A bill hampering the legal settlement options available to the state and other political subdivisions found its way out of committee this week.
The Senate Judiciary committee passed Senate Bill 84, which prohibits the state of South Dakota or any political subdivision from entering into a settlement agreement that includes a nondisclosure or confidentiality clause, on a 5-2 vote.
ASBSD opposes the bill.
“I think there are issues here,” ASBSD Lobbyist Dick Tieszen testified, adding that it was very important “to weigh” the privacy of the parties involved in the settlement.
Sen. Arthur Rusch, the bill’s prime sponsor, noted that “public disclosure is the main thing” that needed to be addressed in these matters and “if public money is involved the public should know what’s going on.”
Tieszen noted “money is often not” the driving factor in settlements.
“I think this is too broad of a brush,” Tieszen said.
SB 84 now moves to the Senate floor for review.