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Senate Legislative Committee Unanimously Approves Attorney General’s Bill on Open Meeting Commission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Jan. 19, 2024

Contact: Tony Mangan, Communications Director, 605-773-6878

PIERRE, S.D. – Senate Bill 26 which would allow Deputy State’s Attorneys, in addition to State’s Attorneys, to serve on the state’s Open Meeting Commission was unanimously approved Friday by the Senate State Affairs Committee.

The bill was sponsored by the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office. The Open Meeting Commission was established in 2004.

“South Dakota’s state’s attorneys are busy and may not always be able to attend meetings of the Open Meeting Commission,” said Attorney General Marty Jackley, who spoke in support of the bill. “The Open Meeting Commission serves a valuable role in government transparency, and this bill strengthens the diversity of the Commission.”

Senate State Committee members also voted to add SB 26 to the consent calendar when it goes to the Senate.

By state statute, the members are required to be state’s attorneys who are appointed by the Attorney General. Last week, Attorney General Jackley appointed five state’s attorneys to the commission: Emily Sovell, Sully County, who will serve as chairperson; Katelynn Hoffman, Turner County; Wendy Kloeppner, Lake County; Lance Russell, Fall River County; and, Michael Smith, Clay County.

SB 26 can be found here: https://sdlegislature.gov/Session/Bill/24893/257767.

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