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Noem Signs Reporter Shield Law

Governor Kristi Noem yesterday signed the Reporter Shield Law, a bill that protects journalists from revealing privileged sources and information. 


“Fact-based reporting can be a valuable tool in upholding the integrity of government entities, and investigative reporting can lead to much-needed policy reforms. Even so, local reporters can be forced to testify for investigating important stories, causing them to choose between maintaining the confidentiality of their sources and the possibility of jail,” said Noem. “This Reporter Shield Law will help ensure that investigative reporters can do their jobs without fear of improper legal action. This is a necessary step toward protecting the constitutional right to a free and independent press.”


“The journalist’s shield law will help to ensure that a free and robust press in South Dakota can do its work effectively without fear of being compelled to divulge confidential sources or to release unpublished newsgathering material,” said David Bordewyk, Executive Director of the South Dakota Newspaper Association. “These protections are important to protecting a free flow of information in our state. Thank you, Governor Noem, for supporting the public’s right to know in South Dakota and for promoting transparency in government.”


Noem signed the following pieces of legislation yesterday: 

  • HB1001  An act to revise the timing of the recalculation of the allocations for the disability levels in the state aid to special education formula
  • HB1009 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding state employment
  • HB1061 – An act to provide for a court order to test for HIV at the request of victims of certain crimes
  • HB1063 – An act to revise provisions regarding engaging in sexual activity for a fee or other compensation
  • HB1071 – An act to revise and repeal provisions regarding aviation
  • HB1074 – An act to provide a privilege for journalists and newscasters regarding refusal to disclose information
  • HB1137 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding pharmacy benefit managers.
  • HB1196 – An act to provide a definition of blockchain technology for certain purposes
  • SB18 – An act to update certain references to federal laws and regulations regarding pipeline safety inspections and to increase the maximum civil penalty for certain pipeline safety violations
  • SB34 – An act to make an appropriation for the replacement of the Elm Lake Dam spillway and to declare an emergency
  • SB36 – An act to revise the membership of the State Workers' Compensation Advisory Council
  • SB100 – An act to reduce the number of petition signatures required for conservation district supervisor elections
  • SB113 – An act to provide that certain information contained within applications for money lending licenses are public records