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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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Attorney General Jackley Issues Official Attorney General Opinion on Legislative Committee Subpoena Power

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   Wednesday, December 20, 2017
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215   

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty J. Jackley announced the issuance of his official Attorney General Opinion to State Senator Troy Heinert regarding legislative committee authority to issue subpoenas.  The opinion recognized the important premise that “In order for the Legislature to effectively legislate, it must have the ability to obtain information regarding the intended effects or possible outcomes of proposed legislation or gather information in furtherance of other constitutional obligations.”  The opinion reaffirms the Legislative Government Operation and Audit Committee’s statutory authority to investigate including the ability to issue subpoenas. 

The opinion notes that the Legislature must authorize through statute or the Executive Board investigate and subpoena powers.  While it has not authorized the Tribal Relations Committee to issue subpoenas at this time, the Legislature certainly can if it is so choses.

Official Opinion 17-06