Sutton Proposes Legislation To Open More Government Records

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – A Democratic candidate for governor has proposed legislation that would give the public access to additional government records including public officials’ correspondence.

State Sen. Billie Sutton said Thursday that he’s putting forward the legislation to help ensure government has adequate oversight, transparency and accountability.

One proposal would remove provisions from South Dakota public records law exempting access to public employees’ correspondence, memoranda, calendars, working papers and telephone call records.

A second plan would require state fiscal records to be retained for 10 years. Sutton is offering the proposals as a member of a legislative oversight committee that’s examining South Dakota’s GEAR UP scandal involving embezzled funds and a dead family.

Sutton says many residents feel government accountability is lacking because of the “perpetual” news of scandals like GEAR UP.

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