This measure prohibits contributions to statewide ballot question committees by non-residents, by political committees organized outside South Dakota, and by any entity that is not filed as an entity with the Secretary of State for the four years prior to making a contribution. It requires the Secretary of State to impose a civil penalty on any ballot question committee that accepts a prohibited contribution. The civil penalty is double the amount of the contribution. The measure requires the Secretary of State to investigate alleged contribution violations prohibited by this measure.
Currently, there are state laws regulating other kinds of election-related contributions, disclaimers, and disclosures. Violations of these laws are classified as misdemeanors and are subject to criminal penalties. The measure allows a court to impose a civil penalty (up to $5,000 per violation) in addition to the criminal penalty.
Under the measure, the Secretary of State must investigate alleged violations of these particular election-related laws.
All civil penalties collected under this measure will be placed in the State general fund.
The measure is likely to be challenged on constitutional grounds.
The text of the proposed law is as follows:
An Act to prohibit contributions to ballot question committees by out-of-state residents, political committees,
and entities and to establish civil penalties therefor.