission, public campaign funding and limitations on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers.

GOP Gov. Dennis Daugaard supports the bill. The Senate was to vote on it last week, but a procedural move postponed debate. It has already passed through the House.

Initiative supporters say lawmakers are attempting to thwart the will of the voters. Republicans criticize the ballot measure campaign as deceptive and say the initiative is likely unconstitutional.

The embattled law isn’t in effect while a legal challenge from Republican legislators and others moves forward.