Friday, July 1, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Impeachment Meetings in SD Underscore Transparency Concerns

Play

Wednesday, December 29, 2021   

A legislative panel has been discussing the possibility of impeachment proceedings against South Dakota's attorney general. A statewide government observer says the meetings themselves reveal transparency problems that, in his view, are too common in Pierre.

The agenda of the House committee considering the removal of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg includes several executive sessions closed to the media and public. Given the magnitude of the situation, said John Tsitrian, co-publisher of the nonpartisan blog South Dakota Standard, these groups shouldn't be left in the dark.

"We just have to accept what's going on behind closed doors," he said, "without getting the kind of information that would help us make decisions about whether these people are doing the right thing, the wrong thing, the political thing."

He also expressed nepotism concerns surrounding Gov. Kristi Noem, and the recent handling of her daughter's application for a real-estate appraiser's license. Noem has denied any wrongdoing in the matter. In recent years, South Dakota has gotten low marks in national rankings for state government accountability and transparency.

When voters head to the polls in 2022, Tsitrian said, they should do their best to research candidates and strongly consider those who detail plans for a more open government.

"That's probably the most practical way for the public to approach it right now," he said, "and then, at some point, there probably could be a process where some entity takes a look at our existing transparency laws."

He argued that vetting of candidates would be an important step, and noted that the current administration made similar promises.

Noem also has faced backlash over access to travel expenses for appearances in other states.

Calls for Ravnsborg's removal began after he fatally struck a pedestrian in 2020, avoiding jail time through a plea deal. He contended that the news media reported false claims about the incident, but Noem and others have criticized the deal and demanded his removal.


get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021