PIERRE, S.D — Senator Billie Sutton says South Dakota’s newest law is an example, “of something you wouldn’t think we’d need to put in law because it is common sense and common practice in businesses everywhere, but sometimes we have to make sure government follows the rules the rest of us do.”
The state senator from Burke is referring to House Bill 1100, which was signed Thursday by Governor Dennis Daugaard. The bill simply states that state contracts must include the printed names of people who sign them. Sutton says in his day job in business and finance at a local community bank, every document a client signs requires a printed name in addition to a signature. He believes state government should be held to the same standard.
As Sutton and others exercised oversight of tax-payer funded contracts, they discovered they sometimes couldn’t read the signatures of people who signed the contracts and the names were not printed. “It seems like common sense to print the names below the signature,” said Senator Sutton, “but we’ve learned in these last few years that we cannot assume anything when it comes to making South Dakota government more open and transparent. Common sense isn’t always so common anymore.”
Sutton is the Senate sponsor of the “scribbling” bill and State Rep. Susan Wismer of Britton is the House sponsor. Their proposal passed overwhelmingly on both the House and Senate floors, with only one no vote — proof, says Sutton, that bi-partisanship can still be found in Pierre.
Governor Daugaard signed the bill on Thursday, and Sutton is sure the Governor’s signature was impeccable as always.