State Affairs Committee passes confidential settlements bill

PIERRE, S.D. (KJJQ) – The House State Affairs Committee passes a bill that would ban South Dakota government officials from negotiating confidential settlements.

In his testimony in support of his bill, Senator Arthur Rusch of Vemillion mentioned a confidential settlement entered into by the Brookings School district.

A federal judge ruled last year that the Brookings District violated the due process rights of a former student when they removed her and then failed to provide adequate opportunities for her to continue her education. The confidential settlement with her was approved by the School Board last month.

Tom Hart spoke on behalf of the Governor’s office in support of the bill.

Representative David Anderson of Hudson spoke against the bill. He says there are times when things need to be done confidentially.

The measure made it through committee on a 7-4 vote. It had earlier made in through the Senate and now moves to the House floor.