A South Dakota Senate panel has narrowly approved changing a law that requires judges to appear in every county courthouse at least two days a month.
The state House already has passed the change, which was requested by the Unified Judicial System to help cut down on costs. Officials told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that the change would let judges go as necessary to smaller county courthouses with lighter workloads.
But Anita Fuoss, the state's attorney in Jones and Lyman counties, says cutting back on visits from judges would be unfair to residents in smaller counties and would cost local authorities more money in travel costs.
The committee approved the measure 4-3. It now moves to the full Senate.