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Board of Finance Violates Law by Failing to Post Meeting Mintues

The gag order that Governor Kristi Noem has imposed across state government leaves citizens in the dark about how elected officials and public agencies are using the power and tax dollars granted to them by the people. But the state Board of Finance’s failure to post its meeting minutes actually violates state law.

SDCL 1-25-1.4 requires all state boards, commissions, and departments that have to provide public notice of their meetings to post their meeting minutes to a state website designated by the Bureau of Finance and Management for that purpose. BFM designates the Boards and Commissions Portal for that purpose. The Board of Finance is required by SDCL 4-1-2 to hold public meetings on the third Tuesday of every month.

The Board of Finance was pretty good about posting its minutes in previous years. In 2019, they posted minutes for all but one of their meetings, the November 19, 2019 meeting, thus denying us the ability to confirm whether the board approved reimbursing GOED’s Kyle Peters, the Governor’s son-in-law, for the $36.64 lunch plus $6.60 tip he spent at the Bullpen Steakhouse & Spirits in Lake Norden schmoozing a business prospect.

Kyle Peters, state hosting reimbursement request, 2019.10.17, submitted to Board of Finance for approval at November 2019 meeting.
Kyle Peters, state hosting reimbursement request, 2019.10.17, submitted to Board of Finance for approval at November 2019 meeting, in Supporting Documents, pp. 10–11.

But in September 2022, the Board of Finance’s secretary, then-Secretary of State Steve Barnett, appears to have stopped posting minutes. That may have been when Barnett started preparing his early exit to the South Dakota Rural Electric Association, which was announced in October. But minutes remain absent in December 2022, when Barnett’s early replacement, Monae Johnson, took office. Johnson has posted minutes for only one of eight Board of Finance meetings so far this year, the March 21 meeting (which now, instead of a convenient PDF that opens in the web browser like all the pervious minutes, downloads as a Word document that one must open on one’s computer in a separate word processing app), at which the board approved reimbursing the Department of Tourism for hosting travel writers from Canada and Italy last fall. For the rest of the Board of Finance meetings since September 2022, the Secretary of State’s office has published nothing but agendae, in violation of SDCL 1-25-1.4.

It’s one thing to stonewall the press, muzzle state employees, and delay and deny public records requests. But even our reticent state has to follow the law. Post those Board of Finance minutes, Secretary Johnson!


  1. jkl 2023-09-25 10:03

    It is curious to me that someone would get a patty melt without grilled onions.

  2. All Mammal 2023-09-25 12:07

    It wasn’t like he was being generous by rounding the tip up that extra penny. The state can at least consider the volume of lunches brought to the table and splurge on a 20% tip. Making us all look like a bunch of animals out here.

    Post the minutes in the same format on time, or the law will have to step in and find you are not a law abiding SOS, but a common criminal, like your bronzer-wearing jailbird comic book villain

  3. P. Aitch 2023-09-25 12:48

    That ticket from Lake Norden is half the price charged in Colorado. A burger starts here at $15.00. With fries or onion rings or cole slaw $20.00 – $24.00. I had a nice Cobb Salad Saturday night at a local chain restaurant (The Tavern) for $16.00. It even had a little Colorado grown quinoa. Oh, well. Hope my Social Security increases next year because inflation is going away, and it’ll be the last increase for a while. I don’t think it increased at all during the eight years of President Obama.

  4. grudznick 2023-09-25 17:21

    grudznick, like Mr. jkl, also wonders about the patty melt with no sauce, no grilled onions. Add grilled mushrooms. Isn’t that like a mushroom and swiss on rye? They probably ordered it on a hamburger bun, too, the heathen!

  5. DVC 2023-09-25 19:32

    How do we force these minutes to be posted! SOS
    Violating SD State Statute!

  6. Democracy Advocate 2023-09-26 12:45

    DVC: Would you contact our AG Jackley?

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