Press Release: Senator Billie Sutton Proposes Legislation to Promote Government Oversight

Thursday, October 5, 2017 –  Senator Billie Sutton, candidate for South Dakota Governor and member of the South Dakota Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee (GOAC) today proposed legislation designed to promote government oversight and accountability.

Regarding the proposed legislation, Senator Sutton said:

“As elected leaders, we must do everything we can to ensure the people of our State can trust our democracy. The best way to foster public trust is to ensure taxpayer money is being spent wisely and not squandered or stolen. Unfortunately, many South Dakotans feel government accountability is lacking because of the the perpetual news of scandals like EB-5 and GEAR-UP. The status quo has resulted in significant government mismanagement, and politics as usual will not fix these problems. I am proposing this legislation to help ensure our government has adequate oversight, transparency, and accountability.”

The first draft legislation proposed by Senator Sutton will provide public access to additional government public records. Senator Sutton suggested this change at the last meeting of the GOAC because state officials claimed they were not required to provide email records regarding inquiry into the GEAR-UP scandal and because members of the press have expressed concerns about difficulty acquiring certain correspondence in their investigations into state government corruption and mismanagement.

The second draft legislation proposed by Senator Sutton will extend to ten years the time government fiscal record must be retained. This change would help ensure that past audits and other financial information is available to auditors and committees like GOAC that are attempting to determine if tax payer money was misused in the past.