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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Statehouse Committee Eyes Open Records Bills

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Lawmakers are considering a series of bills backed by the State’s Open Government Task Force that clarify and change the state’s open record laws.

The House State Affairs Committee took up a number of bills intended to shine more light on the workings of government or to change what must be made public.

House Bill 1112 seeks to allow some small townships to exempt three member boards from open record laws.   Those in favor argue that in very small towns elected officials might gather to take part maintenance, such as street repair, and when doing so become subject to open records laws.
 
Seth Tupper the Editor of the Mitchell Daily Republic opposed the change.  Tupper argues it creates another loophole for government to cover up the public eye.
 
“Sometimes openness is a burden.  I don’t see that as a problem.  I think governments at all levels should be encouraged to be open even if it is a little bit inconvenient,” says Tupper.

But committee members disagreed and passed the bill.  It goes next to the House floor.   You can find a link to the full House State Affairs Committee meeting covering open records here.