Senate Bill 200, to tighten South Dakota’s campaign finance laws after last year’s robocalls, hasn’t yet had a dissenting vote in its journey through the Legislature. But its march toward passage hit a temporary delay Monday morning when members of the House State Affairs Committee proposed several possible changes to the bill.
Some of the changes were cleanup, making sure that phrases about penalties were included in all sections and not just some. Others were more substantive — several committee members worried that people could bypass the disclosure requirements by running an email campaign themselves, so therefore incurring no or minimal cost.
Secretary of State Jason Gant said he was amenable to the mentioned changes, but encouraged the committee to view the bill as a step forward even if it didn’t fix every problem.
“When folks want to get around campaign finance laws, they’re going to dig, dig, dig and find a way,” Gant said.
After a number of proposed amendments were mentioned, committee chair Rep. David Lust announced that he was postponing action on the bill until Wednesday to give lawmakers times to draft amendments.