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South Dakota Senate panel rejects anti-nepotism bill

January 23, 2019

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota Senate panel has rejected a bill that sought to block state officials from hiring relatives.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted unanimously Wednesday against the measure. The proposal came after Gov. Kristi Noem announced in December that her daughter would be a policy analyst in the governor’s office.

Republican Sen. Stace Nelson, the bill’s sponsor, says nepotism is government corruption. Democratic Sen. Craig Kennedy, a bill opponent, says the measure wasn’t crafted well.

Noem spokeswoman Kristin Wileman said in an earlier statement that the governor should be able to develop a team who will deliver results for the state “regardless of their last name.”

The bill would have prohibited state officials and employees from serving in a supervisory capacity over relatives including parents, spouses, children and siblings.

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