House kills bill that would have increased campaign donation limits

House lawmakers narrowly defeated a proposal that would have increased the amount that individuals can contribute to political candidates in South Dakota
South Dakota State Rep. Roger Chase (R-Huron) speaks on the House floor in favor of increasing...
South Dakota State Rep. Roger Chase (R-Huron) speaks on the House floor in favor of increasing the campaign contribution limits of individual entities and people.(Austin Goss DNN/KOTA)
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 2:38 PM MST
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PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota State House defeated a proposal on Tuesday that would have increased the limits that individuals and entities can give to political campaigns.

Rep. Roger Chase (R-Huron), was the prime sponsor of HB 1111.

“It’s important to be able to fund a good, positive campaign and not be hamstrung,” Chase said defending the bill on the floor. “If somebody chooses to donate $1,000 more to your campaign, it still won’t be required. But it is certainly an option for those people who want to contribute and support the candidate of their choice.”

Chase said he didn’t expect as much debate on the bill as was had, before it was defeated by a narrow vote of 37 to 31.

If passed, the bill would have increased the individual and entity contributions for statewide campaigns from $4,000 to $5,000. For county and legislative races, the individual contribution limit would have been increased from $1,000 to $2,000.

Proponents suggested the increase in limits would be good in light of inflation. However, opponents said the current system works well, and that increasing the limit would allow for the influence of big business to creep in.

“If we are honest, I guarantee you that most of your ordinary, everyday constituents don’t even have $1,000 to donate,” said Rep. Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids). “But you know who does? Big corporate interests and lobbying interests. I think we should just keep the attention of the people and influence here with families and individuals.”