Legislative Update: 2012 Session

This summary highlights changes affecting the Data Practices Act (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13) and Open Meeting Law (Chapter 13D) and other laws with data practices and open meeting implications. The effective date for provisions is August 1, 2012, unless otherwise noted.


Changes to Chapter 13

Default Responsible Authority (RA) – Section 13.02, subdivision 16: Establishes a default RA in local political subdivisions until one is designated by the governing body. (Chapter 290, section 9)

Government Entity Obligations – Sec. 13.025 (new): Moves previously existing government obligations into one comprehensive section. (Ch. 290, sec. 10-11)

Judicial Branch Data – Sec. 13.03, subd. 4: Clarifies that judicial branch data sent to government entities are classified by relevant state or federal law and not court rules. (Ch. 290, sec. 12)

Advisory Opinions – Sec. 13.072, subd. 2: Requires the Commissioner of Administration to indicate when an opinion is not intended to provide guidance to all similarly situated persons or entities. (Ch. 290, sec. 13)

Decedent Data – Sec. 13.10, subd. 1: Clarifies the discharge of a personal representative. (Ch. 290, sec. 14)

Security Information – Sec. 13.37, subd. 1 and 2: Requires a short description from an RA explaining the necessity for a security information classification. (Ch. 290, sec. 16-17)

Genetic Information Public Health Exception – Sec. 13.386, subd. 4 (new): Allows the Commissioner of Health to collect, store, use and disseminate genetic information as required or permitted by statute or rule. The subdivision expires July 1, 2012.  Effective day following enactment. (Ch. 292, article 4, sec. 1)

Civil Investigative Data – Sec. 13.39, subd. 4: Provides that civil investigative data protections do not apply when the sole issue or dispute is a government entity’s timeliness in responding to a data request.  (Ch. 290, sec. 20)

Personnel data – Sec. 13.43, subd. 2: Clarifies that the “complete” terms of a settlement agreement are public   Expands the definition of “public official” to include certain local government officials making additional data about those individuals public in specified circumstances.   Effective day following enactment and applies to any agreement entered into or modified after that date. (Ch. 280)

Employee Suggestion data – Sec. 13.43, subd. 7a (new): Moves current language about employee suggestion data to its own subdivision.  (Ch. 290, sec. 22)

Employees of Contractors – Sec. 13.43, subd. 19 (new): Classifies as private certain personal contact information of a contractor’s or subcontractor’s employees maintained because of a contractual relationship entered on or after August 1, 2012; requires mandatory disclosures to a government entity for functions authorized by law and to a government entity or any person for prevailing wage purposes. (Ch. 290, sec. 23)

Appraisal Data – Sec. 13.44, subd. 3: Allows for data on real property estimated or appraised values to become public at the discretion of the government entity.  Effective day following enactment. (Ch. 290, sec. 24)

Welfare Data Sharing – Sec. 13.46, subd. 2: Clarifies that private welfare data may be shared with investigators acting on behalf of a county, state or federal government. (Ch. 216, art. 15, sec. 1)

Welfare Investigative Data – Sec. 13.46, subd. 3: Classifies as public during an investigation, the existence of an investigation by the Commissioner of Human Services of possible overpayments of public funds to a service provider. (Ch. 216, art. 15, sec. 2)

Welfare Licensing Data – Sec. 13.46, subd. 4: Moves existing language that classifies as public data, an applicant whose license is denied or sanctioned based on a determination of maltreatment; classifies as public, the reason for a license holder or applicant’s disqualification; allows for certain sharings; and provides the Commissioner of Human Services with access to background study data on individual licensees. (Ch. 216, art. 15, sec. 2)

Applicants for Public Appointment – Sec. 13.601, subd. 3: Makes data that are public for applicants for appointment to a public body consistent with data that are currently public about government employees. (Ch. 290, sec. 37)

Unofficial Fiscal Notes – Sec. 13.64, subd. 3 (new): Classifies certain unofficial fiscal notes requested by or on behalf of a member of the Legislature as not public until introduction or other legislative action. (Ch. 290, sec. 39)

Design-Build Data – Sec. 13.72, subd. 11: Clarifies the classification of data related to Department of Transportation design-build transportation projects. (Ch. 290, sec. 51)

Adopt-A-Highway Data – Sec. 13.72, subd. 17 (new): Classifies as private certain data related to the Department of Transportation’s adopt-a-highway program. (Ch. 290, sec. 52)

Law Enforcement Data – Sec. 13.82, subd. 1: Updates the reference to certain Department of Human Services programs that maintain law enforcement data. (Ch. 216, art. 15, sec. 4)

Inactive Financial Transaction Investigative Data – Sec. 13.82, subd. 30 (new): Classifies as not public a person’s financial account number or transaction numbers contained in inactive criminal investigative data. (Ch. 290, sec. 58)


Changes to Chapter 13D

Open Meeting Law Web Posting – Sec. 13D.015: Clarifies that the web posting requirement for state-wide bodies that meet by telephone or other electronic means is 10 days prior to any regular meeting. (Ch. 290, sec. 63)

Open Meeting Law Coded Elsewhere – Sec. 13D.08 (new): Creates a new section that cites other sections of statutes that pertain to the Open Meeting Law. (Ch. 290, sec. 64)


Other Data Practices and Open Meeting Changes

Campaign Data

Dependent Eligibility Audit – Sec. 43A.28, subd. 2 (new) and 43A.281 (new): Classifies as private the data submitted for purposes of the state group insurance program dependent eligibility audit and allows the data to be shared with an employer; dependents may not be terminated for failure to submit documentation unless certain requirements are met.  Effective day following enactment. (Ch. 290, sec. 65-66)

DNR Licensing Data – Sec. 84.0874: Classifies as private, electronic licensing data maintained by the Department of Natural Resources and allows discretionary sharing with persons and entities for specified purposes. (Ch. 290, sec. 69)

Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council Appraisal Data – Sec. 97A.056, subd. 13 (new): Provides that acquisition data provided by project recipients to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council funding may remain private during negotiations but must become public. (Ch. 264, art. 1, sec. 4)

Alcohol and Drug Counselor Licensing Data – Sec. 148F.025, subd. 4 and 148F.09, subd. 6:  Classifies as private certain alcohol and drug counselor data.  (Ch. 197, art. 2, sec. 6, 19)

Traffic Accident Data – Sec. 169.09, subd. 13: Allows, upon written request, an attorney or representative of an insurer of an individual involved in an accident to access a traffic accident report sent to the Commissioner of Public Safety. Effective day following enactment. (Ch. 185, sec. 3)

Department of Commerce Energy Programs – Sec. 216C.266 and 237.701, subd. 1: Allows data collected by the Commissioner of Commerce to be shared with the Commissioner of Human Services to determine eligibility for certain services.  Effective day following enactment.  (Ch. 290, sec. 70, 71)

Public Safety Data Sharing with Human Services – Sec. 256.01, subd. 18d and 18e (new): Requires the Commissioner of Public Safety to provide certain driver’s license data to the Commissioner of Human Services to determine improper enrollment in public assistance. Effective July 1, 2013. (Ch. 247, art. 3, sec. 3-4)

Advisory Committee on Capitol Area Security – Sec. 299E.04: A committee that meets to assess the safety and security risks in the Capitol is subject to Chapters 13 and 13D and has access to certain not public data. Effective day following enactment. (Ch. 258, sec. 2)

Vikings Stadium – Sec. 473J.09 (new), 473J.11 (new), and 473J.15 (new): The Metropolitan Sports Authority is subject to Chapters 13 and 13D; certain financial information is not public. Effective day following enactment. (Ch. 299, sec. 13, 15, 19)



IRRRB Data – Sec. 13.4967, subd. 6a and 298.22, subd. 12:  Repeals not public classification of certain data maintained by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation office; repealed retroactively from the date of final enactment. (Ch. 290, sec. 72)