Protecting the ‘People’s House’ in private?

The Senate Transportation Committee approved a Capitol Security bill today that would create a panel that would advise the governor and Capitol Security on ways to improve security at the State Capitol.

The only problem is that those tasked to come up with protecting the people’s house won’t be meeting in public. The bill doesn’t require the panel to adhere to the state’s open meeting laws. That means the elected officials, law enforcement personnel, the Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice and commissioners of several state agencies can discuss Capitol Security matters in complete privacy.

“I have not seen a commission like this, where they’re totally exempt, from open meeting laws in all of my years here,” privacy and open government advocate Rich Neumeister said. He said it’s unheard of that the public won’t be able to give any input into the security of the State Capitol. “For ten years, we’re going to have a group talking about the people’s house and our accessibility to the people’s house, in secret.”

The bill now moves to the State Government Innovation and Veterans Budget and Policy Committee.

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