- Associated Press - Monday, December 12, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Republican Attorney General Marty Jackley said Monday that South Dakota should embrace a government ethics commission that is part of a voter-approved anti-corruption package under fire from top GOP lawmakers and tied up in court.

Jackley encouraged support for an ethics commission at a Rotary Club meeting in Sioux Falls, the Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/2gz4uiq ) reported.

“The voters of South Dakota spoke and they said there needs to be some level of change, and I think that change ought to focus on an ethics commission,” he said. “I don’t think we should necessarily be scared of that; we should embrace it.”

Jackley has taken a different stance than other GOP officials on the ethics panel. Gov. Dennis Daugaard proposed a budget last week that doesn’t include millions of dollars for the public campaign finance system and has been critical of the overhaul. He has said he would support rolling back the measure if it isn’t struck down in court.

The attorney general’s office is defending the law against a court challenge filed by Republican lawmakers and others.

They contend that provisions including the ethics commission, public campaign funding and limitations on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers are unconstitutional. A state court judge last week issued a preliminary injunction putting the law on hold, though that decision could be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Jackley has said that he’s preparing to run for governor in 2018.

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