Updates on MNCOGI legislative activity

Posted by: on Mar 5, 2013 | No Comments

HF 5 – Health care exchange bill.  MNCOGI testified about the bill’s data provisions, as did many others.  The House version of the bill (which passed on March 4th) had been altered to make its meeting provisions more closely conform to the Open Meeting law.  Language regarding data sharing with the federal government had also been somewhat tightened over the initial version of the bill.  The Senate version of the bill does not currently contain these modifications and improvements.

HF 20/SF 60 – Bills exempting certain personal e-mails from disclosure under the Data Practices Act.  MNCOGI offered testimony about both bills, advocating for a public classification for such e-mail data.  Neither the House or Senate has voted on either bill as of yet.

SF 385 – License Plate Reader (LPR) data classification.  MNCOGI testified at a hearing on the Senate version of the bill.  On Feb 28, amendments were offered to allow LPR data to be retained and classified as “not public” for 45 days.  The original language of the Senate bill would have required the destruction of much “non-hit” LPR data upon acquisition.  At present, the House has not heard testimony on the companion bill.

Bill introductions – Minnesota Legislature March 4-5

Posted by: on Mar 5, 2013 | No Comments

The following bills regarding Data Practices and Open Meeting Law issues were introduced in the Minnesota legislature on March 4 and 5:

HF 1197

Legislative auditor shall conduct audits of information and data systems supported by public funds

HF 1219

Meetings of the Metropolitan Airports Commission that are, in the opinion of the commissioners, likely to have broad public interest, must be held outside of the airport security area.

Bill introductions – Minnesota Legislature Feb 20-28

Posted by: on Mar 5, 2013 | No Comments

The following bills were introduced that dealt with Data Practices, Open Meeting Law, and general open government issues:

HF No. 723

Data contained on an event data recorder are “personal data” of the owner of the motor vehicle, and shall not be retrieved except in seven circumstances, including after the presentation of a warrant.  No person may alter or delete data after an accident, unless a “reasonable amount of time” has passed since the accident.

HF 798

Certain data maintained as part of the mileage-based user fees test are classified as nonpublic or private data, including names of participants, applications of the purchase or rental of GPS devices, and road usage data.

Classifying certain contract information related to Department of Transportation projects.

HF 809

Repealing the administrative remedy for Data Practices violations through the Office of Administrative Hearings.  The District Court remedy remains.

SF No 638

Data maintained by the Department of Administration that identifies an individual with a disability relative to certain services is private data.

SF No 681

Broadening the definition of data classified as “security information” to include the mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, and GPS locations of members of a crime prevention program.

SF No 745

Existing library user data classifications cover data held by vendors who are providing electronic data services under contract with a library.

SF No 810

Data on applicants, users, and customers of public transit collected by the Met Council are private data.

SF No 822

Conference committee negotiations must be open to the public; meetings between the senate majority leader and the speaker of the house to negotiate the state budget must be open to the public.

Data Practices/Open Meeting law bills – Minnesota Legislature Feb 14-18

Posted by: on Mar 5, 2013 | No Comments

HF No. 584

The bill would modify Minnesota Statutes 13.72 to classify data on “applicants, users, and customers” of public transit collected by the Metropolitan Council as “private data on individuals.”

HF No. 604

The bill would amend Minnesota Statutes 13.43 Subd. 2 to include a broader definition of those “public employees” subject to data disclosures under Chapter 13.  The definition would add “heads or directors of departments, divisions, bureaus, or boards; and any employee that supervises or manages three or more employee” and “athletic directors; chief financial officers; directors, assistant directors, or associate directors whose duties include at least 50 percent time in administration, personnel, supervision, evaluation, or curriculum.”

HF No. 621

Data maintained by the Department of Administration that identifies an individual with a disability, or a family member of the same are private data.

HF 653

The Open Meeting Law would not prohibit members of a public body from participating in a social media forum, but no votes could be taken by means of a social media forum.

HF 695

Existing library user data classifications cover data held by vendors who are providing electronic data services under contract with a library.

SF 433

Access to drivers’ license photos by coroners or medical examiners established.

SF 527

The Open Meeting Law would not prohibit members of a public body from participating in a social media forum, but no votes could be taken by means of a social media forum.  Senate companion to HF 653.

Minnesota Legislature – Data Practices bill Feb 11

Posted by: on Feb 11, 2013 | No Comments

The following Data Practices-related bill will be introduced in the Minnesota State Senate on February 11, 2013:

SF No. 385.  LPR data to be classified as “confidential” or “protected nonpublic” data if either a vehicle, its owner, or an occupant is the subject of an open criminal investigation.

Other LPR data must be destroyed if it does meet the criteria above, or else destroyed at the time that an active investigation is closed, if charges are not filed.  Law enforcement agencies using LPR devices must maintain a log of the locations of their LPR units, the times of day when those readers collect data, and the aggregate number of vehicles/plates recorded.  All such “log” data is to be classified as public data.

Minnesota Legislature – Data Practices bills introduced Jan 28-Feb 7

Posted by: on Feb 8, 2013 | No Comments

The following bills relating to the Minnesota Data Practices Act were introduced in the Minnesota Legislature between January 28th and February 7th, 2013:

HF No. 183   The responsible authority of a government agency shall establish procedures to ensure that data on individuals is accurate, and to establish safeguards for data access.  Criminal penalties are established for unauthorized access to data; notice and reporting provisions are established.

SF No. 211   The responsible authority of a government agency shall establish procedures to ensure that data on individuals is accurate, and to establish safeguards for data access.  Criminal penalties are established for unauthorized access to data; notice and reporting provisions are established.

SF No. 210  LPR data is classified as “private data on individuals” or “nonpublic data.”  LPR data must be destroyed within 24 hours unless the data identify a stolen vehicle, a vehicle owner in warrant status, or the data are active investigative data.

MNCOGI has taken a public position regarding the status of LPR data.  Find out more on our 2013 Legislative Issues page.

Health Care Exchange bill reviewed

Posted by: on Feb 8, 2013 | No Comments

On February 5th, the House Data Practices subcommittee reviewed several of the Open Meeting Law and Data Practices provisions of HF 5, the House version of the enabling legislation for the Minnesota Health Care Exchange.

Several days earlier, during a February 1st public hearing, the language of the bill drew criticism over a lack of specificity regarding data protections and/or data sharing.  During that hearing, MNCOGI Board Member Don Gemberling testified about issues in the bill’s data provisions, and offered assistance to the Data Practices subcommittee to rework the language.

Rich Neumeister’s Open Secrets blog has a summary of recent activity with the bill.

E-mail bill to get Senate hearing

Posted by: on Jan 28, 2013 | No Comments

On January 29, 2013, the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee will take up SF No. 60, a bill that proposes to make citizen e-mail addresses  submitted to government entities “not public” data under the Minnesota Data Practices Act.  Such information includes e-mail addresses submitted for snow-plowing and other types of notification.

Last week, the House Civil Law Committee heard testimony from the author of the House companion bill, and referred the matter to the body’s Data Practices sub-committee for further deliberation.

The House version of the bill (HF No. 20) was amended last week to remove language that allowed e-mail addresses to be shared for “government purposes.”

MNCOGI has taken the position that e-mail addresses submitted for notification purposes should remain public data, but that government entities should notify citizen submitters that their data will be publicly available under the Data Practices Act.

Minneapolis seeks LPR data classification

Posted by: on Jan 15, 2013 | No Comments

The City of Minneapolis is asking IPAD, the office with the Department of Administration that reviews Data Practices issues, to issue a temporary classification for License Plate Recognition (LPR) data.  The data, which consists of millions of police scans of vehicle plates captured by squad car-mounted cameras, is currently available as public data under the Minnesota Data Practices Act.  Minneapolis is seeking to have the data temporarily classified as “not public” in anticipation of more comprehensive action by the Minnesota Legislature.

The legislature is expected to take up questions of LPR retention and classification during its 2013 session.  MNCOGI will be presenting its perspective on LPR data issues at its January 28 public forum.

Minnesota Legislature – first Data Practices, Open Meeting bills

Posted by: on Jan 15, 2013 | No Comments

The Minnesota Legislature convened on January 8, 2013.  The following bills were introduced on January 10th.  Each has some bearing on Data Practices and Open Meeting issues:

HF No. 5, Establishing a Minnesota insurance exchange

HF No. 5 creates a board to direct the function of the insurance exchange.  The bill contains provisions which would exempt certain board discussions (contract negotiations, personnel matters, trade secret information) from the Open Meeting law.

SF No. 1,  Senate companion to HF No. 5, with similar provisions

HF No. 20, Classifying e-mail and telephone data

HF No. 20 would classify e-mail and telephone information provided to government entities for notification purposes (snow plowing, etc) as “private data on individuals.”  This data is currently public data.

HF No. 42, Subjecting certain DNR/tribal meetings to the Open Meeting law

HF No. 42 would subject meetings involving the Department of Natural Resources, Ojibwe bands, and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission to the Open Meeing Law.