Editorial: Approve HB1153 to strengthen open meetings laws

Honesty, decency and forthrightness are among the values that define South Dakotans. Another core value is a fundamental belief in the public’s right to know about their government. South Dakotans believe the public’s business should be conducted in public view.

That principle in government transparency is embedded in South Dakota’s open meetings laws, which date back more than a half century and direct state and local government boards on how they should conduct business in public.

A principle guiding our open meetings laws is that when at least a quorum of members of a government board is discussing official business, the state open meetings laws should be followed. In other words, among other things, an agenda of the meeting should be provided in advance of the meeting and the public should have the opportunity to witness the meeting. That principle applies whether the government board is meeting in person or by teleconference or video-conference. Continue>>>