Sunday, March 27, 2011

Legislation that can compromise or be improved on in regards to accountability, privacy, and transparency

As the session draws to a close in the next eight weeks there will be ups and downs with Omnibus budget bills and policy bills as they rush towards deadlines.  The following are concerns, issues, and questions I see involving some of the bills that have been introduced.  This list is not all inclusive, there are other bills I will comment on as I review them.

HF162. Has impact on ability of people to get access to information, perennial issue at Legislature.  Has Senate companion.  Subject is Internet publishing of public notices rather than newspaper.
HF343. Privacy and due process concerns in giving subpoena power to police agency, unusual granting of state power. Has Senate companion.
HF366 Access to health records.  Privacy and consent issues.  Has Senate companion.

HF457  Various allowances for school districts to do Internet publishing rather than in newspapers.  Accountability and access to information issues.
HF462  Nurse Compact.  Issues of data sharing and due process.  Has Senate companion
HF601 Appraisal data.  Issue of when disclosure should be made.  Has Senate companion.

HF895  Bill pushed by MN Insurance Federation.  Amends Insurance Privacy Act.  Have concerns of intent of bill.  Do not want to lose privacy, consent, and accountability concepts in current law.  Senate companion has been amended because of concern.
HF981 Familial DNA.  Bill has had hearing and still in Committee.  No action forward at this time.  Accountability, presumption of innocence, and privacy, among many issues.  No Senate companion.
HF1010  Appropriations bill for environment. 1st engrossment.  Have public accountability and transparency concerns in regards to LCMR being able to waive application of law to in how data is available to the public among other questions,  p. 70.19 to 71.23.  Specific language I am concerned about is p.71.21 to 71.23.

HF1060  MNDOT's Data Practices bill.  Historically the Department wants to make data not public or non public.  Their bills have controversial in the past.  Have not evaluated the bill yet.
HF1061  Legacy Program transparency bill.  Makes uniform template as to what should be reported to LCC web site.  Bill could go much further requiring background data on the people who sit on groups and committees who decide where the monies go that are administered by agencies, require administrating agencies to place on their first page of website their legacy involvement, among other initiatives.  Good bill, but could be improved upon to ensure that people know who's who and what's what.  No Senate companion.
HF1130  Senate companion had hearing.  Issues of liability when information is shared.  Bill has broad applications, then intent of bill.  Accountability of disclosures are concerns among others.

HF1202  Subdivision 1, the standard or criteria of when the committee involves itself with family is lowered.  What does this do?  Will more families be involved in the counseling activities of this group?
HF1204  Health exchange program.  There have been different versions over the past couple of years.  Important to be reviewed for privacy and accountability concerns and issues.
SF598  DNA collection of arrested.  Major constitutional and privacy issues.  No House companion.

SF910  Exempts Metro Transit drivers from Offenders Rehabilitation Act.  Issues of rehabilitation for offenders and opportunities of employment
SF1017  Have concerns about subdivision 1 where it takes out the following, "and any other law".  What does that do?  What are the other laws that this action may have impact on?
SF1053 Nurse background check bill.  Issues of due process and access to information.  Issue of rehabilitation.  House has companion.

In three budget bills there are issues and concerns in regards to privacy, accountability, and open government also.  Those bills are State Government, HHS, and Education. .

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