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January30

No changes to executive session

Members of the Senate Local Government committee voted down a bill that would have required executive and closed sessions of government bodies be recorded and records maintained for one year.

 

Senate Bill 167 was deferred to the 41st Legislative day on 4-3 vote this morning (Wednesday). ASBSD opposed the bill.

 

Executive Director Wade Pogany testified the bill was unnecessary and argued the Open Meeting Task Force, which he was a part of, tasked by Gov. Daugaard to look at the state’s open meeting laws did not see executive session as an issue.

 

“This proposed law didn’t make it out of the Open Meeting Task Force,” Pogany testified. “That debate, I think, taught us there isn’t a need (for recording) here.”

 

Fellow opponents of the bill echoed Pogany’s sentiment that the bill was in search of an issue where there was none.

 

David Bordewyk, lobbyist for the South Dakota Newspaper Association, argued the bill was a “good enforcement tool” for open meeting laws, but noted the Open Meetings Commission, which has reviewed open meeting violations since 2004, had no executive session violations.

 

Pogany pointed to the admission as significant evidence the bill was unnecessary.

 

“There is no problem,” Pogany said. “School boards follow the (executive session) rules.”

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