- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A Senate panel has set aside a rule that would have barred public employee lobbyists from the chamber or space reserved for legislators during business hours.

The Senate Legislative Procedure Committee decided Tuesday to table the proposal. It would have applied to lobbyists such as those for the executive branch, constitutional offices and the judicial system between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Republican Sen. Ryan Maher, who proposed the rule, says he’s unsure whether there was support for it in the full chamber. Maher said previously that members are sometimes bombarded by lobbyists and can’t complete their work.

He says the conversation will continue and that the panel sent a message to public employee lobbyists that senators are “taking back our chamber.”

Gov. Dennis Daugaard told the Argus Leader that he opposed the change.

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