OPENNESS GOVERNMENT TASK FORCE MEETING SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 21St
(Pierre) – Attorney General Larry Long announced today the next Openness Government Task Force meeting will be held in Chamberlain on August 21st, at 11:30 at Cedar Shores Resort and is open to the public.
During the last meeting the task force began discussions on the law enacted in 1996 that bars state agencies from discussing pending investigations. The law, often referred to as the “gag law” limits state agencies from disclosing whether an investigation is pending against a private entity. This year Public Utilities Commission investigations were exempted from the law so that PUC could disclose consumer issues to the public. The task force is concerned with whether additional changes should be made to the law so that more information can be made available to the public while investigations are still pending.
At the meeting, the 40 member task force will consider whether to develop legislation that would allow some general information regarding police logs to be disclosed to the public, but that would hold specific information on pending law enforcement matters to be confidential. At present, law enforcement agencies are foreclosed from releasing any law enforcement investigatory information.
Attorney General Long encourages anyone who has suggestions or comments to attend this meeting or visit the website at www.state.sd.us/atg.