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Minnesota Session Laws - 1997, Regular Session

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 154-S.F.No. 755 
                  An act relating to meetings of governmental bodies; 
                  authorizing meetings by interactive television if 
                  certain criteria are met; amending Minnesota Statutes 
                  1996, sections 3.055, by adding a subdivision; and 
                  471.705, subdivision 1. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 3.055, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 1a.  [MEETINGS BY ELECTRONIC MEANS.] (a) A meeting 
        governed by this section may be conducted by interactive 
        television so long as: 
           (1) all members of the body participating in the meeting, 
        wherever their physical location, can hear and see one another 
        and can hear and see all discussion and testimony presented at 
        any location at which at least one member is present; 
           (2) members of the public present at the regular meeting 
        location of the body can hear and see all discussion and 
        testimony and all votes of members of the body; and 
           (3) at least one member of the body is physically present 
        at the regular meeting location. 
           (b) Each member of a body participating in a meeting by 
        interactive television is considered present at the meeting for 
        purposes of determining a quorum and participating in all 
        proceedings. 
           (c) If interactive television is used to conduct a meeting, 
        to the extent practical, a body shall allow a person to monitor 
        the meeting electronically from a remote location.  The body may 
        require the person making such a connection to pay for 
        documented marginal costs that the body incurs as a result of 
        the additional connection. 
           (d) House and senate rules governing notice of meetings 
        must provide for giving notice that interactive television will 
        be used to conduct a meeting. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 471.705, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [PRESUMPTION OF OPENNESS.] (a) Except as 
        otherwise expressly provided by statute, all meetings, including 
        executive sessions, of any a state agency, board, commission, or 
        department, when required or permitted by law to transact public 
        business in a meeting, and the governing body of any a school 
        district however organized, unorganized territory, 
        county, statutory or home rule city, town, or other public body, 
        and of any committee, subcommittee, board, department, or 
        commission thereof, shall of a public body must be open to the 
        public, except meetings of the commissioner of corrections.  The 
        votes of the members of such the state agency, board, 
        commission, or department or of such the governing body, 
        committee, subcommittee, board, department, or commission on any 
        an action taken in a meeting herein required by this subdivision 
        to be open to the public shall must be recorded in a journal 
        kept for that purpose, and the journal shall must be open to the 
        public during all normal business hours where such records of 
        the public body are kept.  The vote of each member shall must be 
        recorded on each appropriation of money, except for payments of 
        judgments, claims, and amounts fixed by statute.  This section 
        shall does not apply to any a state agency, board, or commission 
        when it is exercising quasi-judicial functions involving 
        disciplinary proceedings. 
           (b) A meeting governed by this subdivision may be conducted 
        by interactive television so long as: 
           (1) all members of the body participating in the meeting, 
        wherever their physical location, can hear and see one another 
        and can hear and see all discussion and testimony presented at 
        any location at which at least one member is present; 
           (2) members of the public present at the regular meeting 
        location of the body can hear and see all discussion and 
        testimony and all votes of members of the body; 
           (3) at least one member of the body is physically present 
        at the regular meeting location; and 
           (4) each location at which a member of the body is present 
        is open and accessible to the public. 
           (c) Each member of a body participating in a meeting by 
        electronic means is considered present at the meeting for 
        purposes of determining a quorum and participating in all 
        proceedings. 
           (d) If interactive television is used to conduct a meeting, 
        to the extent practical, a public body shall allow a person to 
        monitor the meeting electronically from a remote location.  The 
        body may require the person making such a connection to pay for 
        documented marginal costs that the public body incurs as a 
        result of the additional connection. 
           (e) If interactive television is used to conduct a regular, 
        special, or emergency meeting, the public body shall provide 
        notice of the regular meeting location and notice of any site 
        where a member of the public body will be participating in the 
        meeting by interactive television.  The timing and method of 
        providing notice must be as described in subdivision 1c. 
           Sec. 3.  [RURAL FINANCE AUTHORITY.] 
           (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 471.705, 
        subdivision 1, the rural finance authority may conduct a meeting 
        of its members by telephone or other electronic means so long as 
        the following conditions are met: 
           (1) all members of the authority participating in the 
        meeting, wherever their physical location, can hear one another 
        and can hear all discussion and testimony; 
           (2) members of the public present at the regular meeting 
        location of the authority can hear all discussion and testimony 
        and all votes of members of the authority; 
           (3) at least one member of the authority is physically 
        present at the regular meeting location; and 
           (4) all votes are conducted by roll call, so each member's 
        vote on each issue can be identified and recorded. 
           (b) Each member of the authority participating in a meeting 
        by telephone or other electronic means is considered present at 
        the meeting for purposes of determining a quorum and 
        participating in all proceedings. 
           (c) If telephone or other electronic means is used to 
        conduct a meeting, the authority, to the extent practical, shall 
        allow a person to monitor the meeting electronically from a 
        remote location.  The authority may require the person making 
        such a connection to pay for documented marginal costs that the 
        authority incurs as a result of the additional connection. 
           (d) If telephone or other electronic means is used to 
        conduct a regular, special, or emergency meeting, the authority 
        shall provide notice of the regular meeting location, of the 
        fact that some members may participate by telephone or other 
        electronic means, and of the provisions of paragraph (c).  The 
        timing and method of providing notice is governed by Minnesota 
        Statutes, section 471.705, subdivision 1c. 
           Sec. 4.  [HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY.] 
           (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 471.705, 
        subdivision 1, the housing finance agency may conduct a meeting 
        of its members by telephone or other electronic means so long as 
        the following conditions are met: 
           (1) all members of the agency participating in the meeting, 
        wherever their physical location, can hear one another and can 
        hear all discussion and testimony; 
           (2) members of the public present at the regular meeting 
        location of the agency can hear all discussion and testimony and 
        all votes of members of the agency; 
           (3) at least one member of the agency, the commissioner, 
        the deputy commissioner, or an attorney for the agency is 
        physically present at the regular meeting location; and 
           (4) all votes are conducted by roll call, so each member's 
        vote on each issue can be identified and recorded. 
           (b) Each member of the agency participating in a meeting by 
        electronic means is considered present at the meeting for 
        purposes of determining a quorum and participating in all 
        proceedings. 
           (c) If telephone or another electronic means is used to 
        conduct a meeting, the agency to the extent practical, shall 
        allow a person to monitor the meeting electronically from a 
        remote location.  The agency may require the person making such 
        a connection to pay for documented marginal costs that the 
        agency incurs as a result of the additional connection. 
           (d) If telephone or another electronic means is used to 
        conduct a regular, special, or emergency meeting, the agency 
        shall provide notice of the regular meeting location, of the 
        fact that some members may participate by electronic means, and 
        of the provisions of paragraph (c).  The timing and method of 
        providing notice is governed by Minnesota Statutes, section 
        471.705, subdivision 1c. 
           Sec. 5.  [EXPIRATION DATE.] 
           Sections 3 and 4 expire June 30, 1998. 
           Sec. 6.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 to 4 are effective the day following final 
        enactment. 
           Presented to the governor May 14, 1997 
           Signed by the governor May 15, 1997, 3:30 p.m.

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