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Noem Signs Bill to Increase Transparency in Government Settlements





Governor Kristi Noem today signed SB59, a transparency bill that prevents the state government from entering into secret lawsuit settlements and makes these state legal agreements public record.   

  

“South Dakotans deserve to know where their hard–earned tax dollars are being spent, but current law allows the government to confidentially negotiate agreements in order to protect wrongdoers,” said Noem. “The bill I signed today holds the government accountable by preventing secret lawsuit agreements. If tax dollars are used in a settlement, tax payers deserve to see a receipt.” 

  

Noem’s approval of SB59 follows her previous work to shine light into the inner–workings of state government. Earlier in March, Noem signed a reporter shield law that protects the constitutional right to a free and independent press. In Noem’s State of the State address, she committed to building “the most transparent administration South Dakota has ever seen.”  

  

SB59 will go into effect on July 1. 

  

Noem signed the following bills today:  

  • SB59 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding public records 
  • SB74 – An act to revise provisions regarding multiple convictions for certain offenses 
  • SB91 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding open meeting requirements
  • SB126 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the common language of the state and to recognize the official indigenous language of the state
  • SB149 – An act to increase the amount authorized for certain brand fees and to authorize a brand registration application fee
  • SB153 – An act to authorize the Game, Fish and Parks Commission to provide for a special hunting license with the proceeds to be used for habitat 
  • SB164 – An act to establish procedures for the investigation of certain missing and murdered indigenous persons 
  • SB173 – An act to make an appropriation to fund certain health care innovation grants, to require certain reports, expedite the nursing home rate methodology review, and to declare an emergency
  • SB174 – An act to make an appropriation for the construction of a health services building and renovation at the Jameson Prison Annex on the grounds of the state penitentiary and to declare an emergency
  • SB177 – An act to authorize the Department of Public Safety to remodel an existing structure in Sturgis for use as the state metrology lab, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency 
  • HB1093  An act to establish legal standards applicable to petition challenges. 
  • HB1094 – An act to revise certain programs regarding transparency of the petition circulation process 
  • HB1146 – An act to revise provisions related to unclaimed property. 
  • HB1155 – An act to provide for certain privileged communications between social workers and students 
  • HB1180 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the collection and storage of sexual assault kit evidence 
  • HB1259 – An act to make an appropriation for costs related to disasters in the state and to declare an emergency 
  • HB1261 – An act to make an appropriation for costs related to suppression of wildfires in the state and to declare an emergency 
  • HB1264  An act to authorize the payment of a self–insured retention on a cyber liability insurance policy from the extraordinary litigation fund, to make an appropriation for the payment of extraordinary litigation expenses, and to declare an emergency