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South Dakota Senate panel rejects open government measure

PIERRE (AP) — A legislative panel has rejected a bill that would have made some government correspondence such as emails public records under South Dakota law.

The Argus Leader reports that Gov. Dennis Daugaard's office spearheaded the effort Wednesday to kill the legislation. A Senate panel voted 5-2 to reject it.

Democratic Sen. Billie Sutton, the bill's sponsor, says documents produced using taxpayer funds should be available to them. He is running for governor.

The bill would have also made state officials' calendars, memoranda and phone records subject to open record law.

The governor's chief of staff, Tony Venhuizen, worried that records requests would force attorneys to go through emails to see if materials couldn't be disclosed or should be redacted.

A House committee defeated a similar bill earlier this week.

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