The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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State, national news

February 26, 2013

Social media test bounds of open meeting laws

— 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 was discussing a 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.

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