State Senate passes bill barring spouse of legislator from lobbying
The state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that bars a legislator’s spouse from lobbying. The vote was 22-to-13 in the 35-member chamber.
Bill sponsor, Republican Sen. Michael Rohl from Aberdeen, said the legislator-spouse relationship could be self-serving, as legislators cannot themselves vote for bills that would directly benefit them.
Republican Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller from Rapid City said the bill was aimed at her and her husband, Mike Mueller. Mike Mueller is an unpaid lobbyist for South Dakota Citizens for Liberty.
There was no attempt on the floor to amend the bill to carve out an exception for unpaid lobbyists.
Sen. Frye-Mueller asked why the spouses of legislators who work in the judicial or executive branches also are not similarly barred.
Senate Bill 197 now goes to a House committee.
February 15, 2023
(Thanks, Todd Epp, SDBA Legislative Reporter)