PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A South Dakota legislative panel has approved imposing a criminal penalty for failing to report births and deaths based on concerns about a polygamous group’s outpost in the Black Hills.
The House Judiciary Committee voted 12-1 Wednesday to send the measure to the floor. Republican Rep. Tim Goodwin, the sponsor, says it’s the first time lawmakers have tried to do something about the compound.
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints opened the 140-acre outpost over a decade ago.
State law requires births and deaths to be reported, but the Department of Health said in 2017 that no such records had been filed from the compound’s address in the previous 10 years.
One former resident said births occurred at the site, including two of her own children.