Public employees’ contracts are open records, SD Senate saysLast year some school district officials in Sioux Falls and elsewhere refused to release their contracts.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE — The state Senate voted to strengthen South Dakota’s open-records law Thursday, unanimously declaring that public employees’ contracts can be examined.
The legislation, Senate Bill 106, now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. The Senate vote was 34-0. Sen. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, sponsored the legislation. He spoke briefly about why it is necessary.
Last year some school district officials in Sioux Falls and elsewhere refused to release their contracts when the information was requested by newspaper reporters.
The legislation says the amounts and benefits paid to a public employee also are open records.
Rep. Nick Moser, R-Yankton, is the lead sponsor of the bill in the House.
The South Dakota Newspaper Association supports the proposed changes. The South Dakota State Employees Organization’s executive director Eric Ollila testified against it at a Senate committee hearing.