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Effort to put task forces under open meeting law narrowed

This won’t be the year that all legislative task forces become subject to the state Open Meeting Law.

That’s what HF1530 would have done.

A slimmed-down version was approved Thursday by the House Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee on a divided voice-vote and sent to the House Floor.

Sponsored by Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover), the bill would now require only the Child Support Task Force, created last year, to conform to the Open Meeting Law. A delete-all amendment offered by Scott narrowed the bill’s proposed scope considerably.

Scott, for whom reforming child support and other family law statutes is a long-standing priority, explained her discomfort that Child Support Task Force meetings are not public.

But the wide variety of legislative task forces proved to be more “nuanced” than she expected, prompting her to tailor HF1530 to the single task force.

“Not all task forces are created equally is what I learned,” Scott said. She plans to work on a broader bill to be introduced next year.

Several DFLers on the committee expressed discomfort with the amended bill. Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL-Hopkins) said she was “disturbed” by the bill’s “piecemeal approach.”

The companion, SF1716, sponsored by Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove), awaits action by the Senate State Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee. 

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