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Gentry Finance closes its doors in Mitchell

Another ballot question passed by South Dakotans on Nov. 8 has claimed a victim. Gentry Finance, located on Main Street in Mitchell, has closed following the passage of Initiated Measure 21, which bars certain money lenders from making a loan tha...

Another ballot question passed by South Dakotans on Nov. 8 has claimed a victim.

Gentry Finance, located on Main Street in Mitchell, has closed following the passage of Initiated Measure 21, which bars certain money lenders from making a loan that imposes annual fees, charges and interest at a percentage rate greater than 36 percent.

And according to an employee with the Gentry Finance Corporation, each of the company's locations in South Dakota will be closing its doors.

Officials with the company did not immediately respond for comment, but an employee at the company's corporate office said all locations in the state will be closed.

IM 21 received the approval of a large contingent of South Dakotans on Election Day, with more than 270,000 voters supporting the measure. And one employee of Gentry Finance said IM 21 played a role in the closure of the South Dakota locations.

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According to the company's website, it is not a payday loan company, instead it calls itself a "finance company that lends money to people just like you."

State Attorney General Marty Jackley's statement on the measure says a violation of the interest rate cap would result in a misdemeanor crime and a loan made in violation of the measure would become void and the charges would be uncollectable.

Other ballot questions passed by South Dakotans have also made an immediate impact, most notably Constitutional Amendment S.

Amendment S, also known as Marsy's Law, was passed as a method to protect the rights of victims to a crime. But the law has since left law enforcement agencies scrambling to determine what information they can or cannot release.

Initiated Measure 22, billed as the Anti-Corruption Act, has also had unexpected consequences.

Twelve state legislators said they would face illegal conflicts of interest due to a provision of IM 22 limiting gifts to legislators at $100, and other members of state boards and committees have resigned from their posts due to the measure.

Of the four ballot questions approved on Election Day, the only question passed by the narrowest margin has had the least immediate impact. Unlike measures 21 and 22 and Marsy's Law, Constitutional Amendment R has flown under the radar since it was passed by a 50.61-49.31 margin.

Amendment R allows the state's four technical education institutes to be governed by a separate entity than the Board of Regents.

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