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'Vehicle Bills' In SD Capitol Bother Some

March 16, 2014, 1:37 PM

'Vehicle Bills' In SD Capitol Bother Some

Advocates of open government say use of "vehicle bills" in South Dakota means less scrutiny for lawmaking.

Lawmakers use "vehicle bills" to give themselves an option to revive or introduce legislation beyond the normal deadline for bills to leave their original chamber. The legislation is often drafted with little more than a title.

Critics of these kinds of bills, including the South Dakota Newspaper Association, say they are becoming more prevalent and circumvent public oversight.

But some legislators, including leaders in the House and Senate, say these bills are helpful in a short session. They say the bills are needed while legislators refine ideas or wait on the availability of funds.

Democratic House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton says "vehicle bills" could be used for ill, but they're not.

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