SD Senate panel to debate expanding lobbying restrictions

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - More state employees would be covered under rules barring officials from private lobbying for two years after leaving government under a bill South Dakota lawmakers plan to debate this week.

Republican Sen. Stace Nelson said Monday that his measure would prohibit former state employees from using their relationships for the benefit of private companies to lobby. A Senate panel is scheduled Wednesday to hear the plan.

The prohibition in current law applies to elected officials, department and agency heads, division directors and the highest-paid employee reporting to them. Nelson's bill would expand the list to include employees of the governor, paid members of the governor's transition team and Unified Judicial System employees.

The push comes after lawmakers in 2017 tightened the restrictions following the repeal a voter-imposed government ethics overhaul.

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