SB 101, an act to provide a penalty for denying access to public records, gets it’s first public hearing this morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Al Novstrup’s bill would attach a civil penalty of $50 a day (from first denial to access) to the custodian of a public record if a court or Office of Hearing Examiners finds the custodian has acted in bad faith.
Do we need a civil penalty to make sure our records are open enough?
According to Bob Mercer at Pure Pierre Politics, the Daugaard crew and the S.D. Newspaper Assoc. are cracking their knuckles just waiting to tinker with the original language. Mercer predicts that there will be a total rewrite of the bill during the hearing this a.m.
UPDATE — the bill passed out of committee with no opposition (6-0) and testimony in support of the bill came from the SD Municipal League, SD Newspaper Association., SF School District, State of SD Bureau of Administration and East Dakota Water Development District.
So penalties for not being open with public documents is moving forward.