SOUTH DAKOTA KEEPS GAG LAW

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Lawmakers Refuse To Repeal Measure


In what has become an annual ritual, South Dakota lawmakers have
again refused to repeal a 1996 gag law that makes it a felony for
many state officials to publicly talk about – or even
acknowledge – investigations into people or businesses.

The law was passed originally by the overwhelmingly Republican
Legislature to silence the state treasurer, a Democrat, in a
tussle over control of unclaimed money held by a credit-card
issuer. The legislation has kept the public in the dark on other
matters since and may do even more damage, said South Dakota
Newspaper Association General Manager David Bordewyk. “It is so
broad that it has consequences for the future we can’t even
imagine today,” he said.



Mark Fitzgerald (mfitzgerald@editorandpublisher.com) is editor at large for E&P.



Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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