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May 22, 2018 06:06 PM

New Law To Require Public Comment At Public Meetings

Sioux Falls, SD

A new South Dakota law - will guarantee your right to speak at public meetings. But it also gives public officials the right to limit your input. 

You've seen it on the news... people speaking out about what's happening in their city or town. 

HB 1172 guarantees that right. 

"The intent of it really is to require elected bodies, local bodies, governing boards to have public comment," city councilwoman, Christine Erickson said.

It's already happening at city council meetings in Sioux Falls. Council members say that input is important.

"It gives the average citizen a chance to voice their concerns, we have heard issues concerning garbage, snow gate removal, zoning issues, storage sheds being put up in residential areas, crime concerns, street conditions, people come forth with all sorts of issues," city councilwoman Teresa Stehley said.

It could also give you the opportunity to speak sooner than in the past, it may require time for public comment at the council's informational meetings. 

The new law also says the amount of public comment can be limited at the chair's discretion. That's just one of the points that raised questions at Tuesday's informational meeting. 

The law takes effect on July first, so the council has a few more weeks to iron out the details and decide exactly how it will impact your input at  future meetings. 

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