The South Dakota Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act is a proposal to prevent political bribery, improve transparency, and increase enforcement of South Dakota’s ethics laws.
Close the Revolving Door: The Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act would make it illegal for public officials and top staff to take jobs as lobbyists for two years after leaving office, preventing those we trust to take care of our state from trading on their government positions to land high-paying lobbying jobs. This expands the current law in which the waiting period is only one year. The provision would apply to elected officers, appointed officers, agency or division heads, and the highest-paid aide, employee, or staff member reporting to each.
Crack Down on PACs: The Act would prevent coordination between candidates and political action committees (PACs). Individuals would be prevented from creating more than one PAC in an attempt to skirt campaign finance limits, and limits on contributions to PACs would be lowered from $10,000 to $2,000 per person. The Act would also prevent candidates from using campaign contributions for personal expenses.
Disclose Potential Conflicts of Interest: The Act would increase the frequency of campaign finance disclosure reporting, would require large contributions to be reported soon after being received, and would make disclosed information more accessible in a public, online database.
Empower Voters and Small Donors: Every South Dakota resident would have access to two $50 democracy credits to donate to state candidates. Eligible candidates would demonstrate community support and commit to only raising small contributions from South Dakota residents.
Enforce the Rules: The Act would establish an independent state ethics commission to monitor and audit campaign finance and lobbying disclosure reports. The commission would have the power to investigate state officials and lobbyists for potential ethics, campaign finance, or lobbying law violations and would facilitate an ethics tips hotline to promote trust in South Dakota government.