South Dakota Supreme Court Weighs Conflict Of Interest Clause

(Pierre, SD) — The South Dakota Supreme Court is hearing arguments to decide the interpretation on a conflict of interest clause for state lawmakers. It comes after former Senator Jessica Castleberry of Rapid City accepted six-hundred-thousand dollars in COVID relief funds for her preschool after she had voted on a bill authorizing the funding package. Attorney General Marty Jackley and attorneys representing the Governor’s Office and the State Legislature met in Pierre Monday as Governor Noem is asking the court to clarify exactly what the provision means and what’s actually prohibited. It currently says lawmakers should not have an interest in any contract they vote on while in office or one year after they leave office in the state constitution. Chief Justice Jensen said at the end of Monday’s hearing that the court would issue a written decision, but there’s no timeline on the final say.

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