Advocates watch proposed changes in how govt. records are handledby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Advocates oftransparent government are watching a proposal that would change the way the state handles government records.
Officials at the Department of Administration propose technical changes and others that would also establish consistent rules for how cities and government agencies classify elected officials. Under current law, government decides which information about elected officials can be made public. The changes would make all current and former government employees subject to personnel data laws.
Mike Dean, executive director of Common Cause Minnesota, said the proposal doesn't go far enough to address problems with how the state handles government data. He said the state needs to make more government information public.
"Really, Minnesota's data practices laws have not kept pace with the evolution in technology over the last decade or so, that there is a lot of information that is not being disclosed right now that should be," Dean said.
The proposal would also lay out consistent rules about elected officials, said Laurie Beyer-Kropuenske of the Department of Administration.
"Right now, what we have is one city that might protect that data and treat the mayor as an employee, another city doesn't," she said. "You might be able to get more on one mayor than another mayor. So what we want to see is all elected officials treated in the same way so you can get the same information about all of them."
The department is still working on language for any potential legislation. Officials hope to introduce a bill this session at the capitol.