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February07

SB 73: Committee forwards email meeting bill

Legislative committee members forwarded on a bill prohibiting impromptu email meetings of government bodies.

 

Senate State Affairs committee members unanimously attached their vote of confidence to Senate Bill 73, which clarifies what constitutes an open meeting and includes electronic medium meetings under open meeting’s law.

 

Sen. Corey Brown, the bill’s sponsor, said the legislation was a reply to concern about government bodies discussing the public’s business via email or other electronic means.

 

SDNA General Manager Dave Bordewyk said SB 73 is not a carbon copy of last year’s House Bill 1153, which called for the electronic records of members of a government body to become public records.

 

“This (bill) does not create a public record for email or for text messaging,” Bordewyk said, referencing the bill deleted from last year’s legislative docket. “We do not go after that.”

 

Bordewyk noted government bodies are “probably not” able to conduct a public meeting via email, but the bill opens the door should future technology present the option.

 

Should there be a suspected violation of the proposed law, members of the governing body could send consent for their email or electronic records to be reviewed or a search warrant or subpoena obtained for the investigation, said S.D. Attorney General Marty Jackley.

 

ASBSD is monitoring the bill, which is now in the Senate’s inbox for review. For updates on the bill, check out the ASBSD Blog, Twitter feed and Bill Tracker page.

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