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Open government bill fails in South Dakota

January 30, 2013

A bill to promote open and transparent government operations failed by a single vote in South Dakota recently, though many representatives felt it was "over-reaching." According to the Rapid City Journal, the new bill sought to expand the teleconferencing regulations to include texts, email and live chat discussions. The House intends to reconsider the matter, as one member missed the voting.

While some representatives in the state noted that the bill seemed to be looking for a problem that wasn't there, and that it wasn't clear what it was intended to accomplish, open government initiatives are extremely important in today's technological age. Proponents of the bill argued that it all it would do is enhance the openness of government-related communications.

"We should be for openness, and that's what this bill does,” the House Republican leader David Lust told the news source.

There are other ways for government offices, from the state level down to small town districts, to enhance open government policies. The adoption of meeting minutes software for the digitalization of records to video solutions can bring meeting agendas into the public eye more efficiently, and improve record-keeping processes to save money.