PIERRE | Leaders at the nonpartisan agency that is the hub of operations for the Legislature want to improve communications with lawmakers, especially during the nine months of the year outside the regular legislative session.

Legislative Research Council officials outlined their plans to the Executive Board on Tuesday. They intend to better spread the word about what various legislative panels are doing, using techniques such as email blasts.

Legislators are asking for more information, according to Sue Cichos, who is the LRC deputy director.

She said their interests range from legislative appointments to reports from interim committees.

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“This is fantastic,” Rep. Mark Mickelson, R-Sioux Falls, said, during an executive committee meeting prior to the Executive Board’s main meeting. As speaker he is presiding officer for the House of Representatives.

The effort by LRC also could produce more accountability from lawmakers, such as when they return from trips paid for by the Legislature.

“When we send them a check for reimbursement, I want a report on what they learned,” Mickelson told Cichos. “It’s not mandatory, but it’s a request we make.”

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