SDSU President David Chicoine caused a fuss last spring when he accepted a high-paying position on Monsanto's corporate board. Senator Frank Kloucek (D-19/Scotland) promised to lead a discussion of this seeming conflict of interest on the floor of the Legislature.
Senator Kloucek has his chance now with House Bill 1116, which would restrict Dr. Chicoine and any other executive officer of any Regental institution making over $100,000 from almost any serious moonlighting. If HB 1116 passes, university execs could only take outside jobs that pay less than $10,000 a year. (Dr. Chicoine's total annual salary and benefits from Monsanto: $400,000.)
Now before you chuckling Republicans start cranking up the ad hominem against Senator Kloucek, take a look at HB 1116's sponsor list. Primary sponsors are Republican Rep. Jacqueline Sly (33/Rapid City) and Democrat Senator Ryan Maher (28/Isabel). Our man Frank has his name on the bill, right next to GOP colleague Senator Gene Abdallah (10/Sioux Falls). Throw in a couple more West River conservatives like Reps. Brunner and Kopp, and Sen. Kloucek has some bipartisan backing for a really interesting discussion of conflict of interest in the highest offices of the Regental system.
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