South Dakota lawmakers vote to keep officials' emails closed

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota lawmakers have rejected a government transparency bill that would have made officials' correspondence open for public review in some cases.

The House State Affairs Committee voted 10-2 Monday to kill the open records measure, which Gov. Dennis Daugaard's office also opposed.

It would have removed "correspondence" from a list of government records that officials keep secret from the public.

The change would have opened access to correspondence such as some emails, but kept closed communications to officials from constituents who expect that they're confidential.

The governor's chief of staff, Tony Venhuizen, says public officials need "some degree of privacy" to conduct official business.

Dave Bordewyk, general manager of the South Dakota Newspaper Association, says the bill was a good step to ensure the state's open records law works even better for South Dakota.

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