Initiative aims to force disclosure of advocacy group donors

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota House speaker is proposing a ballot measure that would force nonprofit advocacy groups to reveal top donors if the groups make significant contributions to ballot question campaigns.

Republican Rep. Mark Mickelson said Wednesday that it would be helpful for voters to know who is behind different ballot measures. The proposal mirrors legislation that failed this year.

It would require disclosure of the 50 largest contributors to such groups, including labor organizations, business leagues and social welfare organizations, if they give $25,000 or more in a year to a ballot measure committee.

Critics have argued that South Dakota residents have the right to support causes without fear of harassment. Supporters would have to submit nearly 14,000 valid signatures by November 2017 to get on the 2018 ballot.

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