Social Media Tests Bounds Of Minn. Meeting Law

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — If a majority of members on a city council zing messages back and forth on Facebook, Twitter or another social media platform, is that considered an official government meeting?

Not if a bill starting its travel through the Minnesota Legislature prevails. The House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday discussed the bill that would make clear that those types of communications don’t trigger the open meeting law.

Republican Rep. Duane Quam’s bill would adapt Minnesota’s open meeting law to newer technologies. To comply, however, government officials wouldn’t be able to take votes via social media or substitute required public hearings for virtual ones.

A lawyer for the Minnesota Newspaper Association raised concerns about social media being used to foster off-line deliberations. The bill was set aside for further consideration.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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