South Dakota Senate passes SB75

PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) — In response to staff reductions and cutbacks in traditional newspapers, South Dakota’s Senate passed SB75 unanimously 33 to 0 Tuesday, reflecting a legislative shift to address the evolving media landscape.

The bill allows non-traditional news outlets, such as The Dakota Scout and others, to publish legal notices from governmental units under specific criteria.

To qualify, publications must have a minimum of 200 paid online subscribers and distribute a print edition weekly for at least 50 weeks annually with a circulation exceeding 500 copies. Notably, whether the print product is offered for free or by subscription is irrelevant.

Similar to 2023’s SB80, which was rejected in the previous legislative session, SB75 signifies a change in support from media groups. The South Dakota NewsMedia Association, formerly the Newspaper Association, now includes digital media and backs the bill.

Republican Senator David Wheeler, the bill’s sponsor, praised the collaboration between the Independent Newspapers Association and the South Dakota NewsMedia Association.

The bill advances to a House committee for further consideration.