SD House backs stronger law for open-meeting noticesPIERRE — The state House of Representatives supported clarifying South Dakota’s law requiring notice of public meetings Monday.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE — The state House of Representatives supported clarifying South Dakota’s law requiring notice of public meetings Monday.
The vote was 66-3 in favor. The legislation, House Bill 1131, proceeds next to the Senate for consideration.
Rep. Burt Tulson, R-Lake Norden, said the public needs to be able to visit the building where the government body meets and be able to see the notice for a full 24 hours before the meeting.
Tulson said the matter has been debated at least three times by the state Open Meetings Commission.
He said the current law allows the notice to be posted as late as 4:45 p.m. Friday on a bulletin board inside the building for a meeting to be held at 8 a.m. Monday, giving citizens only 15 minutes to see the notice.
“The public has a right to know. We are simply making it fairer and clearer than existing state statute,” he said.
Rep. Frank Kloucek, D-Scotland, called it “landmark” legislation.
Rep. Shawn Tornow, R-Sioux Falls, said the legislation doesn’t address the matter of providing the notices in forms accessible for people with disabilities. Tornow said he therefore had to oppose it.